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Willie Lee Riley

Willie Lee Riley Performing at Blues Fest 96

Birthplace - Walnut Ridge, Arkansas
Birthdate - November 5, 1960
Curent Residence - Jonesboro, Arkansas

Willie Lee Riley didn't begin performing until he was a teenager but he wrote his first song at age 10. A lifetime of living in the Delta and listening to the music has made Willie Lee one of the best musicians around. Heavily influenced by Southern Gospel many of his songs carry overtones derived from this style. Playing his guitar and lacing his songs with stories about life in the Delta his performances become intensely personal. After listening to him play you will walk away with those songs humming away in your mind ready to be pulled out and sung.

Willie Lee began touring in 1979 with Lakonya Smithee who was a child protege violinist. He and Lakonya performed together all over the US. They were known as Lakonya Smithee and The Lady's Man Band. In 1983 Will helped form a group known as " Cadillac Wheels" The group went their seperate ways after a couple of years and Riley decided he was going to ply his songwriting ability in earnest. He has an incredible array of songs in many genres. In the early 90's he began writing and recording patriotic songs and it remains one of his favorite styles. Willie Lee brought his talent to the stage at Blues Fest 96. Catch a glipse of the performance and take a listen to some great song writing in the video clip available below.

Willie Lee Riley on Something Blue

Willie Lee has been featured on Something Blue on numerous occasions including one entire show of his material available as a Something Blue promotional cassette.

Willie Lee Riley's Songs

Willie Lee Riley writes all kinds of music from blues and rockabilly to country, gospel, patriotic songs, ballads and so on. Some favorites are "My Baby's got me on the Phone Line", "Work this Dirt", "Voodoo Woman", "Ain't that America", and "My Baby's got me by the Blues".

Riley also works with other songwriters. He wrote "Rockabilly Shoes" with Hairy Larry.

Will gave a great performance at Blues Fest 96. Download this video clip for a powerful verse and chorus from "Work this Dirt".

Work this Dirt - .AVI video clip - 50 seconds - 2.1 megabytes

Delta Musicians

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