Music Maker Helps Lee Gates Get Home

inArtist Storyon May 11, 2016

Lee Gates BW

Lee Gates grew up in Pontotoc, MS, his father African-American, his mother a Native American. He is first cousin to the blues legend Albert Collins.

In his 20s he migrated up to Milwaukee, WI where he found work in the Steel Mills. He soon joined the blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson as his guitarist. Through this association and being his legendary guitarist cousin, musicians such as John Lee Hooker, BB King, Buddy Guy, a whose who of blues legends found their was to Sonny Boy’s jam session. Lee was there, working all day, playing guitar all night. I met Lee a number of years ago and I was stunned by the ferocity of his guitar. He joined the Music Maker Blues Revue and we performed in Australia, Italy, Canada, France, Washington DC, Costa Rica.

Where ever we went, he would unscrew his electric guitar and put it in in his suitcase, in the hotel room he would put it back together. I was always amazed how quickly he could do this. He is always reworking his guitar, rewriting them, getting sounds out them that none else can get. 


So when Lee needs some help, we are there for him, he had a mild stroke that keeps him from playing for now, but it is coming back and we are waiting for him with open arms.


Two weeks ago Lee called and said that he was having a housing emergency and needed some help because he was being dislocated. Music Maker jumped in to assist Lee and secure him new housing. 
— Tim Duffy

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