Of being a musician, Frankie Lee says, “You shouldn’t want to do this…It’s just an insane way to make a living. It’s not even a choice.”
Well, whatever compelled the Minnesotan, after 15 years of songwriting, to finally put out his first EP, we’re glad. Middle West is the title, and with only five finely-crafted songs, you could say it’s a bit of a masterpiece…and frankly, you’d be right.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Frankie Lee lived for several years in Austin, Texas and California before moving back to Minnesota in recent years. Now based in Minneapolis, Lee returned to the Midwest at an auspicious time, just as a nation-wide trend of flannel, beards, and Americana began to peak. But Lee is the real deal, buying his gear from Fleet Farm, not a boutique shop.
Taking the time to hone his craft has paid off for the alt-country musician: he was voted Best Songwriter 2014 Minneapolis by City Pages. But that kind of success doesn't go to his head - he's in it for the people and the music, and he's only 'a phone call' away from heading out of the Twin Cities to play a gig when a friend asks.
Frankie Lee swung by the WUWM studio to chat with Rachel Owens about Middle West, and how he likes to pretty much do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.