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Stray Cats' Lee Rocker - Part One - Off The Road with Dave Lawrence

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artist photo courtesy Suzie Kaplan

Browse and hear the complete Off the Road series at hawaiipublicradio.org/offtheroad.

This week for Off the Road, HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence welcomes Stray Cats’ bassist, vocalist and songwriter Lee Rocker. Subscribe to the latest episodes on AppleGoogle and Spotify podcasts.

This is the first time for Lee being a guest, and what a story he’s got. During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Lee and his wife went on an extraordinary cross-country RV trip, purchasing the vehicle during the crisis, and then driving from California to New York and back. The journey through twenty states took about six weeks last August and September, and the songs written during the adventure largely make up his new album, Gather Round.

Lee’s remarkable journey is the main topic during part one of our feature, a pandemic experience unlike no guest before him on the series. In part two tomorrow, we’ll hear both some classic storytelling, and get an exclusive live performance of one of the tunes on the album.

From their inception, the Stray Cats have been critically acclaimed, and tomorrow for day two we’ll hear how the band quickly garnered some superstar fans, who would end up becoming collaborators, as we get tales of working up close and personal with The Rolling Stones and their guitar legend Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, and Beatles’ George Harrison and Ringo Starr. 

Credit Alex Solka

This weekend, the worlds of dance and rockabilly uniquely come together in “Gather Round,” a collaboration between Lee and the award-winning COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet featuring three songs from the new album Gather Round. This first iteration of a full-length ballet by COMPLEXIONS using Lee’s music has been commissioned by the Laguna Dance Festival and will be world premiered online as a free event starting April 25 at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET (Laguna Dance Festival). RSVP and watch the event here. The full-length ballet, for which other details are TBA, will be performed in 2022 in Laguna Beach, CA (venue TBA).

See a new video from the album:

Off The Road is a series of interviews with musicians remotely sharing how they’ve been touched by the pandemic and other crises, as well as discussing their latest projects and hearing some classic storytelling, including hours of conversation and many exclusive musical performances, speaking to artists across the musical spectrum, like Jack JohnsonLinda RonstadtSystem of a DownRandy BreckerDeep PurpleJimmy WebbJoe SatrianiHeart’s Nancy WilsonWilliam ShatnerThe Doors’ John DensmoreGeorge Benson10,000 ManiacsHerb Alpert and Carlos Santana.

Browse and hear the complete Off the Road series at hawaiipublicradio.org/offtheroad.

Dave Lawrence is the local host of All Things Considered, Road Stories (formerly Off the Road) and Stargazer.
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