Tag Archives: Christian Ward

Jessie and Lee Townsend Tribute CD now available

Listen and Watch song samples from the new “Tribute” CD below:  The newest video just added is, “Lost Tourist’s Letter Home.”

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Jessie and Lee’s CD is the newest professional recording for this sister/brother duet.

 

(To pre-order a CD, please send $15.00 to:  Jessie Townsend,
13501 SE 171st Lane  Hawthorne, FL 32640)
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Jessie, Red and Chris Henry and David McBrady in the studio

Jessie and Lee Townsend  recently went back into the studio to record six more songs to add to their CD Sampler.  The CD will now have 12 songs and be titled, “Tribute” as it will have songs from several of Florida’s best songwriters past and present including Will McLean, Steve Blackwell, Jim Ballew, Dale Crider, Don Grooms and Ann Thomas to name a few.

 

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Lee Townsend in the studio

Below you will find music videos of six of the songs included on the project followed by audio samples from all of the songs on the CD including “Lost Tourist’s Letter Home,” written by the late Ann Thomas about a tourist travelling by bus from Boston who was headed to Miami, but got off in the Florida scrub by mistake; “Crying Bird,” written by the late Will McLean about the potential demise of the Florida Limpkin; “Lonesome Wind Blues,” written by the late Wayne Raney and made popular by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe; “When I Die” written by the late Jim Ballew; “Oh Kissimmee River” written by environmental troubadour Dale Crider from Windsor, FL and “Wild Birds” written by the late Don Grooms.

Jessie and Lee were joined in the studio for this CD by  Chris Henry (guitar, mandolin and vocal harmony), Red Henry (fiddle, mandolin and vocal harmony),  David McBrady (bass and vocal harmony), Jason Thomas (mandolin). Gabe Valla (rhythm guitar), Christian Ward (fiddle), Elisabeth Williamson (vocal harmony) and Lon Williamson (bass).  The lost tourist in the first video, “Lost Tourist’s Letter Home,” is portrayed by Harriett Meyer.

Lost Tourist’s Letter Home

Crying Bird

Lonesome Wind Blues

When I Die
 
 Wild Birds

Oh Kissimmee River

Song samples:
Jessie and Lee Townsend
Jessie and Lee Townsend (all photos by Donna Green-Townsend)

Kentucky Borderline (written by Rhonda Vincent and Terry Herd)  Performing on this fast-paced bluegrass tune that was the 2004 IBMA Song of the Year are Lee on banjo, Jessie singing the lead vocal, Jason Thomas on mandolin, Gabe Valla on rhythm guitar, Christian Ward on fiddle, David McBrady on bass and Elisabeth Williamson singing vocal harmony.

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Bury Me Beneath The Willow This traditional bluegrass song features Jessie singing the lead vocal, Lee on guitar and David McBrady on bass and vocal harmony.

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Nails In My Coffin (written by Gerald Irby) This song orginally written in 1946 features Lee on banjo and rhythm guitar, Jessie singing lead vocal, Elisabeth Williamson on vocal harmony, Christian Ward on fiddle and David McBrady on bass and vocal harmony.

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If I Needed You (written by Townes Van Zandt) features Jessie singing the lead vocal, Lee on guitar, Christian Ward on fiddle, David McBrady on bass and Elisabeth Williamson and David McBrady on vocal harmony.

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Lee and Jessie Townsend with David McBrady
Lee and Jessie Townsend with David McBrady performing Macclenny Farewell at the Will McLean Festival in March, 2016

Macclenny Farewell (written by Will McLean) This love song written by the late Father of Florida Folk features Jessie on the lead vocal, Lee on guitar and David McBrady on bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

dsc_0050The Line (written by Steve Blackwell) The line was written by the late Steve Blackwell from Punta Gorda who penned this beautiful song about someone reflecting on all of the family members who have gone on before.  This rendition of the song features Jessie singing the lead vocal, Lee on guitar and Lon Williamson on bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Oh Kissimmee River (written by Dale Crider) Oh Kissimmee River written by environmental troubadour from Windsor, FL, Dale Crider, brings attention to the disastrous environmental effects of trying to straighten the Kissimmee River. This version features Jessie singing the lead vocal, Lee on banjo, Chris Henry on guitar, Red Henry on mandolin and David McBrady on bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Withlacoochee River

When I Die (written by Jim Ballew) When I Die is one of the most beautiful songs ever written by the late Jim Ballew. It features Jessie on vocals, Lee on guitar, Chris Henry on mandolin, Red Henry on fiddle and David McBrady on bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

 

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A Florida Limpkin

Cryin’ Bird (written by Will McLean) Cryin’ Bird by Will McLean brings attention to the potential extinction of Florida’s Limpkin because of the lack of food resources the Limpkin eats in the Wakulla River. Jessie sings vocal, Lee plays guitar, Chris Henry plays mandolin, Red Henry is on the fiddle and David McBrady is on bass.  Elisabeth Williamson adds vocal harmony.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lonesome Wind Blues (written by Wayne Raney) Lonesome Wind Blues is a very traditional bluegrass song. It was originally recorded in 1947 by Wayne Raney and later made famous by the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe. In this version Jessie sings the vocals with harmony added by Chris and Red Henry.  Lee plays banjo, Chris Henry plays guitar, Red Henry is on the mandolin and David McBrady is on the bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Wild Birds (written by Don Grooms) Wild Birds is a love song written by the late Don Grooms. Jessie sings the vocals, Lee is on guitar, Chris Henry is on mandolin, Red Henry is on fiddle and David McBrady is on bass.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lost Tourist’s Letter Home (written by Ann Thomas) In this tongue-in-cheek song the late Ann Thomas pokes fun at what a lost tourist would write home about if he or she got off a tour bus in the middle of Florida. Jessie sings vocals, Lee plays banjo, Chris Henry is on guitar, Red Henry is on mandolin and David McBrady is on bass

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Jessie and Lee Townsend  DSC_0057

Jessie and Lee have been performing  for several years.  Venues have included the Florida Folk Festival, the Will McLean Festival, the Alachua and Micanopy Festivals, bluegrass events in Waldo, the Christmas Candelight program at Disney World and a variety of other church services and community events.

 To pre-order a CD, please send $15.00 to:

Jessie Townsend
13501 SE 171st Lane
Hawthorne, FL 32640

To book Jessie and Lee for musical performances call 352-575-3042, or send an email to townsendjessie@gmail.com.

Lee and Jessie Townsend
Lee and Jessie Townsend

 

Getting To Know Musician Lee Townsend

Lee doing a solo during a performance with the Tumblin Creek Bluegrass Band at P.K. Yonge High School in Gainesville
Lee Townsend

(For bookings or to contact Lee send an email to dltownsend3@gmail.com or call  352-672-7574)

The following YouTube Videos are from some of Lee Townsend’s various bluegrass performances around North Central Florida.   (Read about Lee’s musical story and see pictures of Lee below the You Tube videos)

 

Jessie and Lee Townsend

Jessie and Lee Townsend

Lee and Jessie Townsend’s CD Sampler is ready.  Click here to listen to highlights.

On Friday, April 29th, 2016 Red and Chris Henry along with David McBrady joined Jessie and Lee at Gatorbone Studios to begin recording six additional songs for their new CD called, “Tribute.”  Here’s a sample of one of the recordings, “Oh Kissimmee River,” written by environmental troubadour Dale Crider from Windsor, FL.  The song points out the folly of the government’s effort to straighten Florida’s Kissimmee River.

Lee and Jessie recently performed at the 27th Annual Will McLean Music Festival.  Here’s one example of the songs they performed, the late Jim Ballew’s “When I Die”

Here’s Lee and Andy Garfield performing “Up 18 North” on the Azalea Stage.

To see more highlights from Jessie and Lee’s performances at the Will McLean Festival click here:

To see highlights from Jessie and Lee’s performances at the Florida Folk Festival click here:

 

Homecoming Service at the New Cross Creek Baptist Church

On April 26, 2015 Jessie and Lee Townsend performed “What Wondrous Love Is This” at the Homecoming Services of the New Cross Creek Baptist Church on April 26, 2015

 

2015 Will McLean Festival

On March 15th, 2015 Lee and his sister Jessie performed Will McLean’s “Macclenny Farewell” during the Hour of Power on the Main Stage accompanied by David McBrady on bass.

 

Lee and Jessie also made great harmony on the Azalea Stage at the 2015 Will McLean Festival performing Townes Van Zandt’s, “If I Needed You” with help on the bass and harmony by David McBrady.

 

The trio even got in some bluegrass with “Drivin’ Nails In My Coffin.”

 

Lee playing banjo on Wild Hog by Will McLean performed by Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters at the Will McLean Festival 2015

 

 

Blue Linewalkers at the 2013 Florida Folk Festival

“Cold Sheets of Rain” with Erik Alvar on bass, Andy Garfield on acoustic guitar and vocals, Lee Townsend on banjo, Amanda Anderson on fiddle and vocals and Christian Ward on fiddle

“The

Lucky One”“Little

Boy of Mine In Tennessee”

“Ookpik Waltz”

“Bury Me Beneath the Willow”

 

Lee Townsend and Amanda Anderson

“Down In The River To Pray” and “A Living Prayer” presented at the New Cross Creek Baptist Church, January, 2012

 

Orange and Bluegrass Band Performing in Waldo, 2013

“Little Boy of Mine In Tennessee”

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

“Nine Pound Hammer”

“Soldier’s Joy”

 

 

Jamming at Lis and Lon Williamson’s Porch in 2013

 “Groundspeed”

 

Tumblin’ Creek Bluegrass Band On The Main Stage At Florida Folk Festival, 2013

 

Performing “Landslide” at the P.K. Yonge High School Graduation in 2011

 

“Foggy Mountain Breakdown”– Jamming at the Hippodrome

 

 

 

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Lee at around three years old

Lee Townsend loves to play music, especially bluegrass. Even at the young age of 3 he wanted to play the guitar.

 

 

 

 

Pat & Dorsey Lee Townsend, Sr

His love for music isn’t a total surprise.  His grandpa Dorsey Lee Townsend was a great guitar player who played with his brother Jesse Townsend around the Cross Creek area in the 1930s through the 1970s.  His other grandpa, Sterling Green from Missouri, also played the guitar and had a family band.

 

 

 

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Lee’s mom and her siblings singing in a talent show accompanied by members of Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry

  Lee learned his first music chords from his mom (Donna Green-Townsend) and dad (Dorsey Lee Townsend, Jr.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee jamming with his dad in Cross Creek, FL
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Lee with his mom Donna Green-Townsend

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Cook gave Lee his first professional guitar lessons.

Lee and his first guitar teacher David Cook
Lee and his first guitar teacher David Cook
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Singer-Songwriter Jon Semmes from Dunnellon

 

 

 

 

 

 

His parents along with musician and singer songwriter Jon Semmes from Dunnellon helped purchase his first “real” guitar. It wasn’t long before he decided he also wanted to try out playing the banjo. His Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim Johnson provided his first one.

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Randy Hollinger and bluegrass band members playing for runners in a Gainesville marathon

At P.K. Yonge High School Lee had the opportunity to take Mr. Randy Hollinger’s instrumental ensemble class. The class included not only a bluegrass band, but a rock band, blues band and a girl’s punk rock band.

 

 

 

 

Free Bird Playing 4 best so far
Finale of one of the P.K. Yonge Instrumental Ensemble concerts.

The bands put on a big show every May on the school’s performing arts center stage. But the bluegrass band had a life of its own and soon the Tumblin’ Creek Bluegrass Band began performing at a variety of venues, including the Will McLean Folk Festival, the Florida Folk Festival, United Downtown in Gainesville, the Micanopy Fall Festival, and the Alachua Downtown Festival among others.

 

 

 

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Members of the Tumblin’ Creek Bluegrass Band
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The Tumblin’ Creek Bluegrass Band performing in 2013 at the Will McLean Folk Festival

 

 

 

 

 

Not surprisingly, when Lee went on to college he joined a bluegrass club and a band soon formed called Orange and Bluegrass.

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First gathering of the Gator Bluegrass Club
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Orange and Bluegrass Band performing at a Waldo bluegrass festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Blue Linewalkers performing on the main stage at the Florida Folk Festival on Memorial Weekend in 2013

As with many acoustic bands, there’s always a mix and match of performers at various festivals. On Memorial Weekend of 2013 one of those mix and match groups became the Blue Linewalkers who performed on the Main Stage of the Florida Folk Festival.  Performers included Erik Alvar on bass, Andy Garfield on vocals and guitar, Lee Townsend on banjo, Amanda Anderson on Fiddle and vocals and Christian Ward on fiddle.