Discovering Curtis Lee Putman is like stumbling on a diamond. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the home of the Gibson Guitar company and a rich and diverse music scene, Curtis Lee found his musical love in traditional Country and Blues. He has been forging ahead in life as a father, a worker, a lover, a fighter, he even gave being a husband a try, but it didn’t work out. He’s referred to as the Rambling Man.
At the age of 12 he started playing the guitar. Curtis Lee’s mother and grandfather are both classically trained musicians, but he clearly remembers the first time he heard a cassette tape of Hank Williams Sr. Curtis Lee was 5 and the song was “Lost Highway.”
He was instantly captivated and remembers begging his father to take him to the store and let him pick out his first cassette — Hank Williams as Luke The Drifter. He was only a boy, but felt that the music spoke to him. It’s only fitting that Curtis Lee now lives between Montgomery, Alabama, as Williams did, and Kalamazoo.
“#TallintheSaddle (When I Ride)” is the latest single release by Curtis Lee Putman. And it shows that he is a true American original. Simple heartfelt lyrics straight off the cuff that comes from a real story of being wrongfully incriminated, a deep ringing baritone voice, a melodious guitar and the result is sheer magic. When roots Country meets Blues, the outcome can only be authentic, essential and palpable.
This is music you feel; music that gets to the core of your bone-marrow. This is gritty-yet-sophisticated music that underlies life’s theme of the ‘down-but-not-quite-out’ in society. The slightest possibility for redemption keeps hope alive, maybe turning the tables on profiteering prosecutors.
Somehow we can rise above America’s supposedly non-existent caste system to a better life, proving our honesty and good willingness. And that’s exactly what Curtis Lee Putman shows can be done on “#TallintheSaddle (When I Ride)”.
This guy has his own kind of classic style and blows it out of the water with modern production values. I can hear the affinity to Waylon Jennings. Curtis Lee Putman deliveries have that same tough but tender vibe, you can listen and hear so many emotions expressed in his voice.
And just like Waylon, Curtis Lee’s voice and guitar works extremely well as a package. His sound goes beyond country, beyond its rock or blues influences, too. “#TallintheSaddle (When I Ride)” is one of those songs that is for fans of MUSIC, regardless of genre.
The song is strong, the arrangement is tight, and the sound is gutsy, warm and robust – all at the same time. Some tracks are so perfect there’s not a second you’d want to fade or edit out – this is one of them.
This is Curtis Lee Putman’s lean, mean, yet tender blend of the classic and the new, which holds the banner for future country music, one that Brooks, McGraw, Shelton, and the other Top40 fill-in-the-blanks, can only dream of!