Introducing Willow & Lee

Willow Osborne and Lee Marcus - photo by John MatthewsSteady readers of Bluegrass Today know that we have a special interest in young bluegrass artists and performers. It’s exciting to see the zeal and excitement in a young musician’s eye, and encouraging to know that our beloved bluegrass music will be left in good hands.

If you attend shows and festivals in the Kentucky/Tennessee area, you may be familiar with Willow Osborne, a 13 year old singer and banjo player who is already making a name for herself as a performer. SPBGMA regulars will have enjoyed the precious sight of her and young Col. Isaac Moore walking around the hotel together, and singing and playing together in the lobby.

Well Willow has just announced a new musical partnership with another talented young picker, Lee Marcus, who though young in my eyes, is 15 years her senior.

Lee is a multi-instrumentalist who plans to serve as her accompanist and mentor, and he says that he thinks it’s a good match.

Lee Marcus and Willow Osborne - photo by John Matthews“I was first impressed by Willow by seeing her videos on YouTube. I thought to myself, ‘This girl is destined to be a star.’ I introduced myself, and since then, we’ve become just like brother and sister.

Through the years I’ve tossed the idea of us teaming up around in my mind. A few months ago, I pitched the idea to Willow and she was very excited and wanted to see what we could turn this into.

We played together for the very first time on stage at Dollywood last month. We instantly clicked musically, just as I had figured we would. And, we have fun together onstage. So, after much discussion between the two of us – and Willow’s mother – we’re now ready to announce that we’ve officially teamed up as Willow & Lee.

We are currently booking for 2015 and we’re in the discussion stage of a recording project. I believe in my heart that this venture will be really special and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes!”

I’ve known Lee since he was a teen himself, and he is a dedicated grasser. He released an album in 2011, Grandpa’s Pond, and donated a sizable portion of the proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Willow also has a CD of her banjo playing, Bluegrass & Rhinestones, which is available from her web site.

Here’s a video of the two of them performing together.


You can see more videos of Willow & Lee on YouTube.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.