A veteran musician of more than a half-century, primarily as an instrumentalist and songwriter, Lee Schappell first stepped onto a stage in 1959, as a guest guitarist in a backup band. More than a half-century later, Lee has exchanged that rock’n’roll hairdo for flowing, snow-white locks, although the raw, rural juices still flow through his music today.
Lee’s early influences were Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and that entire Sam Phillips Sun Record Company family of artists, such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, and Bill Riley. Later influences on his music creation included Carole King, Phil Spector, and Leon Russell.
Lee did enjoy a brief “cup of coffee” (yes, it was decaffeinated!) with Cameo Records in 1961, as LeRoy & His Rockin’ Fellers, before a most memorable and fortuitous encounter with Chocolate Chip Cookie icon Wally “Famous” Amos, who was at that time a representative of the William Morris Agency, during which Mr. Amos offered Lee some sage, sound advice, which resulted in a major course correction in Lee’s life, placing him on a path that would eventually lead to a comfortable home in Country Gospel music.
Following stints with various local country and folk Gospel groups and individuals artists, Lee formed “The New Earth Band” in 2006, and began cooking up that down-home brand of loose-and-easy, organic, raw-boned, retro-Country-Gospel music, that has become his signature.
In reality, The New Earth Band’s music is entirely about the Gospel message that’s embedded in the heart of each song. Lee’s focus is on carrying God’s incredibly good news of rescue and redemption in Jesus Christ to a judgment-bound world that is now reeling and rocking like a drunken sailor. So, taste The New Earth Band's music and see for yourself - enjoy and share it!