Music News & Reviews

Longtime Kansas City area blues musician Lee McBee dies in Lawrence

Longtime Kansas City area blues musician Lee McBee has died.

McBee, one of the region’s most acclaimed blues harmonica players, died in Lawrence on Tuesday. He was 63.

On the Lee McBee & the Confessors’ Facebook, page, band bassist Patrick Recob wrote:

“Dearest friends, family, fans and fellow musicians around the world. It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our dear friend LEE McBEE passed away this afternoon in Lawrence, Kansas. Carla has asked me to tell you that they went swimming this afternoon at their local pool that they frequent and Lee died suddenly. The Doctors said he went fast and painless.”

He was born in Kansas City and moved to Lawrence in the late 1960s, where he performed for two decades in bands including Screamin’ Lee and Rocktones and the Lynch-McBee Band.

McBee, with Mike Morgan and the Crawl, gained national attention in the late 1980s and early 1990s and for his band the Passions.

In 1982 McBee moved to Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles and recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers and Johnny Winter. By the mid 1980s, he settled in Dallas and met guitarist Mike Morgan. They formed the Crawl and they would be together for the next 12 years.

Lee McBee & The Confessors regularly played on Sunday nights at B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ.

Services are at 2 p.m. Saturday in Lawrence.

Keith Robison, The Star