Written by: Lily Weinacht< Back to Articles
Lee Brice is best known for crafting music born of his Southeastern roots, but loved the country over for its down-home emotions and values. He recently released a new single, “Boy,” and his fourth album comes out in November. Lee has won numerous awards, including Song of the Year at the CMA and ACM awards in 2012 for his single, “I Drive Your Truck,” but like most artists, his inspiration isn’t found in any one area alone. Yet the time he spends outdoors while hunting or fishing often kindles the ideas that eventually make their way to our radios.
Lee started fishing as soon as he could cast a rod, and was given his first shotgun when he was 10, hunting often with his dad or brother near their home in Sumter, South Carolina. “My daddy took us, and every chance we had, we were dove hunting or deer hunting, or hunting for rabbits or squirrels—anything we could find,” says Lee. “It’s been a part of my life since I was little. I got into duck hunting in the last ten years, and I just went turkey hunting for the first time last year, which was really cool. It’s a whole different style. Being on the road so much, I meet people from other places, where they have elk and other types of hunting that’s a whole different ball game. I want to get in to that.”
As a father raising three children with his wife, Sara—including their daughter who was born in June, Trulee—Lee says those new hunting opportunities will have to wait. But last year, he purchased 240 acres of land not far from his home near Nashville, Tennessee, and he’s making improvements to bring in more deer with the help of Record Rack feed. “I just got the farm last September, and it had no food on it whatsoever. I killed a ten (point) last year, and a buddy came over and killed one, but there was no food, so that was my first priority. I have four different food plots and some feeders, and I put some new stands up. We recently saw twelve bucks in the same night, and what a difference from last year when there were just three bucks. I have a farm manager out there who’s helped me. It’s a tough process, but the bucks have grown so much and they have so much mass. I’m not used to that. I’m from South Carolina where the deer are smaller than here in Tennessee.”
The land, where Lee plans to build a house in the future, is surrounded by the Harpeth River. Lee is in the process of turning a small cow pond into a seven-acre bass pond. “I’ve been getting in to fly fishing the last few years, and the farm is going to be my sanctuary for all of that. The point of it is to try and get out there and relax and decompress. But because it is the one time when I can really breathe and rest my mind, that’s when there’s a freedom of inspiration. Sometimes I think of song titles, and even an emotion’s an inspiration in itself. I go there to get away from work, but it turns back into how work started, and being inspired.”
Lee also loves sharing his passion of the outdoors with his children, especially his oldest son, Takoda. “He’s been going and sitting with me the last couple of years, and my youngest son (Ryker) can now spot deer, and he’s getting the excitement for it. I’ve learned that hunting is such a great thing, and I think it’s important to have kids around it. There are so many facets to it—not only the hunting itself, but the preparation. It’s the little things they learn growing up that stick with them their whole lives, because it did me.”
Rodeo has stuck with Lee as well over the years, particularly when he was first starting his music career, and playing in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel. “I got to meet a lot of guys out there, and through my manager Enzo, I got to be good friends with Tuff Hedeman. I’m a fan,” says Lee. “We play the Houston Rodeo and a lot of the big ones, and I sure do respect it like crazy.
“Early on, my whole life was music and football and hunting and fishing. I played football for Clemson all the way through college, and once that was over, music was the natural thing for me. Now, even though it’s a job and it’s definitely hard work, it’s a job that I love. I’m so fortunate to do what I love for a living, so that leaves hunting and fishing as something I love to do that I don’t get paid for. I still work for it—I still put up the stands and food plots and clean the deer—but it’s good.”