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Lee Matthews signs Nashville Publishing Deal and releases new single ‘Irish Whiskey On The Shelf’

November 1, 2022

The Strabane singer/songwriter, who originally hails from the rural countryside of Castlederg, returns with his brand new single ‘Irish Whiskey On The Shelf’, following up on his chart-topping Irish country hits ‘The Farmer Wants A Wife’, ‘There’s Irish in Our Eyes’, and ‘Cotton Eye Joe’.

In recent times, Lee, like many, never envisaged having to take his band off the road, but because of the COVID pandemic, Lee had to do just that. Not one to give up, Lee worked hard behind the scenes, song writing. Coming up with some new modern American Country style songs as well as his signature Irish sounds, of which ‘Irish Whiskey On The Shelf’ is certainly one of those.

As the pandemic dragged on into its second year, Lee decided to get together with writing partner Pete and finish one of the American songs. In December 2021, Lee had completed production on the first of the new American songs. Lee’s manager, Paul, sent the song off to long time music contact in London David Howells, who was busy working with on Ed Sheeran’s latest number one single at the time. David saw something special in the song and, like Lee, agreed it would be suitable for an artist like Tim McGraw. The London contact knew this all too well, being the manager of a producer with fifty-seven number one UK singles; his team had worked with Tim on a previous US Billboard number one ‘Leave it with me’ and after a few nervous weeks, he got back to Lee with the news that a major Nashville publisher wanted to speak to him, and by March, Lee had signed the deal on his first ever pitch to a Nashville publisher. The publisher was extremely impressed with not just the overall production elements but also the level of the song lyrically, coming from a young man in Ireland talking about American life. I guess Lee’s early international experience working on other music projects in the US, London, and Stockholm, working alongside people like Steve Mac and Wayne Hector, all added to his experience.

Lee has since delivered another song using the services of top Nashville musicians and Grammy-nominated Nashville producer Matt Troja. “The plan now,” Lee says, “is to get over to Nashville and work on the next few songs I’ve already completed”.

Back to his own career as an Irish performer and artist in his own right, Lee, who never forgets where he came from, decided to revisit an Irish style song he wrote that he had on the back burner.

He finished the song ‘Irish Whiskey On The Shelf’, working again with Jonathan Owens, who has produced all Lee’s major hits.

The self-penned song is influenced by ‘The Boys of Bluehill’ – a reel that dates back over a century ago. As well as a terrific melody the upbeat sing-along floor filler has it all! Lee has written a fantastic story of a man who needs to get away from the pressures of modern day life, touching on the social culture of a real vibrant Irish pub, which is something we Irish near and far know all too well. And in this instance, there is more to it than just the Irish whiskey on the shelf.

Lee Matthews releases his new single ‘Irish Whiskey On The Shelf’ on Friday 4th November.

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