Heather Lee Maples: Rocky Top Guitar Girl-
" God has blessed us in these beautiful Mountains!"-Heather
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s lyrics describe a girl from Rocky Top as being “Wild as a mink,” and “Sweet as soda pop,” and nothing could be more true about Heather Lee’s personality on stage. She is a performing, singer-songwriter with both experience and heritage. A careful blend of her art and her ability to entertain, Heather’s performances are toe-tapping fun! As an eighth generation descendant of Martha Jayne Huskey Ogle, Gatlinburg’s first settler, Heather’s musical roots run deep. Reflected in her guitar style, the hint of bluegrass is found on the frets of her soulful, but energetic songs. Heather’s songs are crafted with subtle intricacies and sometimes haunting lyrics. “Beautiful” and “One Out of Two” are songs that contain stories she shares from her life experiences. Heather says, “I’ve always written songs of the heart and the human condition. In the music industry it’s easy to become jaded, but I am a romantic, and still believe love makes the world go ‘round.”
Heather’s musical training began at age eight, with piano as her first instrument. By the age of ten, with her father as her teacher, she had learned to play guitar as well, building a repertoire of all kinds of music: bluegrass, gospel, country and rock and roll. As early as grade school, during field trips, Heather began singing and entertaining tourists who came to the Village of Gatlinburg. Her professional career began at age twenty-one, when she began playing Knoxville clubs, local and regional music festivals with veteran singer-songwriters like T. Strickland, Kirk Fleta, Karen E. Reynolds and The Griffin Brothers. Heather studied artist development under the direction of Jayne Lybrand and received vocal direction from Kim Wood Sanduski, one of the most influential vocal coaches in the industry. Heather has released two CD’s: I Can Smell The Rain (1998) produced by Reecy Pearson and Comfortably Lonely (1999) which was produced by Nashville’s Richie Owens.
To her performance credit, Heather has headlined many regional music festivals like the Bowling Green, KY Harley Davidson Shoot-Out; Lenoir City, TN Fall Festival; Clarksville Riverfest; Gatlinburg’s Chili Cook Off; and Gatlinburg’s Annual Chamber of commerce banquet. In addition, she has opened for the likes of Eric Heatherly at Gatlinburg’s Rocky Top Bash honoring Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, and then headlined that event the next year. Heather has also performed at Legend’s Corner Lounge, the world famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Nashville Fan Fair, and The Nashville Women’s Expo. Her radio credits include The Billy Block Show on Nashville’s Power Country Radio WYCQ, Knoxville’s 103.5 WIMZ Black Betty Bike Giveaway and Sevierville’s WDLY.
Being born and raised in Gatlinburg, where musical influences are many, Heather’s writing style is impacted by the music of Emmy Lou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlisle, Ani Difranco, Patty Griffin and Edie Breckel. In a community that loves bluegrass and country, Heather’s vocal development is inspired by Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton. Heather’s music is rich, intense and inviting. From a lifetime of music immersion, Heather continues to write, sing and play from the heart, emanating the sounds of heritage and life’s love in the words and notes.