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By Andi Bourne

Chasing a Dream


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

County singer/songwriter Morgan Lee played at Moose River Bar & Grill July 20.

SEELEY LAKE – A hometown connection brought singer/songwriter Morgan Lee to Seeley Lake for the first time to play at Moose River Bar & Grill. Moose River's owner Lisa Gilbertson invited Lee to play Wednesday, July 20 as an added stop on his 406 Tour.

Lee grew up in White Sulphur Springs, Mont. While Lee had played the piano since he was five years old and played the trumpet, it wasn't until his senior year that he picked up the guitar and started writing songs.

While in a serious relationship with his girl friend Kaitlyn of a year and a half, she committed suicide.

"For two or three weeks I didn't want to go to school or do anything," said Lee. "I got along really well with my band teacher [Mark McDaniel]. He said why don't you come in, you don't have to go to any of your other classes, and sit down and we will find something to distract you."

McDaniel told Lee to start writing down what he was feeling. Then he asked him to turn what he had written into song lyrics.

"I've never written a song before, I don't know how to do that," said Lee. "Before you know it I was working out of a little room with a computer, a chair and a piano. He told me we were going to record the song that I wrote."

While Lee was unsure, they recorded his first song entitled "Memory Lane," that was dedicated to Kaitlyn. They put it out on iTunes and people really liked it.

Lee got a scholarship to attend the East Tennessee University in 2014 to sing. He majored in country music studies and joined the fraternity that Kenny Chesney was a part of. He did well his first year but realized school just wasn't his thing. He headed for Nashville to chase his dream of singing for a living.

"I love music so much and decided that I'm young and that's what people are looking for in Nashville," said Lee. He has been in Nashville for the past 11 months.

Lee has used social media to create his name.

"It allows me to do what I love and do this because so many people are supporting me," said Lee.

Lee met Gus Chancy in fifth grade at basketball camp at Carroll College. Chancy was from Helena and they attended the same camp through sophomore year.

Chancy reconnected with Lee via Facebook and signed with him as his manager around six months ago. Chancy sets Lee's schedule, lines up his gigs and tours, works with their sponsor "Up Top" and contacts record labels.

"One thing that most people can agree on is music, doesn't matter what genre. I've never gone to a live show where I've seen someone walk away upset or walk away without a smile on their face," said Chancy. "If I can manage people and put together productions where people can go and get away from their problems for a couple of hours then to me that is making a difference in the world."

Lee's 406 Tour included stops in Helena, Whitefish, White Sulphur Springs and Missoula. He will be releasing his self-titled début EP, a CD with an average of five songs, this September. Chancy is also lining up another tour in Nashville.

"I'm so grateful for anyone and everyone who has ever supported me," said Lee. "I wouldn't be here without everyone from my parents and my fans, to Mark my band teacher who said come in, hang out and let's record some stuff."

Lee continued, "I love the creativity in [song] writing. Music is a coping mechanism in life. You can use it if you are sad, use it if you are happy, and use it if you are mad. I just feel that is the easiest way for me to get over anything I have going on. You get one shot at life. Do what makes you happy. You can do anything you put your mind to."

While both Lee and Chancy are in the profession to make a living, touching people's lives is their ultimate goal.

"We just want to make people happy and walk away with a smile and say I really enjoyed that," said Chancy. "Thank you Lisa for letting us play here. It's really people like her that are helping us on the tour and get us up and rolling."

Follow Morgan Lee on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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