Lee Brice Talks Clemson Football, Sausage Perlo, and More on Biscuits & Jam
About Biscuits & Jam: In the South, talking about food is personal. It's a way of sharing your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living, sits down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they've been shaped by Southern culture. Sid takes us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.
Episode 3: April 13, 2021
Lee Brice was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina, and had equal passions for sports and songwriting while attending Clemson University. When an injury officially sidelined his football career, he set his sights on Nashville in 2001 and slowly made a name for himself in Music City. With multiple ACM awards under his belt, he released his most recent album, Hey World, last year. On the stirring title track–a duet with vocalist Blessing Offor– Lee speaks for a lot of us looking for a break from it all.
On His Mother's Cooking
"It's not just rice and chicken. It has some stickiness to it and some butter and a lot of stuff. And then when Daddy made it, he'd put a little sausage in it, and it was more like a perlo."
On Playing Football at Clemson
"My whole life, it was football or music. When I was 10 years old, I was writing songs. In my mind, as a 10 year old, I was very serious about what I was writing and playing football was also a huge passion of mine because, number one, I loved it. But my daddy played football and he was good and he got recruited to play at Clemson, but he didn't go. He stayed home and had a family. And so I always had this thing in me that said, I'm going to play for Clemson one day. And so that drove me through my middle school and high school years of really putting a lot of effort into football. And that was a humongous part of my life...
I could have gone to a lot of other schools with better offers but Clemson was where I was going no matter what. Even when I was at Clemson, I'd go to the stairwell, and I'd sit there and play guitar and write songs for hours. And it got to be where people would come out and they'd sit on the stairway and study while I played for hours."
On the Title Song on His New Album
"When this whole pandemic started and we didn't really know what was going on, we had a 'Zoom-write'… I had a date booked with Adam Wood and Dallas Davidson. So, we decided to try Zoom, and I remember we were figuring out what we were going to write. And Dallas said, I don't know about a title, but I know that this happened to me this morning and it seems like it has some something in it. He went on to say that morning (at around seven o'clock), he was watching the news and his four-year-old son walked in and said: 'Daddy, can we turn the TV off?' And Dallas was like, 'yeah, but why?' And his son said, 'because it's scaring me.' And it just took me back….
It's scary to see all these numbers and have all these questions for an adult, much less a four-year-old. So he said, this is all I've got: Hey, world, leave me alone. And: I want to turn on the TV, ain't nothing but bad news on. I decided that's what we're writing. So we got into it and, yes, it came from that moment and from what was going on. But we didn't want to make it feel like it was just a part of this because 10 years ago and 10 years from now there's always going to be times in people's lives when there's just too much noise and too much going on. You need a minute to be quiet and have a time either for yourself or for you and your kids– and that's all you need. We wanted the song to be timely but also timeless."
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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