Photo: Theresa Southwick


2020 "Best of the Blues" nomination for best Traditional Blues Band, + Brian lee nominated for "Keeping the Blues Alive" category!

The Washington Blues Society membership has nominated the Orbiters for the 2020 "Best of the Blues" award in the Traditional Blues Act category! Brian has also been nominated for the "Keeping the Blues Alive" award as well. Thank you WBS members! 

2019 "Best of the Blues" Award! Orbiters honored for best Traditional Blues Band!

The Washington Blues Society membership has awarded BL & the Orbiters the 2019 "Best of the Blues" award in the Traditional Blues Act category! Wow! Special thanks to the WBS membership for selecting the Orbiters for this wonderful recognition

Brian Lee & the Orbiters receive 2018 "Best of the Blues" award for Traditional Blues Band!

Thank you to the Washington Blues Society membership for awarding our band again for the "Best of the Blues" award in the Traditional Blues Act category! Here's the  listing all of the winners in all categories: Press Release  Thank you so much! 

Brian Lee & the Orbiters awarded 2017 WBS "Best of the Blues" awards for Traditional Blues Band, and Slide Guitar!  

The Washington Blues Society membership has graciously awarded the Orbiters with their "Best of the Blues" award in the Traditional Blues Act category, and also awarded Brian Lee individually with the "BB" award in the Slide Guitar category! Thank you to the Washington Blues Society for this wonderful recognition of our music! 

Brian Lee & the Orbiters receive 2015 WBS "Best of the Blues" award for Best Traditional Blues Band! 

Washington Blues Society members have recognized Brian Lee & the Orbiters with the "Best of the Blues" award for Best Traditional Blues Act.  We're honored and delighted to be recognized with this award! For more on the 2015 BB award winners, see   

If you aren't a WBS member, consider joining! The WBS hosts a free monthly meeting with both an acoustic opening act, and an electric band. The WBS also publishes the excellent monthly "Bluesletter" with news, a calendar of performances/venues, and other great articles on the blues scene. 

Thank you to the Washington Blues Society membership! 

Brian Lee & the Orbiters receive EIGHT 2015 "Best of the Blues" award nominations!
Thank you to the Washington Blues Society membership for nominating our band and band members for EIGHT "Best of the Blues" awards this year! As a band, Brian Lee & the Orbiters are nominated for Best of the Blues awards in both the Blues Act and Traditional Blues Act categories. Individually, Russ Kammerer is nominated in the Lifetime Achievement and Blues Drummer category, and Brian Lee is nominated in the Male Vocalist, Slide Guitar, Performer, and Songwriter categories. Here's the Press Release listing all of the nominees, in all categories. We are so appreciative of this recognition and support for our music! Thank you so much! 

Brian Lee & the Orbiters receive two WBS 2014 "Best of the Blues" Awards!
The membership of the Washington Blues Society have awarded Brian Lee & the Orbiters with the 2014 "Best of the Blues" Awards for both "Blues Act" and "Little Bill & the Blue Notes Traditional Blues Act" categories. We are very honored by this recognition of our band, and also really appreciate the WBS members' support of the traditional style of blues that we love to play. All nominees in all categories are exceptionally talented and we're glad to be part of such a vibrant musical and artistic community!  Here's the Press Release listing all the award winners by category. In addition to receiving the award in these categories, the Orbiters also received four additional nominations- Best Bassist, Drummer, Songwriter, and Recording (In Orbit CD).  Thank you WBS members!!!

Brian Lee & the Orbiters receive 2013 Traditional Band "Best of the Blues" award!

The members of the Washington Blues Society awarded Brian Lee & the Orbiters with the 2013 "Best of the Blues" Award for the "Little Bill & the Blue Notes Traditional Band" category! We are very honored by this recognition - especially as this category recognizes the combined efforts of all our band members, and as it has a focus on the traditional blues that we love to play! It was also especially delightful to be presented the award by Billy Stapleton - a good friend, and long time guitarist with the award's name sake traditional band- Little Bill & the Blue Notes! Thank you WBS members!!!

February 2013 Washington Blues Society Bluesletter Feature Article!

Author Tim Maher provides an update interview with Brian Lee in the February Bluesletter,  with photos by Laddy Kite. Here's a link to the February Bluesletter issue:

Thanks to Tim, Laddy, and to Jesse Phillips and Eric Steiner of the WBS for the coverage in the Bluesletter! 

"Identity Theft" hits  #15 on Living Blues Radio Chart! 
Our new album, "Identity Theft", has charted at #15 in the Living Blues Radio Charts for world-wide blues radio airplay!   
Founded as America’s first blues publication in 1970, Living Blues magazine has set the standard for blues journalism around the world. From its first issue featuring blues legend Howlin’ Wolf on the cover, Living Blues has provided fans with insightful, in-depth stories on such legendary blues artists as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, and John Lee Hooker. Living Blues is renowned for its detailed feature stories and exceptional photography.  Each issue contains the Living Blues Radio Charts, which provide the music industry with one of the most accurate compilations of playlists from blues radio programmers throughout the world.
Here's the link to the Living Blues Chart 

Brian & the Orbiters receive two 2012 "Best of the Blues" awards and nine nominations! 
Brian and the Orbiters have been honored in 2012 with two "Best of the Blues" awards by the Washington Blues Society:  

2012 Best Blues Recording: Brian Lee & the Orbiters "Identity Theft"
2012 Best Blues Songwriter: Brian Lee

In addition to these awards, Brian and the Orbiters  were also recognized with nine nominations!  

Brian Lee & the Orbiters:  Blues Act, Traditional Blues Act, Best Recording
Brian Lee:  Male Vocalist, Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Performer, Songwriter
Hank Yanda: Blues Bass

THANK YOU Washington Blues Society members for 
these awards and nominations!!! We really appreciate this recognition! WOW!

Awards Press Release
Nominations Press Release

Identity Theft Album Reviews:

Bernard Boyat, Le Cri du Coyote - Revue de Musiques Americaines (France)  
Click to view pdf excerpt including review


Washington Blues Society Blogspot Article! 
Tim Maher's in-depth interview with Brian Lee 

Accomplished writer Tim Maher began following the Orbiters' music after seeing one of our performances at the Salmon Bay Eagles one night. As he describes in this article, this led to several lunch interview/discussions with Brian about music and related topics. Tim is an excellent and insightful author, and he has distilled these discussions into a unique and entertaining article covering a wide array of topics! Check it out at :

Washington Blues Society Bluesletter, January 2010

By Robert Horn
WBS December 2009 Blues Bash:  The Blues Orbiters played the electric set.  This  band has a trophy case of BB (Best of the Blues) Awards.  On guitar was not only Brian Lee (new words need to be added to the English language to describe Brian’s guitar playing, harmonica playing, singing, etc.), but also Tim Sherman, who other BB Award winning guitar players have mentioned as their favorite guitar player.  On drums is Conrad Ormsby who is in demand as a drummer and gets calls from bands asking if he can please consider helping them out.  On bass and sometimes also on vocals is Hank Yanda.  Brian reminded me of how good a slide guitar player he is and I am glad he did.
If I had to name the best swing dance band in the region today, it would be the Blues Orbiters.  If I had to name the most soulful band sound I have heard recently, it would be the Blues Orbiters on December 8th.  If I had to mention the best slow moving rhythmic groove I heard recently, it would be a song from the Blues Orbiters on December 8th, 2009.  If I was asked to say what guitar playing sounded the most intense I heard in December, it would be this band on this night.  They combine power, melody, rhythm, hard-driving intensity, great vocals, .... etc.  These are things that are hard to do all at once, but seem normal for them.  These guys are pros and are another local band that should be a national band because of how good they are.

Blues Orbiters “Falling Leaves” CD Review  
Blues To Do Monthly , November 2005

By Malcolm Kennedy

The long awaited follow up disc to “Blast Off!” was well worth the wait. There are 12 selections including two originals. The disc starts out with an enjoyable original called “Open Road”. It’s a shuffle with their trademark smooth vocals. Some of the covers you will recognize by name as they were made popular by the likes of Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, and Sonny Boy II. Some are a little more obscure, but they are all done with a satisfying touch that makes them their own. The other original, the title track, is one of those tunes that the first time you hear it, it feels so comfortable you feel like you have been listening to it for years. My favorite cut on this disc is the final cut “Let Me In” , which was written by Jimmie Vaughan, and it just plain rips.
To describe this band, the word that comes to mind is solid. With one of the finest drummers in the business in Conrad Ormsby, and Roger Smith, the rhythm section is tight. The guitar work is always just what it needs to be. It is not flashy, just solid.  Although Brian and Dan are capable of tearing it up on the disc, they keep it subtle. There is some really fine slide work by Mr. Lee. If you have not heard this band, I highly recommend putting their next date on your must see calendar, and as for this disc, it definitely belongs on your must buy list. It’s a really fun album.