The blues as part of the larger genre of American roots music will be celebrated by the first appearance of Sacred Steel, a recently defined music style purveyed by The Lee Boys from Florida.

Sacred Steel is an inspired form of gospel music with a hard-driving, blues-based beat and infused with R&B, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and music from other nations. Inspired by the Hawaiian steel guitar fad of the 1930s, the electric lap steel guitar made its way into the House of God church in Jacksonville, Fla. The Pentecostal congregation there embraced the soulful sound and it became a hallmark of the church. Pedal steel guitar was added to the mix and soon became the central instrument.

The Lee Boys are part of the fourth generation of musicians in this faith. The family group consists of three brothers — Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals) — along with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (seven-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). Each member began making music as a child in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, Fla., where they underwent a rigorous course of training in a variety of musical instruments including lap and pedal steel guitars.

This music form was totally unknown to the world outside the church until the mid 1990s, when folklorist Robert Stone attended House of God services and recorded the music, as well as its history, contributing the name Sacred Steel. A series of compilations followed on legendary roots label Arhoolie Records, for whom The Lee Boys record.

The Lee Boys perform mostly original material, with a few standards and hymns the group “blues-es up a little.”

“The inspiration and feeling that comes along with our music is the reason that people feel good. It is like the new music on the block and it’s just getting ready to explode,” said founder and bandleader Alvin Lee.

The Lee Boys’ music attracts audiences from the jamband, folk, blues and gospel worlds, and they have performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. It should be just the ticket to set blues festival attendees up for a righteous Club Crawl.