Terry Lee Halewww.terryleehale.com
Terry Lee Hale is a man who’s traveled roads and years, across America and Europe. Born in Texas, one of the godfathers of the Seattle scene (the only singer-songwriter featured on the seminal ‘80s compilation Sub Pop 200) and now resident in Paris, he’s been releasing albums for three decades.
Terry Lee Hale’s new album The Long Draw is an album of short stories. It’s like Raymond Carver’s “Short Cuts” but framed with music. It’s living stripped to the bone, a travelogue of home movies that range across America and Europe. Pins on a map. For his new album, Terry Lee takes stock of our modern life in stories where all pretence is stripped away, where every breath and syllable is vital.
For the new album Terry Lee recorded with a band, giving a more unified feel to the album. “I knew who and what I wanted – Nicolas Chelly on bass and Frantxoa Erreçarret on drums, two French Basque musicians I’d toured with before,” he explains. “It was always going to be a band rather than just me with session musicians.”
Even before entering the studio, Terry Lee knew exactly how he wanted the music to sound like and producer Bob Coke (Black Crowes, Ben Harper) translated that vision into reality. The production and arrangements only point vaguely towards traditions or style. A spare, open sound. A visceral, unvarnished energy captured and magnified
“We found a studio in Brittany with a good natural sounding room and analog gear. That’s what I was looking for. I had the sounds in my head for this record and Bob helped me realize them. I sang and played guitar with the band live on every track. We did have some Seattle friends join here and there, people like Jack Endino (Mud Honey, Nirvana), Glenn Slater (The Walkabouts) and Jon Hyde (Laura Veirs, Jim White), but that three-piece band is the core of everything, the heartbeat of the music."
This is roots music. Not Americana or gospel, although there are traces of that on “What She Wrote,” a song that takes Terry Lee all the way back to his boyhood and a little wooden Pentecostal Church of God. But the roots here are of life and love and of the past and the future. For all the tracks, these roots have been patiently dug up and brushed off; their essence exposed.
The Long Draw is a masterful album of American songwriting. Terry Lee Hale has arrived at that hard-earned place where he can both look backward and forward and he has given us a kaleidoscopic, musical travelogue that navigates these two perspectives insightfully and unsparingly.
The Long Draw is all about songs. Stories. A songwriter and a vision shaped by a life of travel, adventure, wandering and searching. A journey not ended.
Terry Lee HaleThe Long Draw
Release Date: 10/14/2013 · Format: CD/LP(+CD)/Digital · Cat-No: GRCD/LP 775