Terry Lee Hale

Bound, Chained, Fettered

Release Date: 04/08/2016 · Format: CD/LP(+CD)/DIGITAL · Catalog-No: GRCD 871

The songs of “Bound, Chained, Fettered” are life lessons. Truthful stories sung with a voice that reflects and carries the emotional weight of time, obstacles overcome and wisdom earned. It is an album that takes stock; it is an album that probes the complex attachments of our contemporary world. The fragile ties that bind, the heavy chains that hold us in place; this is grist for Hale’s new album. The sparse but still detailed production enhances this pensive mood, yet what is revealed in the songs is ultimately positive and human. There is depth here not just simple repetition and abstraction.

To record “Bound, Chained, Fettered” Terry Lee ventured to Northern Italy to work with producer Antonio Gramentieri (Hugo Race, Dan Stuart) and his circle of musical cohorts, mainly because ofhis admiration for Gramentieri’s own productions with his band Sacri Cuori. In Terry’s own words: “Antonio is a fantastic arranger, guitarist and lap steel player. It has been years since I’ve worked with another guitar player and the timing really felt right for this new recording.”

All of Hale’s parts were recorded live with Antonio adding his accompanying lines at the same time from the control booth. A spare, unvarnished energywith Terry Lee’s voice always front and center was captured and magnified. The work of Matt Emerson Brown (Soft Hills, Trespassers Williams, The Walkabouts)as the mix engineer brought a fresh perspective and a three-dimensional resonanceto the collected songs.

Hale states: “I think this record is much more intimate and emotionally engaging than (his previous album) The Long Draw.Before I was the spectator, now I am the character.”

It is also sonically more adventuresome than The Long Draw. Light percussion and spacious atmospherics underlay many of the songs. A subtle mixture of synthesizer, piano, Hammond organ, bass clarinet, baritone sax, mellotron, and of course Gramentieri’s six–stringed textures, create an inspired soundscape for Hale’s ruminative tales.

Born in Texas; widely acknowledged as being one of the godfathers of the Seattle scene (the only singer-songwriter featured on the seminal ‘80s compilation Sub Pop 200); and currently a resident in Marseille, Hale has been releasing albums for more than three decades. His oeuvre is not “Americana,” roots music or even rock and roll. It includes all of that of course, but Hale’s work is stubborn and transcendent of genres and deeply evocative in a way that only a true original can be.

Bound, Chained, Fettered” is a collection of nine musical vignettes. With each story Terry Lee Hale delves into the mystery and confusions of our twenty-first-century lives. The title track is a somber look at a long list of encumbrances holding our hero back. “The Lowdown“ a gentle nudge and recognition that digital ties do indeed bind. “Signed Blue Angel”, a poem written by the 8 year old daughter of one Hales’ best friends and set to his music addresses death with a fearlessness only a child full of grace, wisdom and joy posses. And with “Reminiscent” and the last lyrics of the album, Terry Lee brings us all back home: “… why are you so damn hard to find?”

Bound, Chained, Fettered” finds Hale deeply immersed in the power of his voice and the power of his songsand as always, unafraid to push emotional and musical boundaries. The album is uncluttered, elegant and compelling. It is quite possibly Terry Lee Hale’s finest album to date.

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01 Bound Chained Fettered
02 The Lowdown
03 Acorns
04 Flowers For Claudia
05 Can't Get Back (Just Like That)
06 Scientific Rendezvous
07 Signed Blue Angel
08 Jawbone
09 Reminiscent

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