The husband-and-wife duo prove themselves once again with their new release
For most local music aficionados, the Tim Lee 3 ranks high on the list of notable groups from the area.
The band has become a staple trio in Knoxville over the last several years, with one uniqueness of the trio stemming from the fact that it is fronted by husband/wife duo Tim and Susan Bauer Lee.
Though they have shuffled through drummers in the past to complete their musical trinity, they seem to have settled in with Chris Bratta with this newest release, “Devil's Rope.”
The group traveled all over the southern United States for this album. As well as being recorded in Knoxville, portions of the album were also recorded in Tucson, AR and Austin, TX.
The album banters evenly from song to song, dividing vocal responsibilities between Susan and Tim.
In fact, Susan plays more of a role than she has in any previous release.
"Signal" kicks off the album with a testament to living young with Susan singing "Fast cars and loud guitars. Local bars and going too far." Her edgy, coarse tone calls to mind female rocker figureheads like Joan Jett or Lita Ford.
There is good reason for "Devil's Rope" being the title track. A steady beat and gritty guitar picking ravage the song, lending to an overall unforgettable three and a half minutes.
"Halo Days (4 'Drew)" is dedicated to group friend and Knoxville News Sentinel entertainment writer Wayne Bledsoe's son Andrew, who unexpectedly passed away at the end of 2010. The song is a nod to those gone too soon, the time spent with them while alive and the respect given to them after their passing.
"Says Baby Strange" marks the album's height of the rock 'n' roll gruffness, complete with ample reverb and feedback to relay that genuine rock 'n' roll vibe. Many of the tracks, especially those that Susan lends her vocal talents to, portray a sense of grimness and dejection. This is particularly true for "Open the Door," a track she introduces with the line "Everything is good these days, but all of my friends are dying."
There are many gems on this album, from whole songs that will blow you out of the water like "Devil's Rope" and "Says Baby Strange," to instrumental quirks such as a toy piano on "Monkey Dance" or a garden weasel on "Jet Boys."
Tim Lee 3 have once again delivered a pure rock 'n' roll, no filler, no fluff album, but you shouldn't expect less from them at this point. They know what to do and they do it well, solidifying their reputation as distinguished musicians even further, in this community and beyond.