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Tim Lee 3 / Press

“Devil’s Rope opens with a one-two-three punch, each of which hits a sweet spot. The band summarizes Saturday night in the small-town south via the simple two-line brilliance that is opening cut “Signal’s” chorus: “Fast cars and loud guitars / Local bars and goin’ too far.” It’s the kind of raucous, uplifting dance tune that Brad Paisley would shoot a dude in a ‘Skynyrd shirt to have written. The following, title track offers an ominous beat to accompany a tale of romantic obsession wherein one simultaneously hopes and doubts that the song’s subject (“devil’s rope,” i.e. barbed wire) is being used metaphorically. “Jet Boys”, the third track, is the album’s melancholy masterpiece, a sublime song of yearning both for escape and for the lost heroes that once promised it. The song harkens back to an era when Ford vs. Chevy inspired a more heated argument than Republican vs. Democrat, and titans like “Big Daddy” Don Garlitz and Shirley “Cha Cha” M”

“There is more where that came from; Devil ‘s Rope is the title track of TimLee3‘s new record, which is some A++ swampy, bluesy rock and roll. Devil’s Rope has been stuck in my head for a week now, but I’m also fond of Signal, Cut-Rate Divorce and Judging You.”

“In these days when so much indie product is the result of a highly studied professionalism, Devil’s Rope can seem like a “minor” record from a local band. But that’s way off-target. Tim Lee’s days with The Windbreakers might be long over, but his current group still captures the vital spirit of the era that spawned his first endeavor. Some of the most important acts of the ‘80s sprang from the underground, and in those days if you were way outside the rock mainstream, you were almost certainly a local phenomenon sitting on the cusp of breaking out. There isn’t a song on Devil’s Rope that’s less than very good, with a handful actually achieving excellence. Modestly scaled records like this one can slip through the cracks far too easily, and that’s a real drag. So don’t screw the pooch here. If you’re searching for no-nonsense rock music that’s played for the sheer joy of it, then please step right up to the Tim Lee 3.”

“Recorded in Tuscon, Austin, and Knoxville, Devil’s Rope bristles with the sort of rock music that begs to be played loudly on your car stereo. The psych-blues title track hooks you from the get-go with its hand-clap beat and slow-burn guitar licks; the bouncy “Monkey Dance” skewers the indie-rock lifestyle, tempered with judicious use of a toy xylophone; “Judging You” barrels along like an out-of-control Ranchero, punctuated with Craig Schumacher’s howling harmonica. Throughout, Tim Lee delivers a righteous guitar tone that’s both tasteful and absolutely blistering. But the album’s not-so-secret weapon is Susan Bauer Lee’s lead vocals, providing a unique balance to the band’s output, husband-and-wife yin and yang. Her songs tend to be less humorous than Tim’s, even melancholic, but there’s a life-affirming strength there that shines through, even when she sings things like “Everything is good these days, but all of my friends are dying,” on “Open the Door”

“The band has plenty to say with its new music. The new studio album,“Devil’s Rope,” is the sort of high-energy, unvarnished rock ’n’ roll that fans expect.”

“The end result is a hodge-podge of everything that makes rock ‘n’ roll great: the jangling guitars of “Signal” fades into the dirty blues rock of the title track, the acoustic sweetness of “Alibi” flows into the pop-punk of “Monkey Dance,” and the fuzzed-out garage-scuzz of “Says Baby Strange” transitions into the brooding Southern rock tinge of the album’s closer, “Any Day Now.” Susan’s vocals are more confident than ever before, and with the vocal load more than balanced, Lee gets the opportunity to showcase what a killer guitarist he’s always been.”

“Tim and Susan Bauer Lee are arguably the most capable rock ‘n’ roll couple around. Tim’s steely stance and Susan’s dead-on posture make for a tough and tenacious swagger that perfectly accommodates both their stripped down sound and a penchant for elevated amplitude. On the no-nonsense Devil’s Rope, the duo — along with drummer Chris Bates — steer their punk pose into ‘80s New Wave and Garage Rock terrain, full of agitation, defiance and a cool, confident delivery.”

“...when I heard that Tim Lee 3 would be releasing a new LP (street date Feb 28), I had to pick it up and slap it on my digital turntable. And it slapped me back. I wasn’t ready for anything this real. Tim Lee’s “Jetboys” is about small towns and big dreams that the songwriter knows will never be realized. “You’re Not There”, has a killer hook and great, very expressive lead vocals from Susan Bauer Lee.”

“Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee have to be the most capable rock ‘n’ roll couple around. Tim’s steely demeanor and Susan’s patented posture accompany a tough, tenacious swagger that perfectly accommodates their stripped down sound and elevated amplitude. On the no-nonsense Devil’s Rope, the duo -- along with drummer Chris Bates -- steers their punk pose into ‘80s New Wave and Garage Rock terrain, full of agitation, defiance and a cool, confident repast. Susan Lee’s vocals are better than ever; having evolved from strictly a support role, she’s grown into a commanding lead singer, incorporating both edginess and nuance into a delivery that occasionally brings to mind Joan Jett, Patti Smith and Susanna Hoffs, even without directly referencing any or all.”

“Well, the mailbox and inbox are filling up with tons of cool new music. So, I'll jump in with the second ever non-shuffle album review.... See what's up with Tim Lee 3 and their forthcoming new album Devil's Rope after the jump... Tim Lee 3 are from Knoxville, Tennessee. Devil's Rope is the follow up to their 2010 Double Album Raucous Americanus. They play music and eat Barbeque, and I was first introduced to their music via Couch by Couchwest. I liked what I heard so much that I made them a featured artist last year some time. Tim Lee 3 are Tim Lee (guitars and vox), Susan Bauer Lee (bass and vox) and Chris Bratta (drums). Recently, I got my grubby little hands on Devil's Rope, and now I intend to tell you why you ought to buy it when it is released on February 28 (you can pre-order for another day and a half will have the link below). Based upon their Facebook profile, Tim Lee 3 do not care much for labels, and they prefer to let their music speak for itself. And it do”

“Nell'attuale trend delle uscite discografiche quasi tutti i cd tendono a essere singoli (a parte le super ristampe in box e cofanetti extralusso) con durate che non superano l'ora. Questo Raucous Americanus va completamente contro le tendenze di quest'era digitale proponendo ben 21 canzoni per più di un'ora e mezza di vibrante rock'n roll che rapisce e non annoia mai, avvolto da un basso che pulsa nelle vene, chitarre sferraglianti e una batteria potente ed energica.”

“... He and his bandmates, including his wife Susan and drummer Matt Honkonen, hit the gas pedal from the get-go, opener “What I Have Not Got” is a real melodic barn burner while the next cut, “Bigger’ sits right between Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers” and a Crazy Horse guitar workout. “Something Else” takes no prisoners with Susan on vocals while whomever is ripping on the harmonica on “Broken Line Fever” (Mr. Wavelab, Craig Schumacher) adds some real kick to the tunes engine. Disc 2 starts off with the kickin’ “Bullets in the Barn” (cool surf /tremolo guitar) and barely lets up from there. “Salty Tears” is pure 70’s Stones and “Hit the Ground” recalls Lee’s jangle days in The Windbreakers. I’ll say, out of these 21 songs there’s not much filler, hardly any actually. Lee may not be the most prolific songwriter but what he does release, he really makes then count. This COUNTS.”

“Those who are music fanatics know Mr.Lee, however,those who are somewhat more normal may be unfamiliar with Tim Lee. Regular CAR listeners know that Windbreakers and Tim Lee stuff appears regularly in the playlist. Tim is cut from the same mafia as Mitch Easter & Chris Stamey and his creations were sorely missed during his hiatus for a few years. The Concrete Dog record was great and the new double album is well worth an addition to your "want" list. Really your "need" list!”

“These days he collaborates with his missus of 29 years, Susan Bauer Lee , and with both writing and singing, they have enough polished material for a 21-song blowout. Most double LPs are “sprawling,” but this isn’t; it’s focused on tough, catchy, old fashioned roots-rock, with southern blues and R&B flavors as befits their Knoxville, TN base (even if Bauer nods to The Kinks on “Good Times”). With drummer Matt Honkonen holding down the big beat, “What I Have Not Got,” “Bullets in the Barn” and the blues-harmonica-wailing “Broken Line Fever” typify catchy stompers, with Lee’s inventive guitar runs and shades elevating them well beyond the trad ‘n’ trodden.”

“... the TL3 channels its breadth of talent into 21 tracks of warm, melodic and vibrant rock & roll. By virtue of having more strong songs per pound than most bands can manage on one disk, Raucous Americanus may be the best album Lee has made in a long, already exceptional career.”

“Raucous Americanus is a rock record... two of them in fact. It's the only two-disc album to make the list. The reason the record is so successful is that, even at 21 tracks and nearly an hour-and-a-half, it never feels like too much or becomes to familiar. The songs were culled from three different recording sessions with three different producers in three different states. Add to that the fact that Tim and Susan swap lead vocals from song to song, and there is enough variety to keep things fresh the whole way through. From jangly pop to trippy Americana to full on rock, Tim Lee 3 released one of the most varied and satisfying albums of the year.”

“To think that Tim Lee is still at it is an inspiration to those of us old enough to have seen his musical arc. This 2-disc package traces the common law marriage that went down between the jangly contingent and American roots music, to form alt-country. Joined by wife and co-songwriter Susan on bass, vocals and piano and Matt Honkonen on drums, they offer up 21 songs, half of which are flat out great examples of a healthy mutating of roots rock with an indie attitude and a proper sense of twang. There’s also a psych-blues strain running through a lot of this stuff.”

“There's no putting on airs ... no rock star posturing ... no putting Susan up front as the sexy rocker chick to get the boys to come to the show (although she could play that part) ... no name-dropping (although many could be) ... no pretending to be anything other than a straight-ahead American rock ‘n' roll band.”

“Their laid-back chemistry makes for dynamic waves coursing through the two discs of gritty, bluesy, and melodic Southern rock ’n’ roll,”

“Until I got the link for their new album Raucous Americanus Tim Lee 3 was just another one of those Knoxville bands that I had always heard good things about but had never really taken the time to hear for myself. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm here to tell you that I've been missing out. Maybe you have too.”

“Ask anyone. The wave of modern music is the digital single. Modern music is digested in short songs in which attention deficit disorder seems like the natural order. Why then would local band the Tim Lee 3 put out a double album?”

“Good2b3 marks the twenty-fifth record Tim Lee has had his name on, as well as the eighth album in his official discography. A surprise to me, yes - but one listen in and it starts to make a lot of sense. This is a polished and professional rock album with a stellar array of pop hooks to its credit. After a mere couple of listens, you'll find yourself humming these melodies in the subway and dreaming in Tim Lee stereo-sound.”

“...the Tim Lee 3 are a solid band whose experience has only added to their strength. Their simple roots-rock occasionally soars to majestic heights few comparable acts attain, and their best lyrics are unpretentious but vivid portraits of life in our neck of the woods. Things aren’t that different in the South, but the Lees have that rare ability to tap into the elements that make this region and its people unique, rarely sounding clichéd. And even the clichés sorta ring true.”

“The Tim Lee 3 began cranking out some authentic Southern Rock sounds as soon as I arrived around 8pm. Their music is the quintessential rock you find in many bars in the southern part of the United States, and hearing it here in New York was a nice flashback to my time in college going out to bars to hear local music. Their stage presence was great. They are very engaging and you can tell they really enjoy being on stage and doing what they do best.”

“The latest album by the Tim Lee 3 may be tagged ‘Southern rock” by some listeners. And while I agree that it DOES go down particularly well with BBQ, slaw and a couple of beers, and that there will always be a vein of Mississippi mud surging thru the power chords, the music that Tim, his wife and bassist, Susan Bauer Lee and [former] drummer Rodney Cash are making these days also mines the rock of Mott the Hoople, Free, The Faces, New York Dolls and John Doe & Exene of X. Plug & play, go-for-broke rock & mayhem. By now, the trio are cooking up a singular feast that has been slow cookin’ for many years and just gets better with each new serving.”

“Who are they?: Tim Lee is one of those excellent songwriters that, were there any justice, would be world famous.”

“Their unique brand of swampy, Southern pop, propelled by the often X-like harmonies of guitarist Lee and his bass playing wife Susan Bauer Lee (especially on “When The Roof Caves In”), pleased the steadily growing crowd and established the good vibe feeling of the evening.”

“However, the new “Devil’s Rope” is even better. The songs are tight, smart and heavy on hooks. The disc’s opener, “Signal,” and the title track follow-up are like a one-two punch. “Signal” is beguilingly sweet-sounding and catchy and “Devil’s Rope” is a dark rocker bathed in gritty echo. The latter’s heavy bass riff , punctuating guitar chords and on-the-money drumbeats (courtesy of drummer Chris Bratta) stay with you long after the song is over. Those tracks and what follow make up the best collection the act has yet released. Nearly every one of the 13 tracks gets better with repeated listens. In the past, the best numbers have always been the full-out rockers. Yet the song “Alibi,” possibly the quietest the band has yet recorded, is a stand-out and is no less dark than the band’s harder songs: Add to that, “Devil’s Rope” sounds great —from the sweet jangly electric 12-string guitar on “Halo Days” to the wonderfully nasty sustain on “Cut”

“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.”