Archive for the ‘Tim Lee 3’ tag
Local scene odds ‘n’ ends: Robinella, Tim Lee 3, LiL iFFy, Steve Kaufman, “Behind the Barn” and more!
First Sundays of the month with Robinella
It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since Robinella (that would be Robin Ella Tipton Bailey, if you’re from Blount County) played her final regular Sunday night gig at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville’s Old City.
For years — first with the CCstringband, featuring her former husband, Cruz Contreras, now of The Black Lillies — and later with her long-time group of ace backup musicians, she got the dance floor heated up and made for a weekly rendezvous of fans and friends who fell in love with her honey-sweet voice and her infectious combination of country, folk, jazz and a little of everything else.
Well, Robin’s coming back to Barley’s on Sundays: Earlier this week, she and husband Webster Bailey confirmed that starting Sunday, Nov. 3, Robinella and her full band will perform on the first Sunday of every month at the new Barley’s Maryville, 128 W. Broadway Ave., downtown. It’s a full band show that’ll start at 8 p.m., and it’ll be free.
You can call Barley’s at 983-0808 to confirm; you can also read our recent cover story on Robinella and her new album, “Ode to Love.”
“Behind the Barn” October lineup announced
Speaking of Barley’s Maryville, we told you a week or so ago about how another fixture of the restaurant’s sister venue in Knoxville’s Old City is returning to the stage, only in Blount County: “Behind the Barn,” which ran from 1999 to 2004 as a live radio show and hosted by Blount County singin’, songwritin’ couple Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle, kicks off at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, featuring the Trinity River Bluegrass Band.
It’ll be a regular thing every Thursday night at Barley’s Maryville — it’s also free — and Barbra shared the lineup of upcoming shows for the month of October with us. They include:
He also said the show on Halloween night will be a costume party, and that he’s dressing up as Conway Twitty. We can only hope.
Tim Lee 3 Pilot Light residency kicks off Thursday
Have we mentioned lately how much we love Tim and Susan Lee of the Tim Lee 3?
Because I don’t think we’ve gushed over them enough. Not only are they two-thirds of a killer rock ‘n’ roll power trio that calls East Tennessee home, they’re stalwarts of support for their fellow musicians and enthusiastic for collaborations that get them outside the standard genre boxes that hem in too many other bands.
And they like early rock ‘n’ roll shows, a boon for old SOB’s like yours truly. Which makes their third annual “4×4″ Pilot Light residency — kicking off this coming Thursday (Oct. 3) at The Pilot Light, 106 E. Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City — a grand thing indeed.
Like last year, the Lees (with drummer Chris Bratta) will share the stage time with local poet/playwright/singer-songwriter/raconteur R.B. Morris; this year, they’re also adding a multimedia element to the shows, which will take place at 7 p.m. every Thursday night during the month of October, and cost a mere $5. (Early show … cheap … music and multimedia … you won’t find a better way to spend a school night, kids. Plus, you’ll be back home in time for the 11 p.m. news, since all shows end around 10.)
The schedule includes:
- Oct. 3: Tim Lee 3, R.B. Morris and friends, The Drop Dead Darling.S and The Quake Orphans, plus the book release of Morris’s “The Mockingbird Poems.” The book and posters from the book will be for sale, and R.B. will read from it between musical acts.
- Oct. 10: Tim Lee 3, R.B. Morris and friends, Nancy Apple and a screening of a the shortened version of Nashville-based filmmaker Tom Weber’s documentary “Troubadour Blues.” Copies of the film will also be for sale. The show, incidentally, will hit the road for stops in Nashville and Memphis immediately following the Pilot Light gig, if’n you feel up for a road trip.
- Oct. 17: Tim Lee 3, R.B. Morris and friends, Greg Horne Band and a screening of the locally made short film “The Agenda,” created for the Knoxville Film Festival’s 7-Day Shootout Competition by the Scuffletown Monkeys team,. The Tim Lee 3 wrote and recorded the new song “Bang Bang” specifically for the film.
- Oct. 24: Tim Lee 3, R.B. Morris and friends, Chuck Cleaver (of the Ass Ponys and Wussy) and Eric Lee (of Knoxville-based band White Gregg). A late show featuring Big Bad Oven and Birthday Girl will follow.
LiL iFFy album release blowout set
If you’ve never been to a show by Knoxville-based wizard-rapper LiL iFFy — a man whose art we’ve documented extensively over the past couple of years in the Weekend section — then you’ve cheated yourself from participating in one of the sweatiest, nastiest (the good sort of nasty, by the way), most fun parties ever to be held in East Tennessee.
But you can rectify that. In fact, you can more than make up for lost time, as iFFy — a.k.a. Knox rocker/writer/mad genius Wil Wright — prepares to launch the final album in his wizard trilogy, titled “Wand Out.” (Go watch this badass trailer for the album; it’s like watching a preview for the series finale of “Breaking Bad” or something equally epic.) On Nov. 2 and 3 at The Pilot Light, iFFy and the Magic Hu$tle crew are putting on a two-night extravaganza worthy of all the pomp and circumstance of waiting in line all night at Barnes and Noble for the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Here’s what’s going down.
- Nov. 2, a Saturday night, will serve as the official “Wand Out” album and video release party, and DJ Tom Ato — the mastermind behind the beats of just about every Magic Hu$tle project — will open the show. It’s an 18-and-up affair that begins at 10 p.m., and no doubt will be a night for which you’ll wish you had a Time-Turner so you can go back and do it all over again.
- Nov. 3 will start earlier — at 8 p.m. — and is open to all ages. The WandcOrchestra, a group of classical musicians led by Wright’s Weird Miracle bandmate Preston Davis, will flesh out iFFy’s music with some sweet arrangements.
Two nights. No repeats. In the words of the press release, “This two-night extravaganza allows all aspects of LiL iFFy’s music to be showcased as it was intended – from the hard-hitting, raunchy party to the beautifully nuanced slow jams.” Tickets are $10 per show, or $15 for a VIP pass to both nights.
Steve Kaufman back in the running for a fourth National Flatpick Championship
A traveling minstrel of sorts in his early years, Steve Kaufman came to Maryville in the late 1970s, around the time that he started winning his run of National Flatpicking Championships at the annual Walnut Valley Festival competition held every year in Winfield, Kansas. He won in 1978 at the age of 21 and returned as soon as he was able to win again in 1984 and 1986. Over the years, he gradually built up a music publishing empire of sorts out of his home here in Blount County, having produced dozens of instructional books and videos and traveling the world to conduct workshops (as he’ll do this weekend prior to Saturday’s concert). In addition to being a father, husband and owner of The Palace Theater, he puts on an acoustic camp and concert series every summer on the Maryville College campus.
Earlier this month, Kaufman went back to Winfield for the annual competition … and came in second only to Allen Shadd, last year’s second-place winner. “Just like the first time (he competed) in ‘77, except (against) a much tougher bunch of pickers,” he told us via email. “The Kid is back and going for the brass ring.”
All them young bucks aiming for a flatpicking title had best watch out. Congrats to Mr. Kaufman!
Date, venue set for New Hope benefit band competition
Last month we told you about the “Kids Helping Kids Band Competition,” organized by Maryville High School senior Hannah Rials as a benefit and celebration for Blount County’s New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center. Rials, a volunteer at the center, was inspired to put the battle together to call attention to child abuse issues in Blount County. Interested bands can still enter the competition, and now a date and venue has been set: from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Alumni Gym on the Maryville College campus, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville. Tickets are $5, and they can be purchased at New Hope, Foothills Music Shop, Pokey’s Sports, Shimmer Hair Spa and Williams Cleaners. Tickets will also be available at the door. Call 696-6975 for info or to enter your band.
Battle of the Bands 1 and 2
There was a moment during Waynestock 3 when the tragedy that spawned this whole beautiful thing came rushing back.
Kevin Abernathy was on stage, singing his heartbreakingly gorgeous song, “Love Alone.” It’s a track that first appeared on his sophomore album, “Beautiful Thing,” and one he re-recorded for his most recent solo effort, “Some Stories.” It’s also the song he played on stage at The Bijou Theatre during Andrew Bledsoe’s memorial service.
Working the front door with Andrew’s dad, Wayne — the guy for whom Waynestock is named — I caught a glimpse of it in the man’s eyes, which brimmed with tears. It wasn’t the only time he got emotional over the weekend — his remarks to the assembled crowd before the all-star jam that brought Waynestock to a close included a few as well — but it was a reminder of how Waynestock started.
“There would be laughter, bouncing off the walls … smiles in photographs up and down the halls … if you could live on love alone …”
The tears, however, were few and far between.
This year’s Waynestock rose money for the Community School of the Arts. Although the past two Waynestocks were held in response to tragedies — the death of Andrew in late 2010 was the catalyst for Waynestock 1, held in early 2011, and the death of beloved local musician Phil Pollard in late 2011 was the driving force behind last year’s event — this year was different. As one of the organizers, I freely admit my uncertainty of how well another Waynestock would be received without such visceral pain driving the momentum.
It’s human nature, really. When Andrew died, those of us who love Wayne wanted to do something, anything, to help our friend. Everyone we asked, from Daniel Schuh at Relix Variety Theatre (the gracious home of Waynestock since the beginning) to the musicians who played that first year to the sponsors who helped get the word out to the donors who gave of their time and equipment, agreed to take part without hesitation. The folks who came to see the music gave generously above and beyond the $5 cover. After such a weekend of magic and beauty, it seemed impossible that we could repeat its success.
But we did, last year. Again, tragedy was the catalyst, but remembrance and love became the legacy. And while there was no single beneficiary, no fallen friend or loved one, to whom Waynestock was dedicated this year, love remains the post-Waynestock emotion that best sums up the whole weekend.
“Tangled up in kisses, on the side of the road, still running on empty with a million miles to roll, if you could live on love alone …”
The doors opened Friday night to a dedicated group of Con Hunley fans who had driven all the way to Nashville and arrived four hours before he was scheduled to take the stage. Warrior-poet Black Atticus charmed and entertained, and Abernathy was the perfect lead-in to the night’s big event.
Every act who took the stage at Waynestock made fans of those in attendance who’d never heard them before, but the act that brought in the most people was Con Hunley, backed by Mic Harrison & The High Score. For Mic and the boys, it was a big deal; family members came to see them share the stage with an icon, and they were in fine form. Mic and guitarists Robbie Trosper and Chad Pelton provided killer licks and sweet backing vocals for Con’s amped-up brand of country soul, and when they opened the show (after Mic and the boys warmed up everybody with “The Colonel Is Dead”) with a rousing, juke-joint inspired version of “Livin’ on the Funky Side,” the exhilaration was palpable. Con’s older fans felt rejuvenated (and even got their balladeer fix on with a few of his slower-tempo numbers), and fans of the local music scene were content to watch in wonder as history was made with Hunley’s return to Central Avenue.
It was the sort of magic that defines Waynestock, and it would be repeated throughout the event. The Rockwells, absent from the local scene for a few years now (save for a single performance last May), were as enthusiastic as the dancers that crowded the stage during their set, with mild-mannered Tommy Bateman peeling off one killer pop-rock lick after another and Jonathan Kelly managing an impressive leap mid-song that would have made Pete Townsend proud. The Mutations, performing in front of a screening of the 1967 Peter Fonda flick “The Trip,” kept the dancers happy, with Harold Heffner getting down among them for a fired-up and impassioned version of Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ the Night Away.” Yak Strangler, featuring Andrew’s brother, Rylan, on drums, wrapped up Friday night, and with winter weather moving in throughout the day on Saturday, the turnout for night two appeared, at first, to be in doubt.
Those who stayed at home missed a hell of an exotic set from Saturday’s two openers, the Gypsy jazz-influenced Kukuly and the Gypsy Fuego and the klezmer band Dor L’Dor. (Dor L’Dor dad/bandleader Ken Brown even brought out the shofar, the traditional Jewish ram’s horn pipe, for the group’s finale.) Johnny Astro and the Big Bang steered everyone back to the middle of the road with some straight-ahead American rock ‘n’ roll done to perfection, and the Americana outfit Guy Marshall proved that it’s East Tennessee’s answer to the beloved and long-running Murfreesboro band Glossary. Sam Quinn and his Americana power-trio co-horts — Tom Pryor and Jamie Cook of the Black Lillies — were the perfect lead-in to the grand finale.
“Too bad the heart has to have a mind, to tell it what to do when the eyes are blind …”
And once again, art and community and love were elevated into something else. Magic seems too hokey, too generic, to describe it, but what other word fits? What other word accurately captures the wonder of seeing the Tim Lee 3 (Tim and Susan Bauer Lee with drummer Chris Bratta) sharing the stage with Greg Horne, Mike McGill, Kevin Abernathy, R.B. Morris, Black Atticus and Jodie Manross? Atticus flowing smooth the lyrics of R.L. Burnside’s “Snake Drive” while the band powered behind him like a growling muscle car … the boogy-woogy honky-tonk of McGill and the rest howling through his original, “Women, Whiskey and Pain” … Sam Quinn, grinning like a madman and watching the Lees blister through his haunting takes on Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” and “Cortez the Killer” … Manross and Morris, trading lead as well as Bonnie Raitt and John Prine ever did on Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” … the whole damn family, wrapping up the night with a gloriously ramshackle version of Morris’s “Distillery” … that’s the stuff that Waynestock is made of. That’s the juice.
That is magic.
“There’d be no children troubled in their sleep, nothing else desired, nothing else to need, if you could live on love alone …”
After the house lights went up and the instruments were packed away and the last drinks poured, those of us who conceived of this thing felt like exhausted children on Christmas night. We take no credit for the creation of that magic, and like everyone else who walked away amazed and grinning and wearing those “did-that-just-happen?” expressions of slack-jawed joy, we recognize that Waynestock is so much more than just us. It’s so much more than Andrew Bledsoe and Phil Pollard, who no doubt were in the house and dancing and grinning along with the rest of us over the weekend. It’s so much more than the assuaging of grief and the remembrance of those departed and the banding together to overcome tragedy.
It is about celebration. It is about unity. It is about beauty and music and lifting up what is so good and right about this beautiful, brilliant and occasionally bizarre scene. It is about raising a flag in Happy Holler and declaring, “WE ARE KNOXVILLE.”
If we could live on love alone, then we would never have to leave Relix. The kegs would never run dry and the bottles would never dwindle. The sound would never be muddied and the instruments would stay tuned and the infinite possibilities of musical mayhem would play out for the rest of our days.
Love alone, unfortunately, isn’t always enough. And in a way, that’s OK, because Waynestock then becomes this bubble, this magical (yeah, yeah; there’s that damn word again) world to which a door is opened once a year and everything good about who we are as musicians and music lovers and human beings who call Knoxville, Tenn., home manifests itself in vibrant, vivid ways. Shutting that door for another year — and knowing there’s no guarantee it will open again — is bittersweet, but something tells me this will happen again. Part of me screams that it must. It’s too good, too special, to not revisit.
Besides, the key is simple … love. It opens the door. Love alone is all that’s needed to get back to the place that Waynestock shows us is possible. Love alone … well, sometimes it is enough.
If you trace the lineage of rock ‘n’ roll through its various sub-genres, you’ll come across some interesting characters and bands that, unless you were living in those respective scenes at the time, you might not know existed.
Take college rock (see also: jangle-pop), for instance. Not the stuff you hear today on a station like WUTK-FM, great though that might be. We’re talking music from the early 1980s, when the guys in R.E.M. were working on an EP called “Chronic Town,” a sound that fell outside of punk and New Wave and everything else going on at the time. It wasn’t the most popular, and the bands wouldn’t conquer the world (R.E.M. being the exception, of course.) But bands like Let’s Active, Rain Parade, The Windbreakers and more helped set the stage for the ’90s alt-rock revolution, even if they get little credit for it today.
Thanks to Camilla Ann Aikin, a University of Mississippi graduate student, some of those musicians are getting a little credit these days. To complete her master’s thesis in Southern Studies, Aikin put together a short documentary titled “We Didn’t Get Famous,” a fantastic piece of Southern college rock history that features local rocker Tim Lee. Tim and his wife, Susan, front local power trio the Tim Lee 3, but back in those days, Lee was part of The Windbreakers. And as the resident expert on those times and that sound, he gives Aikin’s film two thumbs up.
“I thought she did an excellent job,” Lee said. “When I met her, I was really impressed by her knowledge. She’s young — in her 20s — but she knows her music inside and out. She knew stuff about music from that era that even I didn’t know about — just some very obscure stuff. It was very impressive.”
Aikin has plans to expand on the film, Lee said, and there are tentative plans to screen the documentary at a Fourth of July part at Lost and Found Records in Knoxville.
Last year’s Waynestock weekend was born out of tragedy — the death of Andrew Bledsoe, oldest son of long-time News Sentinel music writer Wayne Bledsoe.
The organizers — Tim and Susan Lee, Steve Wildsmith, Mic Harrison, Wil Wright and Jason Knight — didn’t know what to expect. All they knew was that a friend was in pain and a lot of mutual friends wanted to do something, anything, to help. And so a festival was born.
Over three days at Relix Variety Theatre in Downtown North Knoxville, musicians played and fans came, and the Bledsoe family received an outpouring of support. It was such a beautiful weekend, filled with love and music and community, that organizers knew almost immediately they wanted to do it again.
In November, tragedy once again struck the music community when Knoxville expatriate Phil Pollard died suddenly in his Virginia hometown. Although Phil departed Knoxville a few years back, the legacy he left behind — and continued to return to contribute to — is monumental in the local scene. Numerous groups benefited from his talent, and the local scene benefited from his whimsical, quirky, intellectual personality. Whenever Phil played, it was truly a show; music and art and some sort of zany magic all combined to make for nights of wonder, laughter and creative genius.
He left behind a wife and three daughters, and once again the East Tennessee music scene is being called upon to give back. Waynestock 2: For the Love of Phil will be a fundraiser for the educational fund of Phil’s three girls. It will be held again at Relix Variety Theatre, and in the same spirit as the original Waynestock, it will be three nights of love and light and remembrance and celebration, all for a good cause.
Performers include: Thursday, Feb. 2 — Songwriters in the Round featuring Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle, Greg Horne, Kevin Abernathy and Jay Clark; Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet; Ian Thomas; and Christabel and the Jons. On Friday, Feb. 3 — Sara Schwabe and Her Yankee Jass Band; The Lonetones; Tim Lee 3; R.B. Morris; and King Super and the Excellents. A post-Waynstock after-party, featuring the deejays of Magic Hu$tle (Lil iFFy, Tom Ato and more) will begin at 1 a.m. and continue into the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 4. And rounding out the weekend on Saturday night — The French (featuring Phil’s brother-in-law, Brett Winston); The Theorizt; Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere; Senryu; and finishing off the evening, an All-Star Tribute to Phil, featuring members of his various bands and some of the titans of the music scene paying homage to the man so many knew and loved.
This year’s organizers also include Rusty Odom, editor/publisher of Blank News; and Wayne Bledsoe, the festival’s namesake. In putting together this year’s lineup, organizers wanted to maintain the spirit of community that permeated the original through inclusion of some of last year’s acts, while at the same time including as many of the acts with which Phil was associated as possible. The groups scheduled for Waynestock 2 will continue the Knoxville spirit of talent, grace and beauty of spirit that made the first festival such a weekend of magic, and organizers believe its connection to Phil and the people who loved him will make it every bit as successful.
Admission is $5 per night, and the music begins at 7 p.m. each night. Other activities are being planned around the weekend-long event, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
It’s an opportunity for those who feel they’ve received so much to give back … a chance for remembrance and celebration … a time for musicians and fans of all genres, styles and types of music to come together and lift their hands in unity for a guy who’s spent his life uniting an amazing East Tennessee music scene through his words.
We hope you’ll join us. For more information, check out the website set up for this event — www.waynestock.org, and look for further releases and e-mail blasts as the event draws closer.
According to the school’s website: “Since 1971, Laurel High School has offered an option for students with curiosity, energy, and independence of spirit. Students are prepared to make sound decisions after graduation because they have had ample opportunity to make decisions while at Laurel. They help shape school policies, pursue their individual interests, and help determine their own class schedules.”
Of course, like all schools, it can be tough in these times. Poke around enough on the school’s website, and you’ll see a number of problems that faculty and staff are trying to fix: the refrigerator no longer works and isn’t cost-effective to repair … pots, pans, cooking utensils and more are needed for the kitchen … school supplies … classroom furniture (keep in mind this is a non-traditional school) … art supplies … and a whole lot more. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (865) 525-3885 to donate or to obtain more information, or you could show up at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, to Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in the historic Downtown North neighborhood of Knoxville (also known as “Happy Holler”). Because that’s when the big guns will come out to lend a hand.
On the lineup for that night …
R.B. Morris with the Tim Lee 3
Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere
Jill Andrews (solo)
Sandsation Dancers (belly dancers)
hosted by Benny Smith, program director and general manager of WUTK-FM, 90.3 “The Rock”
The suggested donation is $10 at the door. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider Mr. Steed and his group of ruffians will be debuting new music off of his “Unmind” project … and that the project’s director/visionary/leader/imam Manfred Minsk will be there as well!
e-mail: email@example.com or call 865-525-3885 to discuss, we can pick up donations! Thank you!
Regular readers of Weekend know that this past Friday (Nov. 12), we featured local rockers the Tim Lee 3 on our cover. (Be sure and check out the kick-ass photos by Daily Times photographer Jabin Botsford.)
The CD release show for “Raucous Americanus” was last night (Nov. 12) at Patrick Sullivan’s Saloon in Knoxville’s Old City; in addition to performances by the Tim Lee 3 and Angela Faye Martin, it also saw the world premiere of a supremely kick-ass video for a song off the band’s new album — “Get There First.”
Jessie Greene of Knox iVi and “Eleven O’Clock Rock” wrote and directed it, and she co-produced it along with local filmmaker Roman Karpynec, a most excellent behind-the-camera dude who’s familiar to local scene fans for his work with the now-defunct Dixie Dirt. It stars another local musician, Andy Pirkle, as a boozing, brawling roustabout who crashes the band’s “set” at Toot’s Little Honky Tonk in Knoxville. It’s gritty, greasy and totally kick-ass.
“It’s got a pre-story and a post-story, and it’s a mix of some live footage and some location stuff,” Tim Lee told us. “The people who have seen it said it’s really, really cool, and if you familiar with the local music scene, you’ll see some recognizable faces in the crowd.”
I’m behind the curve on this one, seeing as my peers over Knoxville way got it up first. I blame the stupid spam filters here at Weekend World HQ, since I didn’t even see this until going through mail this morning.
Anyways — it’s still available, it’s still free and it still rocks, so don’t let my tardiness keep you from enjoying.
What the hell am I talking about, you ask? Just a free tune by local rock trio the Tim Lee 3 called “Good Times,” available over at the band’s Bandcamp site. (Click here to go get it.) Bass goddess Susan Bauer Lee does this sensual drawl with her voice that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Detroit Cobras — less grating, more languid. Be sure and read Tim’s tale of the song’s origin while you’re there.
The release is part of the band’s new “Free Friday” program, which Ms. Lee told fans about last week:
“Every Friday there will be a FREE song on the Free Friday link. It may be an unavailable, long out-of-print Tim Lee song. It may be something you already have. It might also be something brand new and unreleased. There will be notes from Tim about the song, where/when and with whom it was recorded, yadda yadda yadda. Whenever the song is available, you will receive a brief notice.”
This weekend, singer-songwriter Angela Faye Martin — whom we’ll profile with a story in The Daily Times Weekend section — will perform with Mitch Easter and the Tim Lee 3 at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville’s Old City. Martin’s most recent album, “Pictures From Home,” was one of the last studio projects worked on by Mark Linkous, the late genius behind the band Sparklehorse who committed suicide in Knoxville on March 6.
She spoke at length to us about her association with Linkous, whom she considered a friend and mentor, and about the shock and devastation his death caused. She’s adamant up front that she holds no special place in the Sparklehorse solar system; she was just one of the myriad celestial bodies revolving around the bright and burning sun that Linkous was to those who knew him.
“Cheerwines, honeybuns, cigarettes — they were just a part of Mark’s self-destructive nature, and I didn’t think he was any more depressed than he already was,” Martin told us. “I thought that he might succumb to a smoking-related illness that was decades away. I always thought I would lose him that way — I had him on a big brother pedestal, and I don’t imagine somebody on that kind of pedestal getting to a point where they would consider suicide to be an option.”
Martin remembers an extremely sensitive soul who, when he first came over to her house, nearly burst into tears over a dog he had never met.
“My dog had just died five days before, and while I was talking to him, I told him about it,” she said. “He had never been to our home before and had never met the dog, but his eyes literally filled up with tears when I told him. I knew then that I was dealing with a different person than I’d ever know. He was one of the most sensitive people I ever met in my life. He was otherwordly in his sensitivity.”
Not that he was a brooding, moping soul who found no joy in the world, she hastened to add. She has plenty of good memories of making her album at Linkous’ Static King Studios.
“He was a neat freak, and his studio was unbelievably tidy,” she said with a laugh. “He taught me how to be a good housekeeper, which my husband greatly appreciated. He taught me that every object has a home, and that you don’t have to keep ugly shit around if you don’t want to. You can deface it and make it interesting-looking or just get rid of it.
“He used Lava soap, and he scrubbed anything shiny with steel wool, so that it would look worn and used. He didn’t like anything to look new in his studio. I remember when we went over to his house for supper one time, he was doing the dishes for his wife, and I had put him on such a pedestal that I objected to someone like him having to do dishes or take out garbage.”
In the end, Linkous’ suicide remains a mystery. He left no note, no explanation, no rhyme or reason as to why he shot himself. Like many fans and friends, Martin has her own theories.
“I think a good deal of his deciding to do it was because he thought he was hurting us all, and that because he was imperfect and human that he would continue to hurt the people he loved,” she said. “I truly believe he couldn’t handle the thought of doing that.”
Local guitar god/indie-pop pappaw Tim Lee sent along this little gem from a recent show at The Earl in Atlanta — a cover of Neil Young’s classic “Cortez the Killer,” featuring Tim trading vocals and licks (the six-string kind) with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. Pretty sweet stuff.
In other news, Tim tells me that Matt Honkonen, formerly of the recently deceased Tenderhooks, is now the full-time drummer for the Tim Lee 3, having replaced Rodney Cash. Matt, Tim and bass badass Susan Bauer Lee (Tim’s lovely wife), in addition to the Three, are also the new backing band for former Tenderhooks guitarist/vocalist Jake Winstrom. Crazy-busy time for the Lees, obviously. Tim and Susan have demoed some new songs and hope to work up some new TL3 tracks soon, he writes.
In the meantime, you can check them out — as the TL3 and backing Winstrom — along with the Kevin Abernathy Band on New Year’s Eve at Patrick Sullivan’s Saloon in Knoxville’s Old City. Admission is $7, we think.
Against the Opposition, “Pursue the Enemy”: right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
Mic Harrison and The High Score, “Long Time”: right-click here (choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
Buy albums by Mic Harrison, from his solo work to his collaborations with The High Score: click here
The High Score, “She’s a Heartbreak”: Right-click here (select “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, “Lookin’ for a Thrill”: Right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As” to download)
Buy “Spills and Thrills,” the new album by JPK and the One Four Fives: On Amazon.com, or on iTunes.
Melungeons, “Blackwater Swamp”: Right-click here (choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As”)
R.B. Morris, “Empire”: right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
R.B. Morris, “City”: right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
Buy “Empire” by R.B. Morris: click here
Free music by regional/national artists!
“Friday (Pay Day),” by Space Capone: Right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
“I Just Wanna Dance,” by Space Capone: Right-click here (choose “Save Target As” or “Save Link As”)
Space Capone on Myspace (where you can find a link to buying his music on iTunes): Click here