Monthly Archives: January 2013


by David Menconi

The jangle and rasp of “Low,” the leadoff track from Cracker’s 1993 platinum album Kerosene Hat, was a ubiquitous signpost of the alternative-as-the-new-mainstream era. As just one example, by the end of 1994, its noir-ish video was more popular on MTV than Springsteen or Jodeci. And it survived long after life in the Buzz Bin, spending two decades as a staple on rock radio, and remains a beacon sending televised sporting events to the great commercial break in the sky.

The song bestowed unlikely rock stardom on frontman David Lowery, who by 1993 was a couple of years removed from his former band Camper Van Beethoven, a weirdly wonderful gaggle of quirk-poppers who invaded college radio like a Martian jug band playing Balkan folk-punk. After Camper splintered in the early ’90s, Lowery teamed up with guitarist Johnny Hickman and bassist Davey Faragher for Cracker, a band whose roots-rock sound was a little more straightforward but whose oddball lyrics — minor left-field hit “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)” turned Burt Bacharach lyrics into an anthem of sexual frustration — kept a similarly offbeat spirit.

By the time Cracker hit their second album, “Low” filtered that spirit though a haze of lyrics about junkie cosmonauts, brown skies, a million poppies, and more chemically altered imagery that required a letter to radio stations swearing it wasn’t about drugs. The song, complete with its chorus about “being stoned,” is now all-ages fare, something you hear in movie soundtracks and, weirdest of all, baseball games.

“That still freaks me out because we’re definitely the geek-band nerds, not jocks,” says Lowery. “But that’s what a hit song really is. It becomes less your song than a cultural artifact, a part of the social fabric that you no longer control. It’s kind of subversive, this song that rips off Baudelaire and romantic poets and The Wizard of Oz, mixed together for some stoner-humor cultural artifact. Zooming way back, that’s probably a good outcome for the big picture.”

When and where did “Low” first manifest itself?

Johnny Hickman, guitar: We were soundchecking in Portland, all a little bit hungover, and I was just making noise. I started looping that riff over and over, and David and Davy got up and started playing it, too. We kept playing until we had four chords and David asked the front-of-the-house guy to record it. I probably would have forgotten that riff if it had not been recorded.

Davy Faragher, former bassist: It really came together in Pioneertown [California], recording it with [producer] Don Smith. He’d built this studio on an old movie soundstage out in the desert and it was this giant barn big enough to pull the truck into. The weather was horribly rainy and cold, and the first week seemed like mostly manual labor — literally going to junkyards to get old mattresses and stuff to put on the walls for insulation. I remember Don made us play “Low” over and over, we must’ve done it 20 times. He was a real character. Had a funny voice you could hardly understand. He’d be chewing on a cigarette, mumbling something at you, and every once in a while you’d hear “Keith” — because he’d worked with Keith Richards. He was like a voodoo producer, but the perfect guy for us at that time.

David Lowery, vocals/guitar: Don Smith said, “This is a great song,” and it was one of the first we cut. But I never imagined it as a single. The writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written about “the narrative fallacy,” where you look back on things and rearrange them in a logical order that makes sense, which becomes your memory of something even though it’s really a lie. And I seem to have done that with “Low,” invented this whole narrative about it. Because when I went back to my notes and e-mails from around then, there was not a word about “Low.” I mean, nothing. Hilarious.

Did you think at the time, “This is the hit single that’s going to make us?”

Lowery: No, there were other songs on that album that we spent a lot more time on. But once it got to the label and the radio guys, where they’d play it for friends, “Low” became the focus. Now, even though it was the first single, everybody wanted to move on to “Get Off This” as soon as possible because they figured that for the big crossover song. But after they’d quit working “Low” for that one, they had to stop and come back to “Low” because nobody would quit playing it. A clusterjam, as my wife says. It really took on a life of its own.

Faragher: I don’t think anybody was thinking “hit.” If I’d thought it was going to be a big hit, I probably would have stayed in the band…It was weird for the first couple of years. I went on to work with John Hiatt, so I was doing fine, but I’d keep hearing “Low” and it made me feel like if I’d stuck around we could have done more. I’m not disparaging what David has gone on to do at all, but we had a certain chemistry and momentum. We coulda been Led Zeppelin!

Was there any blowback from the drug references in the lyrics?

Lowery: Michael Plen, the label’s head of rock radio and a longtime Camper and Cracker supporter, made me write a letter about that to pass out to radio stations. It was practically an affidavit, swearing that the phrase was actually “being stone” — not “stoned.” True story. It was like, “I don’t believe you and neither will anyone else, but there needs to be deniability and this is what we’re gonna say.” It was like pretending there was no paper trail, where a lawyer goes, “Hey, call me on my cell.”

It was also on the MTV Buzz Bin Vol. 1 compilation in 1996 and The Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack. How does that feel?

Lowery: There are two things I’m proud of in my career. One is that Camper’s “Take the Skinheads Bowling” was on one of those big compilations CMJ put out, and the other is that we’ve never appeared on any compilations released through Starbucks. You know, you can’t be there and still have a certain edge. Zappa could never be on one of those and neither could the Misfits, or Captain Beefheart. Or us. That’s a good sign.
Hickman: I’m still driving the truck I paid cash for a year or two later. Since then, I could have bought other cars off of that song. But I’d rather buy guitars and keep driving the same clunker.

It’s been covered a good bit, as well.

Lowery: It’s cool that other bands cover “Low”; I’ll sometimes get up and sing it with Counting Crows. A lot of bands from the ’90s played it. I found Matchbox 20 doing it somewhere, and also some country guy. But I don’t think Camper would ever do it. We have a good healthy sense of rivalry between Cracker and Camper, and if we did that, it’d just get weird.

How did Sandra Bernhard wind up issuing a beatdown in the video?

Lowery: Carlos Grasso, the director, is half-Italian and half-Mexican and he just can’t help getting really abstract and theoretical. He interviewed me about “Low,” and finally decided it was a battle between my masculine and feminine side. He asked who would be my feminine other and I said, “I dunno, Sandra Bernhard?” Someone really sarcastic, snarky, gangly. He’s like, “Great, we’ll call her up and see if she wants to box you.”
Hickman: I remember sitting in a bar and wondering if she’d tell us to go to hell, but all she could do was tell us no, so what the hell. The deal was she’d do it if she liked the song, and word came back: “I fucking love this song. Let’s do it.”
Carlos Grasso, music video director: I remember that period because I was in the midst of breaking up with my girlfriend. That made me realize, “Okay, I see what’s going on with the bed, the punching, this all makes sense now. Perfect!” Sandra Bernhard was really pleasant to work with. I wanted her to be cursing David while driving to the ring. That was also inspired by a fight with my girlfriend, who called me a bunch of names. “FUCK-SHIT-MOTHERFUCKER-BASTARD!” It fit well, but MTV pulled it out because I guess you can’t have dirty words not being said. But she got a kick out of being able to scream expletives at no one in particular. David asked Sandra more than once to hit him harder. “Sandra, you really need to pop me here.” A couple of times, she really did just wind up and nail him, BAM! His face was all puffy by the end. I told David, “Boy, you’re going all method-acting here!”

Do you ever get sick of playing it?

Hickman: I honestly don’t ever get sick of it because that one put us on the map. We’re chagrinned by people who won’t play their hits, although we’ve done “Low”-less gigs once in a while. I’ll sometimes think to myself onstage, “I probably would not be playing this show in small-town Wisconsin with my friend David Lowery if not for this one.” The working-class kid who used to paint houses and play in scrappy punk bands in the early ’80s is still very grateful.

Lowery: We actually have skipped it, once by accident. But oftentimes, when we play private parties, they’ll actually tell us not to play it: “We just want to hear the catalog.” Some of the hardcores don’t want to hear it. But after 20 years, all songs can get that way and you have to psych it, try to play it fresh. We actually still practice “Low” a lot, just to make sure we still swing it like the record exactly.

In 20 years, what’s been the strangest place you’ve heard the song?

Hickman: I was going around to garage sales in Virginia Beach and came upon a teenage band playing it in a garage. So I walked up the driveway, smiling. One of them recognized me, put his guitar down and started apologizing. “Please don’t stop,” I said. I walked in, got a guitar, and showed them the riff. “It’s three notes, simple, but you’ve gotta bend it right here.”



Feb. 8 – “Java Blend” session 2pm at The Java House –  Iowa City, IA [Hero Jr. only]

Feb. 8 – Eagle Ballroom @ The Eagles Club – Tama, IA [Hero Jr. only]

Feb. 14 – Tidball’s – Bowling Green, KY [Hero Jr. only]

Feb. 15 – Howlers –  Pittsburgh – PA [Hero Jr. only]

Feb. 15 – Linneman’s – Milwaukee, WI [The Delta Routine only]

Feb. 16 – Der Rathskeller in Memorial Union – Madison, WI [The Delta Routine only]

Feb. 21 – Getaway – Bridgman, MI

Feb. 22 – Greenroom – Sheboygan, WI

Feb. 23  – Club Underground – Minneapolis, MN

Feb. 28 – Mill Creek – Appleton, WI

Mar. 1 – Peabody’s – Oshkosh. WI

Mar.  2 – Intermission – Wausau, WI

Mar. 7 – TBA –  Chicago, IL

Mar. 8 – Czars – St. Joseph, MI

Mar. 9  – The Crofoot – Detroit, MI

Mar. 10 – Wooley Bully’s-  Pittsburgh, PA

Mar. 11 – The Record Exchange In-Store – Fredrick, MD

Mar. 14 – The Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ

Mar. 15 – Fontana’s – New York, NY

Mar. 16 – Legendary Dobbs – Philadelphia, PA

Mar. 17 – Parkside Lounge – Brooklyn, NY

Mar. 19 – Scully’s – Columbus, OH

Mar.  21- Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI

Mar.  22 – Mitchell’s-  Whitewater, WI

Mar.  23 – Willi’s –  Decorah, IA

Apr. 6 – Radio Radio –  Indianapolis, IN

Apr. 12 – The Brink Lounge – Madison, WI [The Delta Routine only]

Apr. 12 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH [Hero Jr. only]

Apr. 19 – Victory’s Live – Columbus, OH [Hero Jr. only]

Apr. 20 – Old Haunts, Akron – OH [Hero Jr. only]

Apr. 26 – Hard Rock Café – New Buffalo, MI [Hero Jr. only]


“Milwaukee’s Delta Routine can rock the blues and deliver grade-A hooks just as well as any of its contemporaries. It’s no wonder they’ve been receiving plenty of accolades in their hometown” – MAGNET MAGAZINE

“On its third full-length album, Cigarettes & Caffeine Nightmares, Milwaukee’s The Delta Routine once again assume the tired-and-true rock stance by mining the classic, guitar-driven treasures of the past. Singer-songwriter Nick Amadeus injects a bluesy swagger into the proceedings, while his band does its best to summon up the hard-living, pre-gentrified ghosts of a mid-’70s CBGB. The good news is that they pull it off—the album is a big step up from 2011’s More About You.” – Matt Wild / THE ONION’S A.V. CLUB

“The Delta Routine ups the ante on their new full-length Cigarettes & Caffeine Nightmares, an album that finds the band hitting their stride like never before.” – Joshua Miller / SHEPHERD EXPRESS

“I won’t waste your time now,” Delta Routine frontman Nick Amadeus sings with his Liam Gallagher-esque vocals on the opening track. He’s true to his word. At 32 minutes, the album is mercifully low on fat but thrills all the same with warped organ and guitar reverb snarls on “Switchblade.” Likewise, “Around Your Neck” does its bluesy, White Stripes-like, swagger-soaked thing in less than two minutes’ time.”  – Piet Levy / JOURNAL SENTINEL

“Harsh, cathartic boogie marinated in loose, blues-rock grooves and swamp-water bop.” – John Noyd / MAXIMUM INK

“The Delta Routine’s new single “Switchblade,” from their new album Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares sounds like early Oasis, but with a definite Midwest vibe.” – 88NINE RADIO MILWAUKEE

“Down-and-dirty barroom blues/rock.” – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

“The Delta Routine blend catchy guitar pop with swaggering blues-rooted rock-and-roll that nods at The Black Crowes, The Who and The Rolling Stones.” – Bobby Tanzilo / ON MILWAUKEE

“If you love a mixture of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, angsty punk and modern day indie, then The Delta Routine’s Cigarettes & Caffeine Nightmares is definitely an album you’ll love.” – SHOW ME SOMETHING DIFFERENT: UK

“Think late ‘60s, ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll (Bolan and Stones)… Cigarettes & Caffeine Nightmares is worth adding to your collection” – MUSIC EYEZ: UK

“The Delta Routine continue to maintain their fun, distinctive sound while supplying us with fresh new hits to dance to on their third full-length record, Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares. – LOCAL PLAYLIST

2011 Band of the Year – 88NINE RADIO MILWAUKEE

2011 Alternative Artist of the Year – WAMI AWARDS (WISCONSIN AREA MUSIC INDUSTRY)



“Rock at its finest.” – METROMIX INDIANAPOLIS

“Each song on Hero Jr.’s new album Backup Plan is a powerhouse of hook-laden melodic rock. It’s the magical blend of ’70s groove, ’80s brashness, ’90s hooks, and millennial pop. In short, it’s unforgettable.” – ADOBE AND TEARDROPS

“Hero Jr.’s full-length debut Backup Plan is a refreshing change of sound, mixing up a bit of classic and ’90s rock and expanding on the raw power of groups like Mother Love Bone in their heyday.” – INSOMNIA RADIO

“To say that Hero Jr.’s new single ‘Naked’ is three minutes of guitar heaven is a bit of an understatement, as the riffs really carry the track. Backed up by a constant heartbeat courtesy of drummer Matthew Haughey behind Evan Haughey’s Caleb Followill-esque vocals, it’s an incredibly addictive song.”  – SHOW ME SOMETHING DIFFERENT: UK

“Hero Jr. have a sound that’s unmistakably U.S. rock. You get the feeling they could have released their single “Ann Boleyn” any time from the last forty years and it’d stand a chance at college radio airplay and southern cook-outs, yet it manages to have just enough freshness to get played here in the U.K.” – SUPAJAM/UK

“The music Hero Jr. brings on Backup Plan is worth some serious exploration. Lead singer Evan Haughey is gifted with magnificent pipes, his vocals soaring over a guitar-heavy alternative groove which reminds instantly of a cross between nineties-era Tonic and pretty much anything by the Black Crowes or Cracker.” – HEAR HEAR MUSIC

[5 out of 5] “Hero Jr.’s high energy, hook driven rock-and-roll comes through in waves with their debut studio album, Backup Plan.” – THE RIPPLE EFFECT

“Best Of The Month: December 2012. Hero Jr.’s “Ann Boleyn.”  – MAD MACKEREL/UK

“Hero Jr.’s album is a polished survey of modern rock that isn’t too quirky or too brutish to turn off mainstream listeners. Lead singer, Evan Haughey, sounds like Kings of Leon

front man Caleb Followill when he’s worked up and going for broke. Hero Jr. has everything in its right place. Haughey’s guitar licks, which range from gritty to artfully restrained, sound great, and his voice is radio-ready.” – David Lindquist / INDIANAPOLIS STAR

“Hero Jr. plays a solid post 90’s rock with a radio ready sound. They rock it out with a top 40 consciousness. In a music scene full of art rockers, I’m glad to see a band that’s not afraid to be likeable.” – Wayne Bertsch / NUVO WEEKLY

“Hero Jr. seemed to stumble on a formula for success right out of the gate: write a strong, catchy record, promote like hell and play the biggest shows you can get your hands on.” – Dan Fahrner / MUSICAL FAMILY TREE

“Straight-up, no gimmicks rock n’ roll.” – INDY CONCERTS





Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775


Maverick soul artist Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams) has been described as the “soul genius that time forgot,” and “a strange combination of Sly Stone’s progressive funk with Frank Zappa’s lyrical absurdism.” In the ’70s he even made the famed Nixon’s Enemies List.Alive Naturalsound Records is proud to bring you Swamp Dogg’s first two albums, newly remastered and re-released for the very first time on vinyl since their original release in the early ’70s. Total Destruction To Your Mind (1970), has been called “one of the most gloriously gonzo soul recordings of all time,” while Rat On! (1971) was ranked as having one of the top ten worst album covers of all time, an achievement that Swamp Dogg is rightfully proud of to this day.

The two remastered reissues of Swamp Dogg’s early ’70s albums Total Destruction To Your Mind and Rat On! will be available on Black Vinyl and CD on March 5th. In addition, there will also be a very limited pressing of Colored Vinyl for both albums exclusive to mailorders through Bomp!



“If your dog sleeps on the sofa, shits on the rug, pisses on the drapes, chews up your slippers, humps your mother-in-law’s leg, jumps on your new clothes, and licks your face, he’s never gotten out of character. You understand what he did, you curse while making allowances for him, but your love for him never diminishes. Commencing in 1970, I sung about sex, niggers, love, rednecks, war, peace, dead flies, home wreckers, Sly Stone, my daughters, politics, revolution, and blood transfusions (just to name a few), and never got out of character.” – SWAMP DOGG

“He sings like some unfrozen Atlantic soul man of the sixties – his voice clarion pure, his phrasing a model of smoldering restraint.” – ROLLING STONE

“He’s made some of the maddest, funny, baddest, odd, angry, funkiest soul records.” – MOJO

“Vocally, Swamp Dogg sounds like a cross between General Johnson (of Chairmen of the Board) and Van Morrison; as a songwriter, he’s his own man. With the exception of Sly Stone, no other soul men of the period were investigating controversial topics with such infectious musicality and good humor.” – AMG



Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775


SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS (Santa Barbara daily) – Positive feature story with Joey Kneiser interview with band photo to preview Velvet Jones show.

IN CONCERT: Acclaimed Tennessee band Glossary returns to Santa Barbara, Thursday at Velvet Jones
By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent

When last we caught the fine Tennessean band Glossary in Santa Barbara, they were opening up for their Southern friends, Lucero, a few years back. Next Thursday, Glossary returns, in the headline slot at Velvet Jones — and with Lucero’s pedal steel player Todd Beane in the ranks — and the timing couldn’t be more ripe: Glossary’s seventh and latest album, “Long Live All of Us,” is being touted as possibly the strongest yet in a discography going back several years.

This band, outta’ the small town of Murfreesboro, Tenn., a half-hour from Nashville, has hunkered down and delivered a rugged yet produced album. It has logically compared to the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” and music of The Band for its natural, wood-grained rock feel. On these 10 tracks, with nary a lemon or moment of filler, aspects of Southern rock, moving balladry and soul-fried, Memphis-style grooves blend in with sounds from the ’70s, suitable for the ’10s. It’s a winner, whether judged by the new Southern rock, Americana or whatever rock yardstick.

Lead singer and songwriter Joey Kneiser, gifted on both counts, was in the band van careening toward Lubbock, Texas, last week when we caught up with him for an interview.

News-Press: “Long Live All of Us” is really a strong piece of work. It has a great kind of feel, with a rich and produced sound but also a life and raw spirit. Was that your vision for this one?

Joey Kneiser: Yeah. We always want to come off sounding like a band that likes to play together, and has been playing together for a long time. For that record, we rented a house out in the country and rehearsed in it, so there’s a lot of pre-production involved, with playing together and coming up with parts and how we wanted to do the songs, tempo-wise. We started with that. We started recording and tried to take the initial structure of the songs and then expand on it with sounds.

Previously, we would record and it would just be us rehearsing and just go into the studio and play what you came up with in the rehearsal. This was done with so much more time. We had a month to record. Somebody could go on a whim, with a crazy idea, and we could follow it, even if it didn’t work out. We had enough time to try out things.

NP: You are a good songwriter. You seem to have that gift. Is this something that goes way back with you? When did you recognize that songs were your thing?

JK: That’s all I ever wanted to do, since I was a kid, be a songwriter. I fell in love with songs and the ability to make something out of nothing. As I got older, I started getting more and more into it and really trying to hone some kind of craft out of it that I could. I’m still in the middle of that, trying to get better at it and write different kinds of songs in different ways.

NP: That’s something I got from this album, the diversity of styles going on, but in a way that hangs together. Soul and gospel and blues and Southern rock-ish sounds all come together nicely. Are these all your roots, in a way?

JK: Yeah. I think it’s just that, for one, I think we always wanted to be an eclectic band that just absorbed all the kinds of music we liked and somehow regurgitated it back in the band. We like bands that are like that, like The Band or the Stones or Clash, bands that absorbed American music and somehow fit it together into their own thing.

We came from a punk rock and indie rock background, but as we got older, we progressed and started listening to more R&B music and gospel music, pretty much anything that we liked and tried to fit it somehow into the band, where it made sense. The idea of being eclectic like that is very much interesting to me, because I really like bands and records that is an obvious representation of the band, but that runs the gamut. You can tell that they’re listening to a lot of music and are actually music fans.

NP: I also detected echoes of NRBQ at times. Are you a fan of that band?

JK: Oh yeah, I love that band. We actually opened for that band in 2004 or something. That’s another band which is a prime example. They were a rhythm and blues band, but were also a little country, and they ran a gamut. You could tell that they were just music fans in the band.

None of us are trained musicians or forever groomed to be musicians. It was just five people who really like music who started a band. There was no grandiose intentions behind it, other than just being music fans and wanting to contribute to music in some way.

NP: Can you give me a thumbnail history of how and when this band came together?

JK: The band originally kind of started in ’97, while we were in college. We were just immediately thinking, “Nobody’s ever going to help us or do anything for us, so let’s just make a record.” While we were in college, we made two records. Then the band disbanded and changed a bit and around 2001, we came up with more of what the line-up is now and we put out “How We Handle Our Midnights,” which was the first record of this life of the band. That was kind of the beginning of the band that is right now.

There are five records since then, in 2003. That was the start of this.

NP: You were somewhat ahead of the curve in terms of going indie and doing it yourself. Now everybody is doing it, but that wasn’t the case back then, was it?

JK: We started in the late ’90s, and indie labels were still kind of around, before the digital age brought down a lot of that old label infrastructure. We just started doing it ourselves because nobody would do it for us. If you wanted to make it happen, it wasn’t that out of the ordinary to put out your own records. Now, it’s much more common for people to do that and never be on a label.

We had no idea what we were doing. I’d never made an official record before. I never wrote songs for an official record. We’d never done anything. This whole process has been an adventure of trying to figure out how to do it and make it work. Every step of the way, we understand it more and try to be better at it.

NP: You have a song on the new album, “When We Were Wicked.” Is that an autobiographical song or anthem, about the feeling of being in a rock band?

JK: Yeah. Actually that song came about because, about two years ago, my grandmother was dying. She was at hospice and I was with her. She was telling me a story about when she was 18 years old and she and her friend used to raise hell and get into all kinds of trouble. She prefaced the story by saying, “When we were wicked.” I immediately thought, “Oh, I’ve got to use that in a song.”

It basically wrote itself. I just filled it in with myself. It’s definitely an autobiographical song about growing up in a small town and not having anything other than your friends and rock ‘n’ roll, going to rock shows. When you’re young and really don’t have much responsibility, music seemed like a live or die kind of thing. It’s huge. There is a romanticism attached.

The thing is that that feeling never left me. I still have that romanticism about rock ‘n’ roll. I like the mythology of rock ‘n’ roll and the idea that it can lift you up. There is some kind of spiritual element to it. It can take you to places that other things can’t.

NP: There is a strong gospel underpinning to a lot of your music, and of course, that has been part of the story of rock ‘n’ roll through the Stones, Little Richard, Joe Cocker, and on and on. But is there a kind of spiritual message that comes through in your music, do you think?

JK: I think there is definitely like a spiritual kind of thing going on. But more so, I’m really interested in songs and narratives that celebrate the great attributes of human beings. That’s what I want the band to stand for. It’s not trying to be apathetic or cynical or anything like that. It’s trying to be positive. Even if it’s a little dark, there’s a little glimmer of light in there. Super simple things like that, people can relate to, no matter who you are.

NP: Speaking of the listener element, this music has the potential to cut across scenes and demographics, from indie to Americana to classic rock. Do you appreciate that flexibility of who you can ideally appeal to?

JK: Yeah, always the goal was just to be a simple, classic band. We’re like a pop band. They’re still pop songs. We’re trying to do what we can, inside of the little pop format. The reason why people love all those old bands, from the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll — even just the bands that I love — is that they kind of come to their audience with open arms.

They’re inviting people into the band and not just singing to them. It’s more like a community wrapped inside of the band. I remember something Bruce Springsteen said: He wanted a show to be part rock ‘n’ roll show, part religious revival, and part protest meeting.

I like the idea of going to see a band where somehow the songs aren’t being sung to you, but are being sung with you.

When: 9 p.m. Thurs.
Where: Velvet Jones, 423 State St., Santa Barbara
Cost: $10


Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Hawk and Dove is an indie rock band whose calm-before-the-storm sound has been described as the “loudest quiet band you have ever heard” and “the psychedelic country David Bowie never wrote.” On their forthcoming debut album, This Yesterday Will Never End, the band mixes hauntingly beautiful ballads with thunderous stoner grooves to create a sound quite unlike anything else.

Though singer Elijah Miller and guitarist John Kleber met at summer camp when they were 13 years old, it wasn’t until they stumbled across each other 12 years later that they discovered their shared passion for music. Along with drummer AJ Sausville, and bass, keys and violin players Stephanie Sanders & Joan Chew, they’ve created a powerful sound that references multiple genres and histories of rock, Americana, psychedelia and indie music, yet, at the same time, it proves to be something altogether contemporary and unique.

After honing their material regularly in some of NYC’s most distinguished venues, Hawk and Dove have recently finished This Yesterday Will Never End, which was recorded and mixed by Max Hodes, who also contributed backing vocals. Truly a journey at 13 songs and over an hour in length, this record invites the listener to explore the middle place where we all reside. Elijah’s lyrics curl around memories shared and imagined as John’s angular guitar plays the shards of glass that simultaneously bind and repel us. All the while, the beautiful and surreal orchestral performances of Stephanie, Joan and AJ envelop the words with dynamic punches and strings of vibrant color.

With both the impressive success of their 2009 EP, Rocking Chair, and powerful, moving live performances, Hawk and Dove’s following has been steadily growing… something which should continue with the release of This Yesterday Will Never End and national tour they’ll be embarking on in the Spring of 2013 in support of it.

Hawk and Dove’s This Yesterday Will Never End will be released on CD and digitally on April 30, 2013 through Big Round Records. National tour dates to be announced soon.


1. Send Your Blood to War
2. A Song For Him
3. Muscle Breaks
4. Things We Lost So Far
5. Stain
6. Some Hotel
7. How She Became a Tree
8. Grey Parade
9. Electricity
10. The Space Between
11. River Girl
12. Boy on the Moon
13. Gunpowder Heart


Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775


LEE BAINS III (photo credit: Marc Millman Photography)


01/31 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge w/ Wieuca

02/01 – Charlotte, NC – The Milestone w/ Temperance League, Modern Primitives

02/02 – Baltimore, MD – Golden West w/ Gutterhooks, Hard Dads

02/03 – Philadelphia, PA – Norman Porter Studio w/ J.D. Mahaffey

02/04 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

02/05 – Live on WFMU – 12:00 noon on Three-Chord Monte

02/05 – New Brunswick, NJ – Ray Cappo’s Cantina w/ Trash Ride

02/06 – Boston, MA – Great Scott

02/08 – Winooski, VT – Monkey House

02/09 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s w/ Neutron Drivers

03/07 – Savannah, GA – Savannah Stopover Festival

03/11 – Beaumont, TX – Texas Rose w/ Useless Eaters

03/12 – 17 – Austin, TX – SXSW [venues to be announced soon]

Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires’ There Is A Bomb In Gilead is available on CD, Digital and Black Vinyl with with lyric sheet and download card. In addition, there is also a very limited pressing of Purple Vinyl albums with lyric sheet and download card exclusive to mailorders through Bomp!


“A glorius ruckus.” – Mick Houghton / UNCUT

“These Alabama Shakes tourmates offer their own loose-limbed take on rootsy Southern rock.” – ROLLING STONE

“Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires exemplify the new strain of Southern rock that’s come to life in the post-Drive-By Truckers era. A former member of Dexateens, Bains specializes in straightforward, catchy songs that sit somewhere amidst The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Allman Brothers and David Bowie circa “Panic in Detroit.” The guitars provide plenty of hooks that say something about the emotional life of these punk-loving, down-home Southerners — their pain is undisguised, but they cut the angst with music that can be austere and mysterious. On their new full-length, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, Bains and his quartet explore a brand-new South: “Everything You Took” mentions a Walker Percy novel and a Ramones T-shirt, while “Magic City Stomp” is garage-rock that quotes the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Bains has brains and humor, and the band can really stomp.” – Edd Hurt / NASHVILLE SCENE

“I love watching Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Terrific performers… and The Glory Fires are relentless. The musicianship is incredible and I’ve learned a thing or two watching the way the guitars interact with one another.” – ALABAMA SHAKES’ BRITTANY HOWARD (to NME on her favorite new band)

“Guitarist/singer/songwriter Lee Bains III leads his Birmingham, Alabama–based band in a raucous exploration of the intersection between garage rock, soul, country and punk on this full-length debut. Not unlike acts like the Black Keys, Bains manages to merge these styles into a rollicking, timeless sound with plenty of six-string swagger.” – GUITAR WORLD

“Forging a Connection Between Punk and Southern Rock. Although the South isn’t likely to rise again in any discernible militaristic fashion, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires might just be the band to help Southern rock find its bearings in a respectable manner. A real Southern treat.” – PERFORMER MAGAZINE

“Classic southern rock with intelligent lyrics and great energy.” – NO DEPRESSION

“Former Alabama Shakes tourmates Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires traffic in rootsy, heartfelt blues-rock. Their debut is There Is a Bomb in Gilead; with just the right dose of punk attitude, it’s sure to translate to a rowdy live set.” – TIME OUT NEW YORK

“There is a Bomb in Gilead: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Drag The Stooges through some deep-south barbecued-pork spare ribs, a gospel church and put a ten-gallon hat on its head, and this is what you get.” –  Ears McEvoy / SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“The Glory Fires may be more roots-leaning than Bains’ earlier unit [The Dexateens], but they retain more than the recommended daily value of piss and vinegar, all of which is distilled into the band’s 180 proof debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead.” – Richard ‘Luftmensch’ Morgan / MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG

“There Is A Bomb In Gilead conveys that “sweaty” sound The Rolling Stones perfected back in their Exile-Sticky Finger needle & spoon days that so many bands yearn for but few realize.” – SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC

“Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires have skipped right over the formative section of their career and stepped with both feet right into their potential. There Is A Bomb In Gilead is an ass-kicking, heart-pumping, soul-reflecting chunk of rock n’ roll goodness that another ten years on the road couldn’t make any more honest or cohesive. This album is a statement of purpose.” – FARCE THE MUSIC

“It won’t be easy finding a recent set transmitting more passion or generating more soul-burnin’ BTU’s than the debut disc of this Birmingham-based four-piece. Bains’ so aptly-named band serves up a combustible blend of Southern rock and soul, the bandleader’s writing tapping deep roots as he throws down vocally with an authority well beyond his years. There’s not one slouch among the tracks on Gilead but the ballads “Reba” and “Righteous, Ragged Songs” and the raver “The Red, Red Dirt Of Home” jump out. This one ought to make more than a few “Best Of” lists this year..”– Duane Verh / ROOTS MUSIC REPORT

“There are a few songs that had – had – to have been recorded at midnight by their sound and vibe (the weary goodbye of “Everything You Took”; the snapping, biting “Ain’t No Stranger”). And if the stripped-to-the-bone title track wasn’t laid down on a Sunday morning, well, I don’t want to know about it. People spend careers (and a lot of production bucks) trying to sound this soulful. This is a debut album? Holy ol’ Christ … Hang on, world: here come Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.” – Brian Robbins / JAMBANDS

“So many times, I get caught up on the first couple of songs on a new album, mostly because I am feeble-brained with a moderate case of ADD, but on There Is A Bomb In Gilead, it’s the last three songs that sealed the deal. “Roebuck Parkway” is a great acoustic number that would fit in nicely on Jason Isbell’s Here We Rest. “Robeuck Parkway” is the main thoroughfare through Birmingham and the tune reminisces on his youth in Alabama.” – HEAR YA

“ Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are here to put tigers in your tanks. Their debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead, will be out, officially, on May 15. I think it’s only fair to give warning. ‘Cause once I heard it, I felt considerably more hopeful about the state of the world, the union, and my own motivation for staying slim enough to look good in a pair of jeans with rolled-up legs. I mean, you can sit around wishing a band would emerge sounding like a fusion of the Stones circa Exile on Main Street and the Band at its down ‘n’ dirtiest – with a touch of the Allman Brothers, and a few shakes of CCR’s “anything could happen tonight” wildness. And nothing happens. But, within the last few years, something’s wafted up from Birmingham, Alabama. It’s shot through with juicy, smoky, backyard barbecue rock/blues/swamp punch. I know – that’s a lot of cliches, but I think I put them together fairly well. Here’s the band digging into “Opelika” – I’m pretty sure that Levon Helm would have loved it.” – Mary Leary / SAN DIEGO ENTERTAINER

“Equal parts southern swagger and punk rock Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires have arrived on the scene with their debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead. The first record from the southern quartet is loud, rowdy and full of kick-ass rock tunes. They have been able to harness the power of a live show taking place in a dark dirty hole in the wall and implant it onto a record.” – ATLANTA EXAMINER

“Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires picks up where the Dexateens left off, with ragged blues, rampant stomps and barroom guitar brawls. There Is A Bomb In Gilead is as deeply felt as it is deeply fried, as indebted to Al Green as to Iggy and the Stooges. The other thing that emerges on CD is how naturally Bains and his crew mine Southern soul. The title song, which closes out the album, is the real sleeper, its gospel melody worn threadbare, its arrangements cut back to piano, drums, a little bass, and rough and righteous call and response. It’s a slow song, but backed with drama, as Bains squeals like James Brown, rasps like O.V. Wright and stretches out the climaxes like the Reverend Al Green. Not many punk bands could bear the scrutiny of such a long, tight close-up, but Lee Bains and his guys get better the more you look at them.” – Jennifer Kelly / DUSTED

“Recorded in the heart of Dixie and mixed in the motor city, the debut release from Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires burns a path through the American musical landscape on which lesser bands have become hopelessly lost. These boys are forging a sound based on garage rock guts, southern riffs and gospel flavors that was first explored by the Rolling Stones 40 years ago on Exile on Main St. The difference here is the Stones were doing an homage to the sounds they learned to love. On There is a Bomb in Gilead, with Bains on vocals, drummer Blake Williamson, bass player Justin Colburn, and guitar player Matt Wurtele…the band plays like the stuff Gram Parsons called “Cosmic American Music” is in their DNA.” – AUDITORY ARSON

“The Glory Fires dismantled the place with songs from their debut LP, There Is A Bomb In Gilead…working through songs echoing The Allman Brothers and The Band. Drummer Blake Williamson and bassist Justin Colburn put down a solid foundation and added welcome harmonies, while up front lead guitarist Matt Wurtele was Robbie Robertson 2.0 and front man/guitarist Lee Bains III led the charge with tear-your-face-off vocal power a-la Joe Cocker.”  – BLOGTO/TORONTO

“If his newest release There Is A Bomb In Gilead is any indication, Bains is definitely going to be making a name for himself. The music is a seamless blend of garage rock, country soul and punk that recalls The Black Keys or The Alabama Shakes. But Bains is no copycat. While one can hear the Muscle Shoals and Deep South influences, this is a sound unique to Birmingham and North Alabama” – Will Grant / BIRMINGHAM NEWS

“In a word, There Is A Bomb In Gilead is sexy. The result is everything The Drive-By Truckers have been trying to become since Jason left/was kicked out of the band. The result is pure rock and roll. Pure Muscle Shoals. Pure Essential Listening. Pure American music.”  – NINE BULLETS

“Great songwriting, and some serious ‘righteous ruckus,’ but above all There Is A Bomb In Gilead works to define and revive Southern rock. It seems Lee wants to honor our past while continuing to move forward, musically and culturally. Hurrah.” – MOD MOBILIAN

“This is a fantastic Southern rock album in the same vein as the Drive-By Truckers or even The Black Keys. Unrelenting energy behind music that absolutely anyone can enjoy.” – WLUR RADIO

“Another ace Alabama band and highly recommended.” – TANDEM / TORONTO

“The Alabama Shakes, The Dexateens and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires all performed with a seemingly renewed energy, none more than the other. Except perhaps for Lee Bains with his Glory Fires as well as the Dexateens. The man is a manic ball of restless energy that bounces off the walls from song to song, set to set. And he even took to the Jupiter bar later that night for another show. He definitely set a standard for the evening, which was full of memorable moments.” – Ben Flanagan /

“Grooving slice of southern rock with tasty Muscle Shoals-soaked guitars.” – THE GLOBE & MAIL/TORONTO

“This week’s Best Thing Ever actually goes to Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, for their phenomenal new album There Is A Bomb In Gilead.  Once a member of Dexateens, Bains’ new group is currently touring with another hot Alabama band, the Alabama Shakes.  His Glory Fires achieve that difficult balance between deep Southern soul and hard On tracks like “Ain’t No Stranger” and “Centreville”, Bains howls in front of a band that will please any fan of the garage-y grunge of bands like Black Keys.  Other tunes sound like they could’ve been penned by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham”  – KRFC RADIO/ROUTES & BRANCHES

“THE FIRST GREAT ALBUM OF 2012! I’ll brand There Is A Bomb In Gilead the first true southern rock record of the 21st century. That’s what I hear in its grooves. You might hear something altogether different. It doesn’t matter in the end, though. Good music never really needs to be labeled as one thing or another. It’s a disservice to the artist and it keeps people from making up their own minds about what they’re hearing. But I’ve made up my mind about Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires. Pass me back the jar. I need another belt.” – THE RECORD CHANGER

“Debuting tunes off their upcoming debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires deftly blew away probably half of the local talent that has ever graced Toronto’s Lee’s Palace stage. Impossibly young to be churning out some pretty intricate tunes, the technique and depth of their musical skills and knowledge was simply astounding, switching between some Southern-fried boogie, country twinge and some soul that would make Charley Pride, well, proud.” – Laina Dawes / EXCLAIM!

“Lee Bains III is from central Alabama — Birmingham, to be exact — but the sound on his debut album with The Glory Fires is 110% Muscle Shoals, Alabama territory. The power, soul and vintage sound of There Is A Bomb In Gilead is indicative of recordings that have come out of Muscle Shoals Fame Studio by bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and more recently, Drive-By Truckers.
There Is A Bomb In Gilead is an awesomely solid debut, and I wish I had the chance to hear it in its native form — blasting from a Ford truck stereo rolling down Highway 72 through the South.”  [4/5 stars] – Brian F. Johnson /  MARQUEE MAGAZINE

“An amazing album.” – THE PERLICH POST

“[The Glory Fires is] an apt name for the sort of gritty, desperate rock ‘n’ roll Bains and his bandmates have created on their debut album, There Is A Bomb In Gilead. The title comes from a misheard gospel lyric from Bains’ childhood, and while “balm” may sound more soothing to some, “bomb” is exactly what this record is. The songs begin with the simmering hiss of a grenade fuse before exploding in ways that define what life is like in the modern South: Tough, mean and unforgiving.” – Steve Wildsmith /  THE DAILY TIMES

“True-to-form country rock.” – Brian Wilensky / PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER

“Blues-influenced southern rock, but with a nice edge to it.” –  Liz Bradley / DAVE FM RADIO / ATLANTA

“The band’s debut album, There Is A Bomb In Gilead has a genuine feel to it — it’s good Southern music made in the South. With themes of country, rock and gospel, the album couldn’t have better represented all the deep facets of the region. It couldn’t have represented them any more truthfully, either. This album isn’t a hoax. It isn’t trying too hard. It isn’t too much or too little. It’s just right. Because, with a mix of many styles, There Is A Bomb In Gilead covers all its bases.”  –  Hilary Butschek / THE RED & THE BLACK / ATHENS

“Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ new album There Is A Bomb In Gilead is a masterful meal. There are a hundred influences and flavors, all immediately recognizable but mixed perfectly so that none stands out above the other. There’s early New York City punk, soul, country (both front-porch and Outlaw), blues, and, of course, rock and roll, all blended together so well that you can hear it all without noticing any of it, because the combination makes it its own thing.” – Kenn McCracken / WELD FOR BIRMINGHAM

“An album that not only has a uniquely Alabama sound, but draws from soul, gospel, country, rock and much more.” – Katie Nichols / LAGNIAPPE MAGAZINE

“Lee Bains’ voice is a heart-of-Dixie treasure that is complimented by a funky band of talented musicians that have formed its own style of country soul.” – THE CORNER NEWS

“The Glory Fires’ brand of rock ‘n’ roll could only come from the South, where the idea of being a conflicted and proud Southerner is so fittingly expressed with loud guitars. For all the struggle, grit and sweat, The Glory Fires has a record and a sound to be proud of.”  – Cory Pennington / TUSCALOOSA NEWS

“[New Rock/Soul Discovery: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead] A spectacular Allmans guitar intro and that soulful voice fronting a screaming Southern rock band – what’s not to like? – John Hyland / WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

“Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires combination of rock, punk, soul and country is typical of the sound that comes out of the Quad Cities, an area in North Alabama rich with musical talent going back to the 1960s and home of one of the fasting rising bands in music, the Alabama Shakes.” – Chuck Norton / DEAD JOURNALIST

“The Birmingham, Alabama group takes the gospel music of their youth and reinvents it through a punk rock lens, resulting in a commanding set of impassioned songs steeped in Southern influences. There Is A Bomb In Gilead incorporates some of the most iconic regional styles of American music, from Muscle Shoals to Detroit garage rock to Delta blues of Mississippi.” – J Felton / RECORD DEPT.



Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775


Cajun muso Dege Legg spices up new Tarantino movie

Dege Legg’s song “Too Old To Die Young” has been hand-chosen by Quentin Tarantino for the soundtrack of his new film Django Unchained.

The veteran of the Lafayette music scene (and longtime Classic Rock favourite) has had his slide guitar-infused rock songs featured in TV shows such as The Deadliest Catch. Earlier in his career, Legg rocked the scene with Santeria among many other bands.

“Too Old To Die Young” comes from Legg’s 2010 solo album Folk Songs Of The American Longhair – and Legg is honoured that Tarantino would pick it.

“I’m absolutely a fan of Tarantino,” Legg said. “Between him and Martin Scorsese, they’re the most well-known directors for having exquisite taste in great music and being masters of pairing incredible music scenes with great song choices. Being in that category, it’s mind-blowing.”

Django Unchained, which stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, opened this past Christmas Day.

Watch Brother Dege’s new “Too Old To Die Young” video here…


[photo: Marc Millman]

(Alabama statewide news and A&E / Tuscaloosa daily)

Alabama Shakes, Dexateens, Lee Bains deliver Tuscaloosa’s best live show of 2012
Ben Flanagan

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — This time in 2011, it probably didn’t seem conceivable to many that a virtually unknown Athens, Ala., rock band would give Tuscaloosa its two most memorable shows in 2012.

But the Alabama Shakes managed to do that and so much more in a whirlwind year that catapulted the once-unknown group of friends from North Alabama into the mainstream music conversation.

At their “secret” show at Egan’s on the Strip, which the bar advertised them as up-and-comers “Boys Room,” the Shakes packed more than 100 folks into what felt tight even for a sardine can. If 20 people are inside that place, it feels crowded.

But, obviously, the good feelings outweighed the misery in one of the great shows in that venue’s storied history in a powerful, intimate set (opened by Lee Bains & The Glory Fires) from the Shakes’ who clearly adore Egan’s.

The Shakes, The Glory Fires and one other Alabama music staple managed to top that secret show several months before it even occurred at Tuscaloosa Get Up, a tornado relief benefit folks will and should talk about for years to come.

All proceeds of the show, sponsored and organized by went toward rebuilding a house for a family who lost theirs during the tornado.

John and Pam Nero lost their Alberta City home when the April 27, 2011 tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, and they’ve now been approved to have it rebuilt by Habitat for Humanity. The event raised $20,000 going into the evening.

A sold out crowd and more came to the concert at the Bama Theatre to see the fast-rising Shakes and they certainly discovered the force-to-be-reckoned with Glory Fires on Friday, March 23, but they got downright walloped by The Dexteens.

In what was considered a comeback and final set of sorts, the Tuscaloosa-based rockers shredded the venue to pieces, sounding better than ever and reminding the city (and state, perhaps) who top dog. It was loud as hell and full of memorable moments, most notably the surprise arrival of regular Dexateens bassist Matt Patton, who is now touring with the Drive-By Truckers, in the middle of a “Pine Belt Blues” performance. Patton stayed on for the rest of their set.

Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell had his own idea of who the evening’s headliner was. An avid Dexateens fan, a reverent Cockrell watched their set closely and cheered louder than anyone in the room.

“Us going before The Dexateens,” Cockrell said backstage, “that just doesn’t seem right.”

Nice to hear that kind of humility from a guy whose band was on the verge of skyrocketing most music writers’ must-watch lists throughout the U.S. and had just earned itself some major hype at Austin’s South By Southwest music festival.

But honestly, all three acts brought that rare steam locomotive face-melting heat on a night that’ll be hard to repeat and even harder to forget.

“Looking back on the Tuscaloosa Get Up, I still get awestruck,” says Bo Hicks, who led WTC in organizing the event along with Eric St. Clair, Matt Smith, David Smith, Erin Phillips and A.J Roach. “It was so uplifting to see everyone involved come together to make it happen. All of the WTC crew picked up where I could not.

“It’s still crazy that Matt Patton was stuck in Canada that morning and through shear will power and his awesome wife we got him here. It made for a a tension in the ‘Will he make it?’ kind of way, but when he hit the stage in the perfect part of a song it blew my mind.”

Hicks says he also remembers the volume of folks backstage, including Mayor Walt Maddox, heavyweight fighter Deontay Wilder, WJOX and CBS sports personality Jim Dunaway.

“I remember that the air just felt electric,” Hicks says. “So many people came out to support the goal of building something back that was taken away. People wanted to be a part of it.

“I also remember how excited the bands were to be a part of it. They all played for free. They all still ask me about the Nero family and how they are doing. I ran into Mr. Nero at the 15th Street diner and he told me that not a day goes by that he does not feel blessed to have some many people come together to him him. That is what I feel the most proud of.”

EMUSIC (online music site) – Daily Download: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, “There is a Bomb in Gilead (Live)”
Love the Black Keys but don’t know the first thing about other modern bands who have their own battered and bruised take on the blues? You might want to give Alive at the Deep Blues Fest a shot then. Aside from being a harmonica-honking, guitar-slinging survey of “the biggest outsider blues festival in the country,” the live compilation also happens to be the perfect primer to Alive Naturalsound Records, the label that helped launch the Black Keys and happens to feature an old Bomp! Records associate at its helm (Patrick Boissel).

Crank up a crunchy example of exactly what we’re talking about below, along with an acoustic version for good measure…

(Savannah, GA daily)

Songs Of The South: The 20 Best Tracks of 2012

13. “Opelika” by Lee Bains & The Glory Fires from There Is a Bomb In Gilead. (Birmingham, AL) Lee Bains (of the legendary Dexateens) hit it out of the park on a debut album that drips southern-ness from every note. Don’t let the lazy, swampy feel of this standout track fool you. These boys can ROCK.

(online music blog)

WYMA Top 50 of 2012 (John)
3. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead. Out of Alabama comes a dynamo, a hard-rocking force of nature who manages to combine punk, country and R&B to great effect. The Dexateens were really good, but Bains has upped the ante here – he’s a great shouter who can switch gears and sing straight-up soul music, backed by a great southern rock band.


The Best Daytrotter Songs of 2012- #42 – Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ “Opelika”!/concert/best-songs-of-2012/20056399-37383579

(online music blog)

Best Albums of  2012: #10. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ “There Is A Bomb In Gilead”

(online music blog)
Laina Dawes Top 10 Shows of 2012
While Alabama Shakes’ Toronto  performance was excellent – openers Lee Bains and the Glory Fires were incredible – this show reminded me of why I prefer metal / hardcore shows.

(Durango, CO daily)

Top Ten Album of 2012 (#9)
9. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – “There is a Bomb in Gilead.” The Alabama Shakes may be getting a well–deserved national nod, but it should be shared with the whole state, including this Bains–led rock band that channels equal parts Drive By Truckers rock and Muscle Shoals soul.

(online music blog)
The Soundcheck & The Fury’s Top 25 albums of 2012:
1. “Tempest,” Bob Dylan
2. “There is a Bomb in Gilead,” Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

(online music site)

Top Ten Album of 2012 (#7)
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There is a Bomb in Gilead (Alive Records)

Lee Bains III is the prodigal son, raised on the Good Book Jesus, corrupted by punk-rock and working out his own adult reconciliations between the two. It’s the blessing and curse of being Southern. From Jerry Lee Lewis to Tyler Keith (Preacher’s Kids), and all the way back to Robert Johnson, artists, black and white alike, have been torn between Saturday night and Sunday morning; ever since moonshine and lusty women first presented a challenge to the Christian life. Crap – that was probably in the fifth Century; in southern … France, or somewhere.  Hell, I’d have to get out my History books. Like I say, it’s nothing’ new. Bains and his Alabama boys, the Glory Fires, aren’t reinventing the wheel, just grinding the sucker. And it yields a great ride.

Even if there’s nothing new under the sun, each generation and every new artist has the opportunity to put its and his or her own spin on the eternal conflicts. On There is a Bomb in Gilead, the Glory Fires debut, Bains brings the sensibilities of a literary education to his talks with Jesus and his hallelujahs to Joey Ramone. I don’t say this just because he makes literary references, like the one to Walker Percy (“go ahead take my Walker Percy, go ahead and take the t-shirt by brother got when he saw the Ramones”), but because his melancholy and moral musings are offspring of Faulkner and O’Connor’s world. “Everything You Took,” the ditty with the Percy/Ramones lyric, establishes the artist’s lifestyle essentials: rock ‘n’ roll t-shirts and books. And essential they may as well be since he’s losing his gal. He’s clearly hanging on to a thread, clinging to “every little hope that you give me.” But the lady sounds to me like she’s moved on.

The singer’s wrestling with virtue resounds in “Ain’t No Stranger,” rhyming contrition and perdition, by God – and reminding the almighty that he may be prodigal, but he’ s “no stranger.” Bains and lead guitarist Matt Wurtele slash through the Willie Mitchell groove with guitars that are more Keith Richards and Ron Asheton than anything Memphis or Muscle Shoals. “Centreville” sustains the rocking pace. It’s Skynyrd after the Pistols (and Some Girls), Bains spitting out lyrics about guys who are “over educated and under-employed.” Perfect, it captures the new Birmingham, or hell – Boston, as the United States becomes the new Spain. Imagine Tony Joe White amped up and all pissed off. That’s what Bains sounds like on “Centreville.”
Bains works his connection to the lords of the garage in “Righteous, Ragged Songs” (‘say a prayer for punk rock, and say a prayer for me’) like a man who  believes that there just might be some soul saving potential in the  devil’s music, music, like gospel, that can surely be righteous and ragged. The Dixie-punk of “Red, Red Dirt of Home” neatly paraphrases country classic (you know, “Green, Green Grass of Home, the Curly Putnam Jr. warhorse recorded by Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bare, Tom Jones and your cousin Daryl); akin to a digital age version of “The  Letter,” Bains reflects on having his “momma and daddy on speed dial.” Wurtele’s “Honky Tonk Women” guitar carries him home. Here, Bains effortlessly strikes the Southern grit and groove that John Hiatt labors to achieve.

Simmering laments like “Reba” and “Choctaw Summer” rock country like country rocked before it became the fucking Eagles with fiddles. I hear the ghost of real, honest to God country singers like John Anderson in these tunes. But I also hear a band that sounds like they just might have listened to a Richard Thompson record or two. “Roebuck Parkway,” waxes nostalgic for a childhood idyll, and features some flat lovely acoustic picking. Wurtele breaks out some Wayne Perkins style licks for “Opelika,” Bains slyly referencing Johnny and June’s “Jackson” as he locates the boys position (‘3,000 miles east of L.A., 1,000 miles south of N.Y.C.’).

“Magic City Stomp” is probably more fun live. It’s a chant wrapped in an instrumental workout that’s as much MC5 as it is M.G.’s. In the context of the album it sounds like filler, or a fun b-side.

The title cut references a youthful malapropism of Bains’ (he heard the gospel soother “Balm in Gilead” as “Bomb in Gilead” as a churchgoing kid). The Glory Fires strip things down to simplicity and soul. Bains stretches out phrases, wringing out nuance like the great soul stirring singers. There are some fine singers operating in the Southern (garage) rock idiom (the twin sons of the Oblivians, Jack Yarber and Greg Cartwright come to mind – Patterson Hood, too), but few make you think – damn, I could listen to this son of a gun sing James Carr and O.V. Wright songs.

Produced by Bains and Lynn Bridges in Water Valley, Mississippi, Gilead was mixed by the Jim Dickinson of Detroit garage-rock, Jim Diamond, at his Ghetto Recorders. In this instance, the locales speak volumes. This is rock ‘n’ roll from the South, dirty and distinguished, polished (but not too much) to a Motor City shine. Fresh, soulful, assured, There is a Bomb in Gilead is a damn fine debut from Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires.

Oh, I didn’t work in references to bassist Justin Colburn and drummer Blake Williamson in graceful rock critic style. They kick ass.

Reverberating: 8.8 (originally 8.6)

(Jackson, MS daily) – Positive show feature with band photo and related links

Alabama Loud and Proud
By Larry Morrisey

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires bring together multiple strands of southern music to make a hard-charging, soulful sound. The Birmingham-based group is perfecting an emerging style of southern rock that acknowledges forbearers like the Allman Brothers, but adds punk energy and coats it with a heavy dose of soul. The group’s recently released debut album, “There Is a Bomb in Gilead,” showcases guitarist and lead vocalist Bains’ strong songwriting and the band’s high level of musicianship.

Like many southern musicians, Bains, a Birmingham native, got his initial musical training in church. His grandmother was the music director at the local Methodist church, and Bains sang in the choir with his grandfather.

The guitarist was also exposed to more expressive music in the Pentecostal church through his babysitter. As a teenager, Bains played guitar with the church band. This church’s looser approach to music made a big impression on him.

“You’re not reading out of a hymnal and singing these exact notes in time with everybody else,” he remembers. “If you didn’t hold that one note exactly as long as the person next to you, it didn’t mean you were doing it wrong, that’s just the way you were doing it.”

In addition to church music, Bains received a deep immersion in rock and classic soul from his father and two older brothers. He heard punk at a young age and, by the time he was a teenager, Bains was playing original songs in bands at punk shows around Birmingham.

He left Alabama to attend New York University. While there, he played in punk bands, but he began to question his connection to the music. The new environment allowed him to take stock of his relationship to his home region.

“I was basically trying to be (legendary hardcore band) Fugazi, but that’s not who I am,” he says. “I guess I started trying to reconcile with my musical and cultural background.”

During his last year in college, Bains formed the band Arkadelphia, which had a more roots-based sound. When he returned to Birmingham after college, he got to know members of the Dexateens, a Tuscaloosa-based band known for fusing punk with southern rock. Guitarist and bandleader Elliott McPherson asked him to join the group in 2008. Although he was still working hard on Arkadelphia, Bains was a big fan of the group and could not pass up the opportunity.

“At the time, I don’t know if I would have joined any band in the world, other than the Dexateens or The Rolling Stones,” he says. “I was determined to have my own band.”

Bains, now 27, joined the Dexateens as it was entering one of its busiest periods. When the group split up in 2010, he spent some downtime playing bluegrass, and then formed the Glory Fires in late 2010. He brought together a group of top-flight musicians (including drummer Blake Williamson, bass player Justin Colburn and guitarist Matt Wurtele), and they quickly made a name for themselves with high-energy shows.

“We play hard and take it seriously,” Bains explains. “It doesn’t matter if there are six or 600 people; these guys are going to play their asses off.”

The band came to Mississippi to record “There is a Bomb in Gilead” at Dial Back Studio in Water Valley. The record received critical acclaim since coming out in May, including a write-up in Rolling Stone magazine.

Despite their constant travel, Bains and his bandmates retain their native football allegiances. Bains is the sole Auburn supporter amongst a pack of Alabama fans in both the Dexateens and now the Glory Fires.

“I don’t know what I did in a past life, but I’m paying penance by being in all these bands with Bama fans,” he says.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires bring their high-energy show to Ole Tavern (416 George St., 601-960-2700) on Saturday, Dec. 22. For more information, visit

(Kansas City, MO Americana music blog) – Positive review with band photo and related links.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires // There’s a Bomb in Gilead
I’ve seen over the years, as the cold of winter creeps in, that my music listening seems to deviate into much more gentle-toned introspective set of albums – maybe it’s my subconscious’ way of trying to self diagnose me with seasonal effective disorder? Well subconscious, I hate to tell you, you’re no doctor. So lay off.

And so I am prescribing myself a healthy dose of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. These root rockers from Alabama know how shake the frost off some bones and get back to jamming. They’re a diverse group who channel The Rolling Stones at times, Creedance during others, and their own twangy Alabama roots sound otherwise.

I really enjoy this album from end to end, the songs contrast each other to the point that sometimes you wonder if you’re listen to the same dudes. Usually I would say this isn’t a completely desirable characteristic, but because that’s the case the sound stays fresh and  unfamiliar – something great during this time of year.

Their album might have come out back in May but I just had the chance to come upon it recently, which was the perfect time for me. If you enjoy wailing organs, electric guitar breakdowns, and southern rock that toes the line of country – you’ll have a friend in Lee Bains.

(Athens, GA weekly)

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires: There is a Bomb in Gilead
This Alabama-born singer/songwriter is like a cross between Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Hinton. Live the guy is electric. He opened for Alabama Shakes at the Georgia Theatre earlier this year. Here is a live video of one of my favorite songs from the record.

(online music blog)

2012 Albums Not To Be Missed via Mod Mobilian –  Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires: There is a Bomb in Gilead
Although some have noted that the album does not adequately capture the energy of their live performances, Bains’ songwriting stands out.

(online music blog) – HL’s 2012 Recommended

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires’ “There is a Bomb in Gilead.”
“Say a prayer for punk rock and say a prayer for me!” Lee Bains III is my new favorite guy – a rock and soul powerhouse who could just as easily be from Detroit as Alabama, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. The combination of a great voice, good taste and the right musical ingredients make this band and record a complete triumph. Another artist I might have missed had it not been for WYMA, where John Hyland has been shouting from the rooftops about these guys for quite awhile. The approach here isn’t revolutionary, but it is remarkably well done – great guitar sounds, pounding drums, fantastic bar band vibe, singing songs about the Southland, the gravitational pull of home, growing up, and old girlfriends – you know, rock and roll. And who can’t love a band that name drops Fugazi, Walker Percy and The Ramones? Ladies and gentlemen, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, “Ain’t No Stranger”:

(Tuscaloosa music blog)

Wellington’s Wonders: Top 20 Alabama Bands
#1. Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires: Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires played explosive set after explosive set, leaving a wake of sweat and ringing ears everywhere they went (and it did seem like they played everywhere).  Bains, no lazy bone in his body, played every show with such intensity, it would tire an onlooker just by watching.  But no one simply watches a Bains’ set: a person moves, tries to dance, stands as close to the music as possible, and doesn’t mind the crowd that’s gathering.  Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires play every show as if it’s their last; they play as if they mean it, and I’m sure that they do: one cannot fake that kind of show night after night.  If it was for their live music alone, they could’ve been one of the best bands in Alabama.  They didn’t stop there, though.  The guys went on to release the best album by an Alabama band this year with There is a Bomb in Gilead, which took the loud, fast songs from their live sets to a sometimes hushed melody, showing their audiences that not only can they play both ways, but the songs can live in two different worlds.  That goes to show that Bains is not just a rocker who jumps from drum kit to stage floor, but he is one of the best songwriters of the state.  Screaming along at his show doesn’t quite do it justice; one would need to hear the words to realize their perfection.  Bains did all this and yet still managed to create both a band and an album that doesn’t quite sound anything like other music he has made with Arkadelphia and the Dexateens.  2012 was the year of Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, and if you saw them live, you knew it.

(online music site) – Top 10 of 2012
6. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – There Is a Bomb in Gilead
On this blog, it’s pretty much a given that Lee Bains would end up on the list. Hurtling out of Alabama like a bat out of hell, it’s impossible not to want to get up and dance to this album. Or drink. Or whatever your activity of choice is at a live concert. Because this album brings that energy to your eardrums.

online music site)
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires land on the Top 28 Albums of 2012!

(online music blog) – JD’s 2012 Favorites

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires’ “There is a Bomb in Gilead.”  “Say a prayer for punk rock and say a prayer for me!” Lee Bains III is my new favorite guy – a rock and soul powerhouse who could just as easily be from Detroit as Alabama, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. The combination of a great voice, good taste and the right musical ingredients make this band and record a complete triumph. Another artist I might have missed had it not been for WYMA, where John Hyland has been shouting from the rooftops about these guys for quite awhile. The approach here isn’t revolutionary, but it is remarkably well done – great guitar sounds, pounding drums, fantastic bar band vibe, singing songs about the Southland, the gravitational pull of home, growing up, and old girlfriends – you know, rock and roll. And who can’t love a band that name drops Fugazi, Walker Percy and The Ramones? Ladies and gentlemen, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, “Ain’t No Stranger”:

(online music blog) – Positive Top Ten Favorite Reviewed Albums of 2012 with album art

#10 – Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, There is a Bomb in Gilead
With this postcard from the Dirty South, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires offer up a fine serving of soulful blues, blistering country-fried rock, and gospel redemption. Every track is imbued with dedication and spirit. There is a Bomb in Gilead took me back to my hazy youth of Skynyrd and the Allmans, but their fresh, vibrant energy overpowered the idealized memories.

(online music site) – “Ain’t No Stranger” the #1 Played Song of 2012 with photo and link to video.

(online music chart site)

7 months after its release “There Is A Bomb In Gilead” is still riding in the Top 50 Roots Rock Chart!

(Twin Cities Rock radio) – Positive show preview on their website.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires; “Alive At Deep Blues Fest” CD Release Bash! [Smokin Blues and R&B-tinged Southern Rock from Alabama]
Bayport BBQ/ Open all day, Music starts 8:00/ $10/ AA/

Local alt/deep blues music impresario and Bayport BBQ chef/owner Chris Johnson started a little festival around here in the summer of 2007 that ended up drawing a rabid following of bands and fans from around the world! Now we have a live CD that captures the raw energy and great musicianship from the 2012 Deep Blues Fest and one of the best performers from last June, Lee Bains III, is coming in from Alabama to help celebrate the release! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

(Twin Cities weekly) – Positive record release show preview with Lee photo and related links.

Bayport BBQ releases live festival album
Deep blues comes to life on this raw, live cut featuring seven bands
By Rick Mason

On the weekend before the Fourth of July last summer, downtown Bayport baked under a scorching sun while a glorious noise, mixed with the pungent aroma of southern barbecue, drifted from behind a row of buildings a stone’s throw from the St. Croix River. Over three days, 26 bands representing the raw, remarkably diverse, grassroots phenomenon known as deep blues regaled a small but robust gathering of the faithful in and around Chris Johnson’s Bayport BBQ, one of the epicenters of the movement.

It was the fifth Deep Blues Festival, returning after a year’s hiatus, almost Lazarus-like after a history of artistic success tempered by bad luck and financial drubbings. This time around, Johnson staged the fest indoors and out at his barbecue joint and limited ticket sales to just enough to break even, resulting in an intimate atmosphere somewhere between a crowded living room and a block party — albeit fueled by the wild, raucous, unwaveringly passionate sound of deep blues.

The spirit of that weekend is captured on Alive at the Deep Blues Fest, a live recording of seven bands that were there, all on the roster of the L.A. label Alive Naturalsound. Buffalo Killers, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Brian Olive, Radio Moscow, Left Lane Cruiser, John the Conqueror, and Wales’s Henry’s Funeral Shoe collectively confirm Alive’s emphasis on the rock ‘n’ roll wing of outsider blues. The album is out this week, including a version on “barbecue-sauce red” vinyl.

“It’s fantastic,” Johnson says, beaming, at a listening party for the new album, while Left Lane Cruiser’s rock ‘n’ ragin’ version of the Robert Johnson classic “Rambling on My Mind” cascades from the BBQ’s sound system. “It’s true to what we’re doing. Alive has its own niche. It’s a segment of what’s out there. Right from the beginning, it was a dream of mine to have a document of the festival.”

“Really captured the general feeling of the festival. You can hear the dampness of barbecue-covered guitar strings and fingertips,” says Andy Gabbard of Buffalo Killers, who kick off the disc with a pair of rollicking, psychedelia-laced blues-rock nuggets.

“Man, I’m honored to be included on it,” Bains adds. “There are some bands on there that not only make rad music, but are absolutely killer live bands. Chris Johnson up there in Bayport really has been very cool to us. It’s definitely galvanizing to have somebody with good taste support you in such a way.”

Johnson says he actually approached Alive owner Patrick Boissel with the idea of a live album after recording all 46 bands at the 2008 Deep Blues Festival. Boissel then declined, questioning its commercial viability. But this year, he asked to attend the festival and arranged for Neil Weir of Minneapolis’s Old Blackberry Way studio to record the proceedings. Mixed by Jim Diamond of Detroit’s Ghetto Recorders, the disc captures the visceral immediacy of stormy guitars and shredded vocals rippling through the BBQ’s back patio and parking lot.

“Seemed like a good opportunity since seven of our bands were playing the Deep Blues Fest,” Boissel says via email. “Plus, I liked the idea of an old-school live album. Nobody makes these kind of records anymore. I thought it would be fun.”

Besides simply capturing the moment, the album’s release could shine new light on what’s still a mostly underground movement, which grew out of the primordial blues of Mississippi’s Delta and Hill Country, and artists like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, picking up bits of punk, country, folk, and bluegrass, among other genres, along the way.

“It’s a big step,” says Johnson. “It really is an accomplishment, and some recognition.”

Boisell and the artists involved are optimistic about the album’s role in spreading the word. “I hope it’s going to help put the deep blues on the map and give Chris Johnson some credit for helping the scene grow and develop,” Boisell said. “Hopefully, the album will bring some attention to the artists and the event. All these bands are the real thing. They are not backed by big companies expecting to make millions with them. They play for the sheer joy of it. These are all artists with integrity.”

“This album will hopefully spread the disease to a few folks who may not already be in the know,” Left Lane Cruiser Brenn Beck added by email. “Unfortunately, most people are used to clean, crisp, shitty music these days. Once people start listening with their heart and soul instead of their ears, I think this genre will be unstoppable.”
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires and Eleganza!
play the Alive at the Deep Blues Fest release show
on Saturday, December 1,
at Bayport BBQ,
328 Fifth Ave. N., Bayport; 651.955.6337

(online Americana music site) – Choctaw Summer chosen as one of the best new songs of 2012 by John Luck.

Take 11:  Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires “Choctaw Summer” There is a Bomb in Gilead
Classic southern rock with intelligent lyrics and great energy.

(Twin Cities daily) – Positive record release show preview

8 p.m. • Bayport BBQ, Bayport, Minn. • $10

There’s not actually any local performers on it, but there is still a lot of local pride involved in the new concert album “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” recorded this past summer at Bayport BBQ in the St. Croix River town of Bayport, Minn. The smoked-meat haven is run by the guy that also brought us the first guitar-smoking fest in 2007, Chris Johnson. His annual event attracted interest from Alive Natural Sound, a Los Angeles collector’s label that has issued Black Keys vinyl and albums by all of the acts featured on the new album, including Dan Auerbach-produced Ohio trio the Buffalo Killers, Left Lane Cruiser, Radio Moscow and others. Alabama grit rocker Bains returns to Bayport BBQ on Saturday to celebrate the release with Elganza!, ex-Chooglin’ leader Brian Vanderwerf’s new band.

(Twin Cities daily) – Positive record release show preview.

Ross Raihala’s Sound Affects: ‘Alive at the Deep Blues Fest’
By Ross Raihala
Music Sound Affects

The annual Deep Blues Festival has its own soundtrack.

The Los Angeles-based label Alive Records has just issued “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” a compilation recorded live at this year’s event, held over a three-day weekend in July at founder Chris Johnson’s restaurant, Bayport BBQ. It’s available on CD and limited-edition “BBQ sauce red”-colored vinyl and includes 13 tracks from such acts as Radio Moscow, the Buffalo Killers, Left Lane Cruiser, Brian Olive and John the Conquerer.

Bayport BBQ will host a record-release show Saturday, Dec. 1, with a live performance by another band on the disc, Alabama-based Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires.

Johnson founded the festival in 2007 to showcase his favorite musical genre, which encompasses punk, country, R&B and soul. He took 2011 off but returned this year and drew a sold-out crowd. He’s selling copies of “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest” at the restaurant as well as tickets for next year’s festival, planned for June 21-23.

(Twin Cities weekly) – Positive record release show preview.
8 p.m. • Bayport BBQ, Bayport, Minn. • $10

There’s not actually any local performers on it, but there is still a lot of local pride involved in the new concert album “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” recorded this past summer at Bayport BBQ in the St. Croix River town of Bayport, Minn. The smoked-meat haven is run by the guy that also brought us the first guitar-smoking fest in 2007, Chris Johnson. His annual event attracted interest from Alive Natural Sound, a Los Angeles collector’s label that has issued Black Keys vinyl and albums by all of the acts featured on the new album, including Dan Auerbach-produced Ohio trio the Buffalo Killers, Left Lane Cruiser, Radio Moscow and others. Alabama grit rocker Bains returns to Bayport BBQ on Saturday to celebrate the release with Elganza!, ex-Chooglin’ leader Brian Vanderwerf’s new band. CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

(Twin Cities online music site) – Positive record release show preview with album art and related links.

Capturing the fun of Deep Blues & BBQ
Saturday, December 1

Deep Blues Fest Album Release Party @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Deep Blues is an outgrowth of stripped-down Hill Country Blues, with (mostly) younger artists using elements of punk, folk, rock n’ roll and Americana to get their songs across. Tonight the Bayport will celebrate the release of “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” featuring seven bands that performed at the festival last summer, including Left Lane Cruiser and John The Conquerer. The bands all record for Alive Naturalsound, out of L.A. and hover around the rock n’ roll wing of Deep Blues, playing with a fire and urgency that will lift you off your seats. To celebrate, owner Chris Johson is bringing in Lee Baines III & the Glory Fires, who are on the album, with Eleganza opening.

TELEGRAPH HERALD (Dubuque, IA daily) –  Positive show preview with band photo

Concert preview: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

Event: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Time/date: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30
Site: The Lift, 180 Main St.
Cost: $5
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires have brought its spin to Alabama rock ‘n’ roll. On its debut CD — inspired by Bains midhearing the hymn as a child from his elders — “There is A Bomb in Gilead” deconstructs the music of the deep South.

Casting his nets in central Alabama’s rock ‘n’ roll clubs, Bains assembled The Glory Fires: drummer Blake Williamson, bassist Justin Colburn and guitarist Matt Wurtele.

After tracking demos and a few months of shows, The Glory Fires recorded the tracks for its debut LP.

(Milwaukee, WI college radio)
“Red, Red Dirt of Home” from Alive at the Deep Blues Fest” aired on 11.23.12.

(Fort Collins, CO  Public radio)
Lee Bains III & @TheGloryFires’ “Total Destruction Of You Mind” aired on 11.17.12.

(online internet radio)
“Red, Red Dirt of Home aired on 11.20.12 (per Kip Williams)
“Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ “There Is A Bomb In Gilead” is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard this year. If you’re not up and dancing when listening to their song “The Red, Red Dirt of Home” then you might as well pull the coffin lid down over you.”  – Kip Williams / DESOLATION ANGEL RADIO

(Dubuque, IA weekly) –  Positive show preview.
Lee Bains and the Glory Fires, Kerosene Circuit
The Lift, Friday Nov 30 , 9pm/$5

Alabama rock n soul outfit Lee Bains and the Glory Fires make their Dubuque debut Friday Nov 30. The band has a few sounds, from moody well-crafted country rock to loose southern garage rock rave ups. The mix of those sounds allowed for the band to be signed to Dan Auerbach’s Alive Records, where they sit pretty comfortably alongside James Leg, Black Diamond Heavies, etc. Bain’s’ voice moves between soulful country gentleman to early 1970’s drink swilling and chain smoking masters like Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker.

(Lexington, KY weekly) –  “Ace Pick’s” show mention

Wrap up the evening with Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires at the Green Lantern.

(Mobile, AL weekly) – Positive feature/interview to preview Mobile show.
Music Feature by Steve Centanni

Band: Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
Date: Thurs., Nov. 15 at 9 p.m.
Venue: Alabama Music Box, 455 Dauphin St.,
Tickets: at the door

With their unique brand of Southern-fried garage rock, The Dexateens definitely left their mark on the Alabama music scene before their untimely demise. However, the end of The Dexateens has brought about the birth of one of the Southeast’s most promising musical acts.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires are burning up audiences at venues far and wide with a proud Southern garage soul sound. The release of their debut “There Is a Bomb in Gilead” has earned them praise from critics and fans alike, and the nation is once again focusing its eyes on the Alabama music scene. Lagniappe caught up with Bains to discuss the birth of The Glory Fires and the future of the Alabama music scene.

SC: I was quite familiar with your former band The Dexateens. The band had an awesome sound, and you guys toured extensively before you kind of just disappeared. However, your drive to be involved in a musical project kept you going. What kept you focused in between The Dexateens and The Glory Fires?

LB: I guess it was just wanting to keep playing and writing. At the time when we slowed down, I was the youngest member of The Dexateens by at least six years. Most of the rest of the guys had families or were soon to start families. So, I guess they needed to slow down to spend more time with their families and spend more time making money, because Lord knows playing in a band doesn’t do that. I understood why we needed to slow down as a band. At the same time, I wasn’t ready to do that myself. Pretty much as soon as I could, I put another band together. I had been writing a lot of songs during that period. I knew as soon as we were able to get a record out, then I would start playing as much as possible. That’s really what I love doing, and I’m fortunate to have started playing with these guys in the Glory Fires, who are just excited and grateful to be doing it.

SC: You tracked your original demos for “There Is a Bomb in Gilead” with Gulf Coast punk icon Tim Kerr (The Big Boys, Poison 13), and he acted as quite a mentor to this project. What was it like working with him?

LB: He pushes you to do a couple of things. First off, he pushes you to sound like you. He really resists trying to sound like something else. Even if you reference another band, he says, “Well, listen, you’re not that band, and you’ll never be that band. We need to do this the way y’all do this.” He’s really good at that. At the same time, he’s really good at keeping certain rawness and vitality with music. He’s of the school where if you’re thinking too much about something, you’re not playing it well. Don’t over think it. At the same time, he doesn’t want you to do anything automatic. If you’re playing out of muscle memory, then that’s not how you should be playing. You should be playing from your heart. He’s a pretty inspiring guy to be around. He helped us to see what made us who we were. I think some, if not all of us, have a propensity for old school gospel /Muscle Shoals soul stuff that he heard, and he pushed that with us.

SC: Y’all made a good team with Kerr. When “Gilead” hit the street, both fans and critics loved it. What was it like to see your project gain such wide and positive acceptance on the first effort?

LB: I feel really grateful that people talk about and that you call to talk to me about this. It’s a great feeling to just have what you’ve worked so hard on just be given a listen without being enjoyed or not enjoyed or complimented or whatever. I feel like I’ve played so many shows to four or five people and record songs that never see the light of day that I’m grateful that anyone would talk about our band or our record at all. There’s a few times over the past few months where we’ve played somewhere and there’s someone in the crowd that I don’t know from Adam and they’re singing the songs. That’s a pretty amazing feeling. It’s cool to play somewhere and somebody comes up to you, and they’re like, “Man, I really like your record’”or “This line means a lot to me.” That’s as much as I could ask for.

SC: You just released a double-sided single. Tell me a little about that.

LB: We were on tour in September. We went from the Northeast to the Midwest. We were in Detroit for a couple of days, and this guy, Jim Diamond, who mixed the vinyl version of the record, offered to record a few songs. Our label was willing to put us in there to do it. So, we got a full band version of the song ‘There Is a Bomb in Gilead,’ which on the record is pretty stripped down and quiet. We figured it would be cooler to do a version more like the one we played live. We did that, and we did a cover of a song called “Total Destruction to Your Mind” by a singer named Swamp Dogg, who is still making records and still singing and everything. He made his debut as a solo artist in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. He put out a couple of really cool, weird records at that time. We were figuring out what song that we wanted to cover, and we were talking about a few. Then, it just occurred to me that day on the way to Detroit that we should cover that. I didn’t think they had heard it before. They were like, “Wow! That’s what we need to do!” We learned to do it on the fly. I wish I could write songs as good as Swamp Dogg.

SC: With you guys, Alabama Shakes and Drive-By Truckers, it seem as if there is this slow revelation of Alabama’s music scene on the national level. As someone who’s an up-and-comer, where do you see this scene going?

LB: I don’t know a lot as far as the industry stuff goes. I kinda think that part of the reason that there is so much cool music here is that really the only reason that we’ve been making music in Alabama for as long as I have is that we love making music. We love playing it for our friends and having a good time. The commercial aspect of it really hasn’t been present. It’s created without too much of a thought of how it will be received. It’s been a pretty tight-knit community and a supportive one between Birmingham and the Shoals and Mobile and Tuscaloosa. I love being a part of that scene and being a part of the bands that are playing now and the ones that are history.  As we tour and travel, we see really good bands, but there’s something about bands from Alabama.

(MOBILE, AL online A& E site) –  Positive feature/interview to preview Mobile show with band photo, RRS audio stream and two videos.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
with Diarrhea Planet & The Suzies
Alabama Music Box Thursday November 15 9pm

Birmingham’s Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires returns to Alabama Music Box with Nashville’s Diarrhea Planet & Mobile’s The Suzies in what is sure to be a wild show.

Former Dexateen and Arkadelphia member Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires bring the Southern Rock.

(Alabama online newspaper and online A& E site) –  Positive feature/interview to preview Mobile show with band photo, RRS audio stream and two videos.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires bring soul-infused rock to Alabama Music Box tonight
By Lawrence Specker

MOBILE, Alabama — There’s something about the release of his latest single that’s a little strange to rocker Lee Bains III. But coming back to Mobile? There’s nothing odd about that. That puts him right in his comfort zone.

Bains and the Glory Fires hit the Alabama Music Box tonight. The 9 p.m. 18-and-up show also features Diarrhea Planet and the Suzies; admission is $10.

Bains, in a recent Birmingham Box Set interview, described himself as an Atlanta-based performer who’ll always call Birmingham home. He and the Glory Fires specialize in a mix of “rock and Southern-fried soul,” and they’ve raised their profile over the last year opening for the Alabama Shakes.

The group’s newest release is a digital single. On one side is a rocked up version of “There is a Bomb in Gilead,” the title track from the Glory Fires’ recent debut album. The other is classic Southern-soul oddity.

“I don’t really know if you can really call it an A-side, the cyber A-side is a song called ‘Total Destruction to Your Mind,’” said Bains. He found it on a 1970 album of the same name by a guy using the handle Swamp Dogg.

“It’s an amazing album,” Bains said. “So idiosyncratic. He wrote most all the songs and the songs he picked are really interesting. It’s like this weird Southern psychedelic soul record and I would definitely recommend the album to anyone who’s looking for something new and different to listen to.”

The Glory Fires version adds a little urgency to the original arrangement, but keeps its intriguing mix of soul, fast funk and guitar jangle. (The original can be heard on YouTube, and Jerry Williams, aka Swamp Dogg, still active as a producer, gave his go-ahead for the cover, Bains said.)

“I feel like we had it pretty easy recording that song … it would be hard not to have it sound interesting,” Bains said.

“We just put that out. That’s kind of weird for me because it’s only online. That’s the first time I’ve done something like that where I guess it’s out, but it’s weird because I can’t hand it to you.”

Not weird: bringing it back to Mobile. Bains said he’s gotten a warm reception in Lower Alabama since his very first visit, four or five years ago at the Blind Mule with the group Arkadelphia.

“It was just great, there was a good crowd of people there, everybody was real friendly, we had a good time,” he said. “It was pretty refreshing for us, because we were kind of starting to tour at that time … and had just gotten pretty accustomed to really small, largely disinterested groups of people at shows.”

“Mobile’s different from Birmingham. It’s similar, obviously, in ways. But Mobile has a more sort of open, jubilant side,” he said. “It’s a late town, it’s a drinking town and a port town and all that. I’ve never not enjoyed a show in Mobile, I’ll put it that way.”

The game plan is straightforward.

“I think … we play pretty loud and just play hard and have fun,” he said. “And I think people tend to have a lot of fun at our shows. … It usually winds up pretty sweaty and maybe a beer or two has been sprayed. On us, usually.”

(Lexington, KY online A&E site) –  Brief positive show preview

.Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires at The Green Lantern
Birmingham, AL-based band Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ sound is a mix of swaggering southern rock, soul, R&B, punk, gospel and often taps into the vibe of Exile-era Stones. This show is in support of Lee & The Glory Fires’ recent debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead (released in May through Alive Naturalsound Records).

(Alabama online newspaper) –  Positive “Recommended” show preview with band photo.

Lee Bains & Glory Fires, Blaine Duncan & Lookers on tap for Tuscaloosa
By Ben Flanagan

Tuscaloosa will get a little old school this weekend, with several local favorites coming out of the woodwork for live shows.
Blaine Duncan & The Lookers (with new member Adam Morrow, of Callooh! Callay!) will share the Green Bar stage with the always rip-roaring Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires on Friday, too, so you’ve got a tough choice.

(Tuscaloosa college weekly) –  Positive show preview as part Blaine Duncan preview

Blaine Duncan & The Lookers will be opening for Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, a band that has been gaining attention in the Tuscaloosa area and are excited about the opportunity.

“The Glory Fires are also just really phenomenal,” Morrow said. “That’s been said repeatedly for the last year, but it doesn’t make it any less true, so I’m really looking forward to their set.”

The Glory Fires have been playing all over the country, but Lee Bains said the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas are still their favorite places to play.

“Blaine is a really good friend of mine,” Bains said. “The first time I played in Tuscaloosa was at Egan’s with him. He is a great songwriter and a great guy. I am really excited to see how [the new band] reinterprets his music.”.

(Montgomery daily) –  Brief Alley Bar show preview as part of Rocking The Museum feature.

Concertgoers will be treated to the sounds of Southern rock band Dexateens and Fly Golden Eagle, who will be rockin’ it out on the lawn. Topping that off will be an after-party at The Alley Bar, where Lee Bains III (a Dexateens member) and the Glory Fires will be playing in the back alley.|topnews|text|Frontpage

(online music site) –  Positive album review with album art and related link.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead

What makes this album so significant is that it’s so good that it immediately earns a place next to the best of the best. It’s a timeless statement. Taking elements from British blues, glam and southern rock, this amazing machine delivers a non-stop collection of tracks that brings to mind the glory days (pun intended) of the Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers and the Byrds. If you haven’t heard of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires yet, get used to hearing about them, because they are here to stay.

Released earlier this year, There Is A Bomb In Gilead has gotten great reviews. So much so that we at RUST worry that there’s not much we can say that hasn’t already been said. Since then they’ve been touring and just released the brand new single Total Destruction To Your Mind – a spirited and scrappy cover of ’70s psych-soul legend Swamp Dogg’s number.

The Birmingham, Alabama foursome features Matt Wurtele on guitar, Justin Colburn on bass, Blake Williamson on drums and vocals and guitar from Bains and we just can’t say enough good things about their work. It’s truly rare when a group comes out with such a solid collection of tracks, and the real take-away from There Is A Bomb In Gilead is that every track is a winner. When you think of the legends of electric blues rock, there’s an overall appreciation of their great work, but when you go back and listen to many of their albums you find that there are a few great songs, and a bunch of so-so stuff. With this in mind, There Is A Bomb In Gilead easily surpasses many of the albums from these “legendary” bands in overall excellence.

Total Destruction To Your Mind has just been released and you can get the full length There Is A Bomb In Gilead on either Black Vinyl with with lyric sheet and download card or a very limited pressing of 500 Purple Vinyl albums exclusively through Bomp! and RUST simply cannot recommend this album any more enthusiastically. However you do it, just get your hands on Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ There Is A Bomb In Gilead, you’ll never let it go.

(London-based music blog) –  Positive single review with single art and live video

SONG REVIEW: Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires, Total Destruction To Your Mind
TITLE: Total Destruction To Your Mind
BAND: Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires
LABEL: Alive Records
RELEASED: October 30th 2012

An upbeat, lively Alabama group are about to release a new single with a whole load of old-fashioned happiness. Total Destruction To Your Mind is a cover with the original credited to Swamp Dogg but this version is guaranteed to brighten up your dull autumnal day. They’ve already gained success in the States with their album There Is A Bomb In Gilead and performed a series of live shows, currently touring the south coast. Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard told NME:

“I love watching Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Terrific performers and The Glory Fires are relentless. The musicianship is incredible and I’ve learned a thing or two watching the way the guitars interact with one another.”

The song is a real throwback to 70s style American rock and the carefree vibe is so relaxing. If you love a good party, you’ll love the melodic riffs and retro summer vocals mixed with a touch of gospel. The rolling drums and catchy chorus make it ideal for dancing your worries away and it’s not a million miles away from the classic 60s anthem Johnny B Goode.

With the simple lyrics and heaps of quintessential Americana, the title of the song resonates as you twist and jive your way back in time. The current revival of rock and roll has come at just the right time for these guys and just one listen of the single will have you singing it for hours after. Nothing says “just have some fun” like this track!

(Atlanta A&E site) –  Positive show preview with show poster art and Ain’t No Stranger video.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires return to Atlanta
By: Chris Martin

This Friday night the Earl is once again the place to be. The cozy place in the East Village is not only a killer place to grab a drink or a tasty meal, but the folks there continuously bring in some of the best local, regional and national music acts for all to hear. On November 2nd the hits keep rolling as Alabama’s Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires return to Atlanta and add their own brand of Southern rock and roll to a bill of great musicians.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires are out supporting their debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead which is an outstanding collection of bad ass rock and roll tunes. Their music is loaded with blistering guitars and thunderous rhythms that give it a 70’s punk feel and the right amount of Southern twang giving them a sound similar to Lucero or Centro-matic. It is Bains’ vocal delivery which bounces from smooth and soulful to raw wails that gives their music that something extra. As impressive as their debut album is, live is where the band thrives with high energy shows that take the raw gritty sound of their music to another level. Their music jumps from the speakers barging into the listener’s ears and setting up residence in their heads because when their ears stop buzzing the tunes will be stuck in their brain for quite some time.
Lee Bains & the Glory Fires – Ain’t No Stranger
Video: Lee Bains & the Glory Fires – Ain’t No Stranger

They will be sharing the stage with a couple of great bands, the Paul Collins Beat and the Missing Monuments. Collins is a veteran musician who has been delivering catchy three-chord rock music since the 70’s with the Nerves and The Beat. Critically acclaimed and revered by his peers his music has influenced many. The Missing Monuments led by King Louie himself offers up dirty garage rock. The New Orleans band is loud and raw and their live shows are rivaled by few.

So start your weekend off with some sweet music at one of the best spots in Atlanta. Get to the EARL early, grab a few drinks then head to the back room and prepare to rock your ass off with three great bands. Sounds like a damn fine Friday night to me.

WHO: Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Paul Collins Beat, Missing Monuments
WHEN: Friday, November 2nd, 9:00 p.m.

(New Orleans weekly) – Feature interview to preview Voodoo Fest. [PRINT ONLY]

(New Orleans online A&E site) – Feature interview to preview Voodoo Fest.

A Few Before Voodoo with Lee Bains and The Glory Fires.
by Jillian Firnhaber

We catch up with Lee Bains of The Glory Fires somewhere between Houston and Austin. The band chatters away in the background. They’re far from their home in Birmingham, Alabama, and in the midst of a brief tour which will take them to Voodoo Fest on Saturday. It’s their first appearance on the NOLA Festival scene, and they’re ready to bring their Skynyrd-influenced Southern Rock to the stage.

“New Orleans is unlike any place in the world,” Bains says. “It’s one of my favorite places to go. I love just walking around the quarter or Frenchmen street. And eating. There’s a lot of good food in that town.”

Bains fled the South for college in New York, but couldn’t betray his Southern roots.

“A lot of people grow up in the South dissatisfied. I was dissatisfied with what I saw at the time as Southern qualities.  I didn’t like the politics, the perceived narrow-mindedness. I built up New York like this magical place. But later I realized that just like everywhere else it has it’s own problems. So I headed back home.”

Home has certainly influenced The Glory Fires’ Southern style sound. The influence of 70’s era Southern rock is obvious, but Bains and his bandmates dose their music with a heavy dash on straight-up country, and a serious pinch of punk rock. One moment you’re shouting “Freebird” and the next you’re head-banging.  The Glory Fires have played New Orleans haunts like Circle Bar and Prytania Bar before, but this will be their first time in NOLA if front of a big crowd.

“It’s such a fun city that even when you’re only playing for a couple people we still have a good time. We’re looking forward to playing,” he said.

The Glory Fires’ Southern hospitality even extends to their touring. They’ve brought along their bass player’s cousin to do merch for free, just so he can see Metallica. Bains is also looking forward to checking out the New Orleans brass bands that will be performing throughout the weekend. Although they say they don’t have any costumes planned, everyone begins talking and shouting ideas in the back of the tour van. We’ll see what they come up with come Saturday.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires will be playing at noon on Saturday at the WWOZ/Bud Light Stage.

(New Orleans online music site) – I Ain’t No Stranger video featured in their Voodoo Music & Movies.

(online music site) – Positive post with “Total Destruction To Your Mind” audio stream, band photo and related link.

New Music | Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Total Destruction To Your Mind

If the 8-track format suddenly made a comeback of vinyl-like proportions Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires would be the reason for the resurgence. I pressed play on the newly released track and before I knew what hit me I was dancing around like a college kid at a kegger.
The boys have just hit the road in support of their debut album, There is a Bomb in Gilead, and are celebrating with the release of the Swamp Dogg cover “Total Destruction To Your Mind.” The B-side is a new version of the title track from There is a Bomb in Gilead, which was released by Alive Naturalsound Records this past May.
Take a listen to “Total Destruction To Your Mind” above and don’t fight the urge to Watusi… or whatever dance you crazy kids are doing these days.

(online music site) – News post with “Total Destruction To Your Mind” audio stream, band photo, single art, tour dates and related links.

(New Orleans weekly) – Feature interview to preview Voodoo Fest.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires

Lee Bains III hails from two worlds that seemingly couldn’t be more different — spirited Southern choirs and punk rock. On There is a Bomb in Gilead, the soft-spoken Birmingham, Ala. native’s latest album with his band The Glory Fires, Bains straddles those disparate scenes, with backyard barbecue anthems and slow-burning Southern soul. “Say a prayer for punk rock,” he sings on “Righteous, Ragged Songs,” “and say a prayer for me.”
“Both traditions can really value a genuine, earnest feeling, and a chance to heal people and bring people together and make positive change,” he says. “A lot of the punk rock bands that got me into that music reminded me a lot of the more accessible gospel music, like of the ’60s and ’70s — I guess you’d call it ‘inspirational’ and not Bible-thumping gospel. Listening to MC5, and bands like that, gave me that same feeling.”
The Bains family raised its children on Southern rock staples and Alabama’s native Muscle Shoals sound. Three-year-old Lee was his father’s go-to party trick once Lee learned all the words to the Charlie Daniels Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
“My dad grew up in Birmingham around a town called Bessemer,” Bains says. “He grew up in the ’60s, when segregation was at its height. To him, Allman Brothers and those bands signaled a new state of mind for the South. He heard a way to be excited about his Southern culture but to throw away all the racist trappings of it, like, ‘This is the new South.’ That’s how I heard that music. As I got older, I realized the older dudes sitting and listening to that music in the high school parking lots or wherever, they did not feel the same way I did.”
Bains discovered Birmingham’s tight-knit, landlocked punk circuit, including all-ages venues The Boiler Room and Barn Stormers. “It was eye opening,” he recalls. “You’d have exposure to so many ideas, and such a wide range of emotions you’d go through just sitting through those shows.”
Bomb in Gilead shows off Bains’ growling, church-raised gospel chops — on opener “Ain’t No Stranger,” Bains’ Southern soul swagger croons and howls, not unlike a swampy Jim James. On the classic Muscle Shoals soul of “Everything You Took,” Bains namedrops both the Ramones and Walker Percy, with a heavy dose of gospel on its chorus. The album title is a deliberate misspelling of the popular spiritual “There Is a Balm in Gilead.”
“My grandmother was a choir director. They grew up singing the old hymnal in the Methodist church,” Bains says. “My babysitter was deep into the Holiness Pentecostal church, and I heard that song through her as well. It stuck out to me. I’d always listen to the words in hymns. Most would just kind of bleed together — just the same types of images and themes. That one, I could’ve sworn they said, ‘There is a bomb in Gilead,’ and I had all these images running through my mind of what that could mean.”
Bains recorded Bomb in Gilead in Water Valley, Miss., and mixed the album in Detroit, filtering punk energy and country roots through Mississippi and Detroit’s rock ‘n’ roll muscle. It’s a near whirlwind tour for Bains — he returned to Birmingham after school in New York, where he hoped to escape his jaded history with his homebred scene. (“Alabama, by now I hope you know, I’d die for you if called to do so, but I’m being courted by California, Tennessee,” he sings on “Righteous, Ragged Songs.”)
“I have a home in Alabama, and I have a family, and a history, and I feel like I’m a part of it,” he says. “I feel more at home in Birmingham than I do anywhere in the world.” —ALEX WOODWARD

(Chicago-based music blog) –  “Total Destruction To Your Mind” audio added to their 10.22.12 “Pick Your Poison” download feature.

(Americana music site) – Link to listen “Total Destruction To Your Mind.”
Here’s a new single from roots rockers Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.

(Austin music site): Brief show preview
Known for their country drawls & bluesy riffs, the Southern boys of Lee Bains III & @TheGloryFires will be at Stubb’s on Tuesday.

(Little Rock daily) – Brief positive show preview.
Raucous Alabama outfit Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires are  in Little Rock tomorrow night.

(official fest site) – Positive post with Total Destruction To Your Mind and tour dates.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires announce new single, tour dates

Though they recently released their debut LP, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires will already have another record on the market at the end of the month. Their new single “Total Destruction To Your Mind” b/w “There Is A Bomb In Gilead” will see release on October 30 by Alive Naturalsound Records. You can check out a stream of the A-side, which is a Swamp Dogg cover, below. The b-side is a re-recording of the title track of their recently released LP. The email also contained some tour dates so check below for those.

Oct. 19 White Water Tavern. Little Rock, AR
Oct. 20 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX
Oct. 22 Texas Rose, Beaumont, TX
Oct. 23 Stubb’s BBQ, Austin, TX
Oct. 25 Old No. 2, Laredo, TX
Oct. 26 Voodoo Music Experience, New Orleans, LA
Nov. 2 The Earl, Atlanta, GA w/ Paul Collins, King Louie’s Missing Monuments
Nov. 9 Green Bar, Tuscaloosa, AL w/ Blaine Duncan & The New Lookers
Nov. 16 AlleyBar, Montgomery, AL
Dec. 1 Bayport BBQ, Bayport, MN (“Alive at the Deep Blues Fest” Record Release Show)
[more dates to be announced soon]

(Beaumont, TX daily) – Positive feature/show preview with photos.

Monday’s show mixes Southern rock and Southern gospel
By Beth Rankin, cat5 Magazine

That religious undertone you hear in Lee Bains & the Glory Fires’ music isn’t really an undertone – it’s more of a core theme. This band’s righteous ruckus – their apt description, not mine – is a sweet and genuine Southern rock filled with biblical references and plenty of Southern gospel influences.

Even the title of the Birmingham band’s debut album – There is a Bomb in Gilead – comes from lead singer Lee Bains mishearing the hymn “There is a Balm in Gilead” when he was a child growing up in a Southern Episcopal church.

It is impossible to describe this band without using the word “Southern,” but Bains is more than OK with that. In Bains’ lengthy and heartfelt answers to my questions, he talks a lot about feeling a deep-rooted pride in not just his religious upbringing, but his Southern roots.

“Myself and my friends can look at our grandparents and wish that we had the tie to traditions and place and history that they’d had when they were growing up,” Bains said. “I think that when we play shows in the South, kids like us realize what we’re trying to figure out: how to hold fast to our culture without pretending that the world around us – and that culture with it – isn’t changing everyday.”

Lee Bains & the Glory Fires is a perfect example of youth keeping the South alive without relying on sitcom stereotypes of rednecks and other things I don’t even want to list because enough already, am I right? This music brings the camaraderie and mysticism of the South into the 21st century with thoughtful lyrics and a sound that could not be more fitting of a Texas dive like the Texas Rose Saloon.

Oh, and did I mention this band recently did an extended tour with Alabama Shakes? Yeah, that got your attention.

Q. According to your bio, members of Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires learned to construct music “in the churches of their childhoods, and learned to destroy it in the punk clubs of their youths.” What type of churches did you grow up in, and how do you think they influence the style of music you play?

A. Well, the guys in the band grew up in a range of churches – Baptist, Methodist, Church of God, Assembly of God.

I was baptized and grew up in a conservative Southern Episcopal church, and sang in the choir there, as well as the church school choir. I also sang a lot at my grandparents’ old-school Methodist church, where my grandmama was the choir director and my granddaddy sang in the choir. On top of that, my little brother and I were raised by a lady named Rena Bell who lives and breathes gospel music and took us all to her church – which I guess you’d call Apostolic, or Holiness Pentecostal – where she sang in the choir. When I was a teenager, I played guitar there some too.

So I was bombarded from all sides with these very divergent styles of religious music and worship. But what I took away from all of them was that making music is a serious, important, spiritual act, that it has the very real power to heal. Singing was supposed to be a selfless act above all else – singing for a higher purpose, rather than an audience’s praise or self-gratification.

Q. Growing up in a German Lutheran church, I remember falling in love with a hymn or two and quickly forgetting all the rest. Are there any hymns from your childhood that have stuck with you?

A. (Laughs) That’s a great memory, and I absolutely know what you mean when you talk about forgetting that long train of hymns that all start to sound alike. As far as ones I heard growing up, I always loved “Just As I Am” and “I’d Rather Have Jesus” (from the Methodists), “I Sing A Song Of The Saints Of God” and “He Is Risen,” which is an Easter hymn from the Episcopalians, and “I Don’t Know What You Come To Do” as well as a little song called “Keep God In Your Life” (from the Pentecostals).

Read more:
Q. You guys obviously hold tight to your Southern roots. Now that you’ve been touring Southern states outside of Alabama, are there any things about other parts of the South – Texas, perhaps – that have surprised you?

A. We pretty well agree that we love – and are mystified by – Texas. Admittedly, our primary reason for loving Texas is that y’all specialize in our two favorite kinds of food: Mexican and barbecue (even if it isn’t pork barbecue).

But I think it’s really cool, for instance, that there’s a rich German tradition in Texas, mixed with a really old, close relationship with Mexico. I might just imagine this, but I wonder if that German and Catholic tradition is the reason y’all loosen up, drink some beer, and go dancing more readily than people do in Alabama, for instance.

Like a lot of Southerners, we love the South and are confounded by it too sometimes, so traveling around it, meeting folks and playing rock ‘n roll is pretty much our favorite thing to do.

Q. Do you feel like your music is received differently in the South?

A. I definitely do. I set all of my songs really squarely in the South, and that’s really important to me. William Faulkner said, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” This world and our time is so extremely complicated that I can’t imagine trying to grasp at any kind of universal truth, unless I have my feet firmly planted on the ground.

And my feet were first put on the ground in Alabama, as were my parents’, and my grandparents’, and my great-grandparents’ and so on. I figure there’s plenty of truth to be found by looking at Alabama really closely.

I think there are a lot of kids like me who, growing up Southern, were made aware – whether it was from friends or family from other parts of the country, or just from television and movies – that a lot of people from other parts of the world look at Southerners a certain way, maybe in a primarily negative way. And I think a couple generations of us realized that fact and then internalized it.

I felt something like shame, growing up, that really, deep-down I might just be a dumb redneck like the people from the South who were on television. I became really self-conscious and, I think, confused as a child. I started confusing what it really meant to be Southern (what I saw in my family and community) with what I had been shown in the media. I started to think that maybe being racist and backwards really were Southern qualities. And, then I’d think, maybe, since my family wasn’t racist and backwards, maybe we weren’t really Southern.

Of course, as I got older, I started to realize some of these dynamics. It’s really very complicated. I think we are among the first generations of people in the world to not only be aware of our own particular culture at a very early age, but also to be aware of what people from all over the world think about that culture. I mean, by the time I was in kindergarten, I really thought that people with accents like mine were dumber than people with other accents.

Before I ever left the South, I was sure that people from other parts of the country would make fun of me. I learned that from TV. Anyway, that’s all to say that, when we talk about what it means to have a cultural identity in the age of the Internet and cable television and transient lifestyles, we’re involved in answering a really complicated and a really new question.

And I think maybe more people are interested in having that conversation. Myself and my friends can look at our grandparents and wish that we had the tie to traditions and place and history that they’d had when they were growing up. I think that when we play shows in the South, kids like us realize what we’re trying to figure out: how to hold fast to our culture without pretending that the world around us (and that culture with it) isn’t changing everyday.

Q. Who has been your favorite act to tour with, and why?

Read more:

A. You know, the only band we’ve done an entire extended tour with has been our buddies the Alabama Shakes. They’re really great people and a killer band, so we had a lot of fun with them. We’re definitely cut from the same cloth, so we had a good old time.

We would all talk about ’90s country music, for instance. One night, we started talking about John Anderson, and somebody started singing “Seminole Wind,” and the next thing you know we were all singing the entire song together. The next night, we were opening for them at a really big show in Boston and before they went on-stage, they cued up some music on the P.A. Then came that piano intro and the fiddle and “Ever siiiiince the days of oooollldd…..” We all started laughing and whooping and hollering, and everybody in the crowd kind of made confused faces – I guess John Anderson wasn’t as big a hit in Boston as he was in Alabama.

We’ve played shows with a lot of great bands all over the country, though. One of the coolest things about touring is discovering new music you love under the best circumstances: played loud and in person at a dingy bar. We love the Bohannons (Chattanooga, TN), PUJOL (Nashville, TN), Terrible Twos (Detroit, MI), Doc Dailey (Muscle Shoals, AL), Neutron Drivers (Jersey City, NJ). There are really a ton of great bands right now.

Q. Tell me about your Goin West/Getting Weird tour.

A. (Laughs) I really just wanted to come up with a name to put on a No Limit Records-style poster I’d had in the works. I’d thought about calling it Gettin’ Gross On The Third Coast, but we’re playing Arkansas and it doesn’t have a coastline. Also, we always talk about “getting weird” which, at shows anyway, pretty much just entails getting wild and noisy and … I don’t know, weird.

For better or worse, our shows are most always fun.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires live with Sanhedrin

When: 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Texas Rose Saloon, 2013 S. MLK Pkwy., Beaumont

Cost: $5

(Austin online A&E site) – Positive feature/show preview with photo.

10 questions with Lee Bains III
By: Thomas McAleer

Birmingham, AL-based band Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ ( are coming to Austin on Oct. Stubb’s BBQ. This show (and tour) is in support of Lee & The Glory Fires’ recent critically-acclaimed debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead (released in May through Alive Naturalsound Records). Critics have been raving about the album. For example, “If his newest release There Is A Bomb in Gilead is any indication, Bains is definitely going to be making a name for himself. The music is a seamless blend of garage rock, country soul and punk that recalls The Black Keys or The Alabama Shakes. But Bains is no copycat. While one can hear the Muscle Shoals and Deep South influences, this is a sound unique to Birmingham and North Alabama” – Will Grant /BIRMINGHAM NEWS., and “This is a fantastic Southern rock album in the same vein as the Drive-By Truckers or even The Black Keys. Unrelenting energy behind music that absolutely anyone can enjoy.” – WLUR RADIO. Lee Bains III recently answered 10 questions for me.

Who are your songwriting influences?

Man, there are a ton. I really admire the work of Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn, Chips Moman, Paul Westerberg (Replacements), Bobby Womack, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Townes Van Zandt, Ian MacKaye (Fugazi/The Evens), Otis Redding, Elliott McPherson (Dexateens), Sam Cooke, Vic Chesnutt, Hank Williams, Bob Mould (Husker Du/Sugar), Ted Leo, Brad Armstrong (13 Ghosts). That’s just what’s occurred to me today. There are a lot more than that. OH MAN, and this guy named Bob McDill. He is a Nashville songwriter from Texas that only recorded one very poorly distributed and now out-of-print album, but has written some of my all-time favorite songs. I mean, I would be listening to Don Williams, and “Good Old Boys Like Me” would kill me. And then, a couple weeks later, I’d put on some Waylon, and that song “Amanda” would kill me. And then, later, I would get nostalgic and listen to Alabama, and hear “Song of the South,” and it would kill me. Well, after some Internet sleuthing, I discover that a dude named Bob McDill wrote ALL of those songs. And he’s written plenty more. He has a very reverent, respectful tone to his songwriting, a really tender literacy, and a deep sense of place and history. He’s kind of a hero of mine, and I’ve never even heard him sing a note. I’ve never even seen a picture of him, I don’t think.

When and where was your first public performance?

My first public performance would have been at a church service, but I don’t remember when or where it was. I probably would have been four- or five-years old, and wearing an itchy sweater or choir robe.

What was the first record or CD you purchased with your own money?

The first TAPE I purchased with my own money was The Real Folk Blues by Muddy Waters. I was in the fourth grade. I wore that sucker out.

What was the first live concert you attended?

My daddy took me to see both the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd (or what remained of the two) in Birmingham over the course of three days when I was 11 or 12. One show was on July 3rd and the other was on July 5th. I don’t remember which one was first.

Which venue would you most like to play that you haven’t yet/ and which is your favorite venue to play?

I would really like to play the 9:30 Club in D.C. A lot of the bands tied to that venue’s early history have meant a lot to me, and I’ve never had a chance to play there. I’m really excited about playing Stubb’s, too. That’s one of the ones you always hear about. But I’ve been really fortunate to play a bunch of the venues I’d heard about all growing up: the 40 Watt in Athens, the Exit/In in Nashville, the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. I even got to play one of the rooms in CBGB’s before it got pushed out and replaced by a wheatgrass shop or God knows what. Still, though, probably my favorite place to play is Egan’s Bar in Tuscaloosa. It is the kindest, rowdiest, smartest, trashiest, cheapest, loudest, friendliest, smokiest, funnest bar in the known universe (or at least West Alabama).

What is the best career advice you’ve been given, and by whom?

One time, in a dream, a really old, bald Elvis told me not to worry about what other people were doing. Just go on ahead.

Who are you listening to now?

I’ve been listening to this great band PUJOL from Nashville who we played with recently, and another killer Nashville band Natural Child, as well as the Oblivians, Fugazi, the MC5, Leon Russell, Hank Jr.

What recordings are available to the public and where can they be purchased?

We have one LP. It’s called THERE IS A BOMB IN GILEAD, and it’s out on Alive Natural-Sound. You can get it at independent record stores and at our shows, as well as all the online outlets. We put that out in May. We’re fixing to put out a “digital single,” which will include a re-recording of one of the songs off the record, as well as a cover of “Total Destruction To Your Mind,” a 1970 cut by the psychedelic soul badass known as Swamp Dogg.

When and where are you playing next?

Our next (and first) Austin show is at Stubb’s Jr. on Tuesday, October 23rd.

(NYC weekly) – Show preview for both NYC & Hoboken shows with photo.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Time Out says:
Former Alabama Shakes tourmates Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires traffic in rootsy, heartfelt blues-rock. Their debut is There Is a Bomb in Gilead; with just the right dose of punk attitude, it’s sure to translate to a rowdy live set. Market East and Tuff Sunshine, a local trio that skillfully fuses funky soul with wiry postpunk, open Sunday; Neutron Drivers take opening duties Monday.
Sun Sep 9
Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston St, (between Essex and Ludlow Sts), New York Show map
Mon Sep 10
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St, (at 11th St), Hoboken Show map

(NYC daily) – Brief positive show preview.

Southern Punk. Jam out where the Deep South meets punk rock. Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires grace the Mercury Lounge stage with an eclectic sound. 21 and older. 7 p.m. $10. 217 E. Houston St. (212) 260-4700.

(Chapel Hill weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires will perform Saturday at NightCat.

Rockers Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, who recently were featured in Rolling Stone and opened the Alabama Shakes tour that came to Baltimore in April, will perform at NightCat Saturday. Tickets are $12.

In 2008, shortly after returning to Birmingham, Ala., from college in New York, Bains fell in with the Dexateens, a Tuscaloosa institution whose raggedy union of cock-eyed rebel pride and forward-thinking fury proved to be the perfect apprenticeship for a confused Southern boy, raised on Skynyrd and schooled in Faulkner.

After Bains had played with the band for a few hundred shows, the Dexateens came to a reluctant end. Bains found himself off the road, back in Birmingham, without a band. He also found himself with a group of songs sitting somewhere between buzzsaw garage, classic power-pop and country-soul.

Casting his nets in central Alabama’s rock ‘n’ roll clubs, Bains assembled the Glory Fires.

After tracking some demos and a few months of shows, the Glory Fires traveled to Water Valley, Miss., to record the tracks for their debut album, “There is a Bomb in Gilead.”

Tickets can be purchased by calling 410-690-4544 or going online to

(Chapel Hill weekly) – Positive “Critic’s Picks”  & “Recommended” show preview with band photo.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Grass Giraffes
When: Fri., Sept. 7, 9:30 p.m.
Price: $8-9
With the popular music pendulum at or near its synth-pop apex, you can bet there’s a back-to-basics, guitar-centric band who’ll emerge atop the other side as the “authentic” counterpoint. This Birmingham, Ala., act may lack the Benetton appeal of the Alabama Shakes (with whom they’ve toured), but they’re cut from the same Muscle Shoals soul-rock cloth. Their sound suggests early-’70s Faces spiked with Allman/ Betts guitar jams, plus a whiff of punk left over from their rites of passage through its clubs (Bains did time in the rowdy band the Dexateens). Their debut, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, puns off mishearing the word “balm,” but if you could live happily forever without hearing another synthesized dance beat, then balm is what Bomb will be. Grass Giraffes open. —John Schacht
Local 506
506 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill Orange County
phone 919-942-5506

(Charleston weekly) – Positive show preview with Lee interview and band photo.

Soundchecks: Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, The Old School Gospel Singer, Built to Spill, John King Band
Posted by Joshua Curry
Roadhouse Rock | Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Thurs. Sept. 6
6 p.m.
Earshot Records
w/Josh Roberts and The Hinges
9 p.m.
The Pour House
$8/adv., $10/door

Listening to the debut record from Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, There is a Bomb in Gilead, you may be shocked to learn that Bains himself was a choir boy. And we’re not talking about a figurative choir boy, here. We’re talking a guy who regularly sang “Amazing Grace,” “Holy Holy Holy,” and the rest. For the Alabama native Bains, church and music were inseparable. And rightfully so. His grandmother was a choir director for 70 years, while his grandfather taught him that singing in church was just as much about putting on a performance as it was about singing the praises of the Almighty. “My granddaddy talked a lot about connecting to other people. You weren’t singing for yourself. You were trying to give something to someone else,” Bains says. And give he does. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fire’s There is a Bomb in Gilead is a scorcher that mixes outlaw country, booze-soaked blues rock, and ample doses of Americana. A word of warning: Bains and company like to play loud. They want people to feel the music in their bones, much in the same way that the singer used to feel the choir music years and years ago. “Sometimes we’ll play and we’ll see people covering their ears,” Bains says. “I know that for me I like that feeling.” —Chris Haire THURSDAY

(Chapel Hill weekly) – Simple listing highlighted as “Our Picks”

(Americana internet radio) – Phone interview with Lee and story featured on their site.
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

Lee Bains III talks about his early Ramones/Fugazi/punk influences, his Hi Records-style sound, and what Flannery O’Connor taught him about Alabama.

Lee Bains III talks about his punk rock background. His first shows as a teenager were in punk clubs in central Alabama. He says there were three punk clubs within an hour drive of Birmngham where he lived at the time. They could play two shows in a weekend. This was in the early 2000s and there was a wide range of sounds from soung writers, jangly indie pop bands, and hard core bands.

Lee Bains talks about some of his favorite Alabama bands/musicians. Lee says Hank Williams is the godfather of Alabama Music. Lee also talks about Eddie Hinton living in Birmingham. Lee Bains also talks about Wilson Pickett, espcially his  68 and  69 Muscle Shoals era. Lee Bain says The Dexatines was his favorite band at the time they asked him. Lee Bains talks about an 80 2s band from Alabama called the Primatons who released an EP with Mitch Easter which was a big influence.

Lee Bains sets up  Everything That You Took.  This was cut in Water Valley Mississippi Lynn Bridges. It was his suggestion to slow this one down.

[Rick plays “Everything That You Took” by Lee Bains III and the Gloryfires from There Is A Bomb In Gilead]

Rick talks about the High Records sound on that track. Lee talks about some of the session musicians behind the great High Records.

Lee Bains runs through the line up of the Glory Fires. Blake Williams is the drummer. They first met in high school at an all ages show. He was in several bands including one called the Glory Swords. Justin Colburn plays bass. (Model Citizen, Arkadelphia) They met through the bass player on the Dexatines. Matt Wurtele is the band s guitar player. Lee says they all have a great time playing together.

Lee Bains talks about the importance of Alabama being a presence in his music. Lee says that happened through leaving. Lee says all his life he wanted to get out of Alabama. He went to school in New York and he realized  how inseperable I was from the culture I grew up in.  Lee was inspired by Flannery O Connor and William Faulkner and drawn into their idea of needing to understand your own place in time in order to evenbegin to understand somebody else s. 

[Rick plays “Red Red Dirt of Home” by Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires from There Is A Bomb In Gilead.]

Lee Bains talks about how There Is A Bomb In Gilead is being received. Lee says he tries not to read a lot about what s been said. He says I ve did what I could to get it out there and that s as much as I could do about it. 

Lee Bains talks about his education in New York where he got a writing degree. He says that now is not the time to be writing a novel, but when traveling around in a band and playing is no longer desireable he might turn back to writing.

Lee explains the title There Is A Bomb In Gilead. When he was growing up, his grandmother was a choir director for the seniors choir. They would sing older hymns,  There Is A Bomb In Gilead . He was four or five at a the time and he couldn t figure out why Jesus had a bomb. So he would make up narratives about why Jesus had a bomb. One day he saw if written out and he realized it is actually called  There Is A Balm In Gilead.  Later he found out his mother had the same miscomception. But at that point the name stuck.

(national monthly music magazine) – New live video from Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires featured.

New video from Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
BY Benjamin Ricci

Our friends at BTR Live Studio have shared a cool video with us, featuring none other than Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, who graced our cover back in August. You can read that interview here.
Birmingham, Alabama’s Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires play sweaty, passionate, soulful rock n’ roll that draws on the best of country, punk, and pop to make an explosive mix. They brought that energy to our NYC studio for a BTR Live Studio session, featuring their album’s title track, “There’s A Bomb In Gilead.”
(Alabama online A&E site) – Feature story with interview to preview local Birmingham show.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires take BottleTree stage on Thursday
By Blake Ells
Lee Bains III lives in Atlanta now, but he’ll always consider Birmingham home. The native’s band is still based in the Magic City. The band is part of an Alabama scene making national waves. It’s Southern garage and blues rock sound follows in the footsteps of Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and Alabama Shakes, catching the attention of publications like Rolling Stone and earning an opening slot on the latter’s most recent headlining tour.

The band opens for Pujol on Thursday at BottleTree Cafe. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10. I spoke to Lee about that scene, his other band, The Dexateens, and his obsession with water, which he can be seen carrying around in a gallon jug before each show.

Blake Ells for Birmingham Box Set: How much water do you drink in a day?

Lee Bains III: [laughs] At least a gallon. On tour, it’s probably two. I started it with the Dexateens because I’d smoke two packs a day. I’d wake up after a show and could barely speak, let alone sing. So I started doing it all day long so I could keep smoking at night. In the Dexateens, I was sort of in the background, so I could get away with sounding [terrible]. When we first went on the road, we did three shows in a row once, and at the end of the third, I couldn’t talk. I finally quit [smoking], partially because of that.

BE: How was the tour with the [Alabama] Shakes?

LBIII: That tour was really good. It was as good of an opening slot as you could ask for. I believe every show we played was sold out, and at almost every one, the entire crowd had arrived before we started. And [the Alabama Shakes] are great people. They were a lot busier than we were, though – they’d have to go do Letterman or get pulled away for a Rolling Stone interview.

BE: What and where was your first gig? What band were you with?

LBIII: My first real – like, playing a venue and not a talent show – gig was, I think in Anniston. Or maybe it was in Montevallo at a place called Barnstormer’s. Yeah, actually, I think that’s it. This was in high school. We were in a band called the Shut-Ins. They were all guys I had grown up with. They sounded like Hot Water Music or Small Brown Biker, but they got more metal and wanted another guitar, so they called me. It was this Judas Priest meets Thin Lizzy kind of thing. Yeah, it was definitely at Barnstormer’s.

BE: Are the Dexateens really done?

LBIII: I guess we’re not “done” done. We still play every once in a while, and that seems like the plan – play a show every three months or so. And we try to stay close, like, Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia, nothing too crazy. But, you know, I’ve been busy with The Glory Fires and [Matt] Patton’s been busy with the Drive-By Truckers. It’s just hard to find the time. We’re actually playing a show in November in Montgomery, and I’m sure we’ll do more here and there.

BE: Brian [Gosdin, drummer] mentioned there may be some finished material out there. Or the beginnings of it. Will that ever see the light of day?

LBIII: We have one entire record. It’s very close to a finished album that we probably did two years ago. I think Elliott [McPherson, vocals and guitar] likes the way some of it came out, but he wasn’t happy with others. He’s had time to rewrite and we’ve re-recorded some stuff. And there are new songs, too, that are in various stages of repair. In grand total, there are probably 30 songs that are close to done. But we’re taking our time with all of it. No one feels any sense of urgency. Elliott has ideas he wants to get out. Plus, we’re all so busy and scattered, it’s hard.

BE: What do you think of the Birmingham scene right now?

LBIII: Birmingham’s always had a strong community. I haven’t lived there in two years, so for the first time, I’m a little out of it. There’s this generation of bands that came a little behind mine. I don’t know the 24-25-year-olds there anymore. But there are so many folks making great music. Everybody knows each other. There’s an incestuous thing that can be problematic for sure, and that’s what sometimes causes people to leave. You just end up playing with the same bands.

But even though I live in Atlanta, I still consider myself a part of that crowd. The other guys are still there. Having that connection with so many people is good for checking yourself creatively and keeps you grounded. Those relationships where people have seen you develop and can better assess what you can do than anybody.

I’ll go to a show at BottleTree and find myself talking to someone I was in a band with when I was 16. Not even [kidding]. It’s wild.

BE: I realize this may be premature because There is a Bomb in Gilead is still less than a year old. But when can we expect the next one?

LBIII: We’re ready. I wish it were tomorrow. We’ve been trying to stay busy touring and working when we’re not touring. So I’d say we’ll try to record in Spring and have it out by Summer.

BE: Are you playing any of the new tunes live?

LBIII: Yeah, we’re playing some. But we haven’t had much time to practice them together. I’ll write a tune and I’ll do a demo and when we play a show, I’ll put it on in the van and we’ll kind of work it out while we’re on the road and during soundcheck. It’s fun because a song can change every couple of shows. “Well, that doesn’t work, so we’ll cut that in half and rewrite it.”

BE: Who are the top five American rock bands of all time?

LBIII: What? Whaaaaaaaa? Dammit.

I’m going to have to come up with a thesis. I’ve got to explain myself. So what’s that [thesis] going to be? I can’t just do my five favorite. That won’t work. And I don’t want to do five influential or something like that.

Hmm. Let’s see here. I’ll rule out singers and singer/songwriters – so that takes care of Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Otis Redding, they definitely don’t qualify.

A couple come to mind – whenever someone asks the great American rock band, you know, like the great American novel – it’s not necessarily my favorite, but this is America in rock form: The Ramones.

That’s distinctively America – a seminal band.

That’s going to be my representative from that era. And I guess I’ll say Skynyrd.

It’s killing me. I keep thinking of all of these bands. I guess I want to say The Replacements. The thing that’s weird to me about the question is that in the 70’s or the mid-70’s, the great bands totally lost all of their artistic validity. After that point, every band I’d mention was pretty much independent.

I keep thinking The Stooges. And I think I’m going to throw this in there just because, to me, they kind of blew the doors off and a lot of other bands. They influenced bands and forced them to rethink the way they thought about themselves: Fugazi.

(Birmingham, AL online music site) – Brief show preview with video in Daily Dose.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Lee Bains III leads his Birmingham, Alabama–based band in a raucous exploration of the intersection between garage rock, soul, country and punk on this full-length debut.”   — Guitar World

(Chattanooga, TN weekly) – Feature story with interview to preview local show.

Band mixes Southern rock with Muscle Shoals soul
by Casey Phillips
When Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Southern rockers The Dexateens began a steady decline from touring a couple of years ago, the band’s newest member, Lee Bains, was in a desperate flurry.

A longtime fan of the Dexateens, he joined the band in 2008. Playing with them was the fulfillment of a longtime dream, and watching them fraying at the edges was disheartening.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do because I had a lot invested in The Dexateens,” he said. “I was taking random jobs, and it was distressing to me that I would be left without a band to play with.”

Instead of letting his worries consume him, however, Bains turned to writing material and seeking out musicians in Birmingham, Ala., to play them with. In 2010, he formed the core of a group that eventually would become The Glory Fires.

Now a touring quartet, The Glory Fires have become well-known for their combination of a punk attitude, a swampy Southern rock reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival and a Muscle Shoals soul that hearkens back to artists such as The Rev. Al Green and Otis Redding.

Saturday, the band will take the stage at JJ’s Bohemia as part of an ongoing fall tour that has gone up and down the East Coast and will conclude with a loop through Texas.

In addition to the artists of his native Alabama, Bains said he was greatly influenced in 2001 by The Drive-By Truckers after seeing them perform their “Southern Rock Opera” concept album.

Although he was impressed by the believable characters in the Truckers’ songs, Bains said he is even more drawn to writers who draw from their own experiences. An honest, introspective approach is something he said he strives for in his own writing.

“That’s really, really important to me,” he said. “I like something a little more substantial that I can really latch on to and think, ‘This is a real person singing about a real experience.’ ”

With the recent release of the band’s debut album, “There Is a Bomb in Gilead,” Bains said he hopes their energy onstage is only part of what audiences walk away from shows remembering.

“We’re pretty loud and rowdy, and I hope people have a good time,” he said. “[But] I hope that people do reflect on the songs. Whatever they pull out of it is out of my hands at that point.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press entertainment reporter Casey Phillips spoke to Lee Bains III, the frontman of southern rock/soul band Lee Bains III & The Glory Fire, about the influence of Muscle Shoals, finding a sound all his own and his hopes for their debut album.

CP: When did you first start playing music? What drew you to it?

LB: To be honest, I don’t really remember when I started, exactly. I didn’t’ start playing guitar until I was 12 or 13, but I was singing since I was really little. My grandmother was a choir director, and my granddaddy sang solos in church. I started singing with them when I was in kindergarten. It was mostly church music I was around at that age. We listened to rock’n’roll in the house all the time, and I guess I started clamoring for guitar lessons when I was 12 or 13.

I just loved it all. Since I was really, really little, I just loved rock’n’roll. I loved Elvis and The Stones and The Allman Brothers and Skynyrd. I love Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding – stuff my dad would listen to. I was listening along to those songs and playing air guitar since I was in a car seat, probably. [Laughs.]

CP: Walk me through how The Glory Fires got together. When was it and what were the circumstances? Was it right after you left The Dexateens?

LB: The Dexateens were touring a lot, and some of the guys wanted to start slowing down and talked about not playing much anymore. Most of the guys in The Dexateens are seven or eight years older than me, and most of them have kids and are married now. They just needed to get home and stay at home and provide for their families and be with their families. I wanted to keep playing. I was definitely wanting to stay on the road all the time.

Once all that started getting talked about, I started talking to different guys in Birmingham about starting a band. While that was going on, another weird situation erupted where a guy I know in Birmingham knew a guy in L.A. who was trying to make an Americana record. He called this guy asking if he knew any songwriters. He put my name up, and I went out to L.A. to write demos for a major label.

That was while The Dexateens were waning. I was scared shitless. I didn’t know what I was going to do because I had a lot invested in The Dexateens. I was taking random jobs, and it was distressing to me that I would be left without a band to play with.

While that was going on, I started writing a ton of songs. I started playing with Blake, who I’ve known fro a long time, and Jeremy. I was doing that while the Dexateens were playing some and the L.A. thing was going on. I ended up turning down the L.A. thing because it weirder me out.

The Glory Fires just kept practicing and learning these songs and cut a record with Tim Kerr, who is a really rad music guy in Texas. Then, our guitar player, Trey, moved, so we got this third guitar player, Matt, who is still playing with us. The Glory Fires started practicing in summer or spring 2010.

CP: When you decided to get a group together, what were you hoping to accomplish, musically?

LB: That’s a good question. To be honest, I didn’t really have a very clear idea. I just had these songs. I had the songs written, and I just kind of figured we’d play them. [Laughs.] I didn’t have a strong idea of what our sound was or whatever. We have, I think, really developed that, almost in spite of ourselves. We’ve just sort of wound up developing a sound.

As far as The Dexateens goes, part of the reason I was so upset about not playing with them anymore is that there was a good bit of distance between me and The Dexateens, creatively, because I wasn’t writing any songs. I started to toward the end, but we were playing the songs the two main guys in the band had been writing for years. They were my favorite band when I started playing with them, and there’s a certain security playing with your favorite band that I lost when it was just me writing the songs and getting the band together.

It’s been awesome. I really love playing with these guys and I’m proud of the work we’ve done and are doing.

CP: Are you happier with the sound now?

LB: It’s just totally different. I guess The Dexateens, I definitely felt like a part of the band – I knew we were in it together – but creatively, I didn’t feel like as much a part of it. I was only on the one record with them, and the part I played was pretty minimal. When I think of playing with The Dexateens, it’s pretty much playing shows with them. When I look at their discography, I don’t see them as my band but as a band I love.

Whereas with this band, I feel very differently about it. I feel extremely invested in this one, in the songs and the music.

CP: Are you pleased now?

LB: I’m extremely pleased. It’s constantly changing. Our sound has changed even since we cut the record, which was less than a year ago. We’re all chomping at the bit to start on the new one. We’re all having a lot of fun playing, and we’re all really excited, musically, about what we’re doing. We’re trying to keep changing and not settle, just keep digging.

CP: Many of the press references to your band seem fixated on your proximity, geographically and stylistically, to Muscle Shoals and the Muscle Shoals sound. Is that comparison a pro or a con, in your book?

LB: Oh man, that’s a total pro. I think we all love the stuff that came out of The Muscle Shoals in the ’60s. A bunch of my favorite singles were cut there. I think a lot of the stuff that came out of that area just sounds like Alabama to me. [Laughs.] It sounds like where we’re from. That’s just so powerful, to me. I think we’re all definitely drawn to that era of Muscle Shoals.

There are also a ton of bands that we’re still great friends with from that area now. Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and Muscle Shoals over the last couple of years have had a great relationship. It’s still a really fertile area. It’s cool how that continues to work up there.

CP: There’s something about the guitar work on “There is a Bomb in Gilead” that makes me think you were influenced in some part by Creedence Clearwater Revival and, at times, Patterson Hood and Drive-By Truckers. Obviously, there’s a lot of soul in the mix, too. Who were you most influenced by growing up?

LB: Oh man, it’s really vast. The Drive-By Truckers, I really have enjoyed them over the years. In 2001 or 2002, when “Southern Rock Opera” came out, I was like 16 or something, and I went to see them in Birmingham, and it was one of those eye-opening moment. It was a lot because of the songs. They’re a great rowdy live band, but their songs are so specific and direct and honestly assessing where I lived and where I was coming from. The characters in the songs, I could really relate to them so closely. That was a really important moment for me.

As far as Creedence goes, I’m not into them, which is weird, because people do say that. They listened to a lot of the stuff I listened to. They were totally into Tony Joe White or Bo Diddley or Fats Domino or Otis Redding, so I can definitely see where people would say that. I feel like those branches are from the same tree.

As far as songwriters go, I love Paul Westerberg of The Replacements. I love The Ramones and Mark Eitzel, who had a band called American Music Club who was amazing. I love Waylon and Townes Van Zandt.

CP: What did you like that those artists did that you wanted to replicate in your own songs?

LB: I want to write honestly. That’s really, really important to me in writing songs. I don’t like to write from other people’s perspectives. I feel like I really got out of punk rock and going to see bands as a teenager whose songs were intensely personal and owning your own experience and being vulnerable, in some regard. I really look for that in songwriters.

I like people, in keeping with that, who are specific. They’re not fake songwriters; they’re not just putting general sentiments out there that can be shared by millions of people. I like something a little more substantial that I can really latch on to and think, “This is a real person singing about a real experience.” I guess I have friends I talk to about writing who I’ll play my songs for in their early stages, and they appreciate that about it, so that’s good for me.

CP: Speaking of the album, some bands see their debut project like a kind of calling card. What were your hopes going into the studio to work on it?

LB: We were in kind of a weird place because we basically recorded the album twice. The first time we recorded it, we’d only been together a month or two and had only played one show. Our aim was to get it to sound really live. We did that, and it sounded cool, but we didn’t sound like a band quite yet. I think I probably just rushed it and got us to record too early because we didn’t sound too cohesive.

When we went in to record the second time, we had the first one in mind. We knew wee had the loud, raw one, and we were definitely trying to make it sound real and organic and everything, but I think I was listening to a lot of Muscle Shoals stuff and stuff the Stones did at Muscle Shoals and Al Green stuff from the early 70s when we went in to re-record what came out. I think that was part of the mindset.

We knew going into it that a label was going to put it out and get distribution for it. The label paid for us to get back in and record, so we knew we’d at least have a bunch of boxes of them in our basement waiting for us to sell them at shows. [Laughs.]

CP: “There is a Bomb in Gilead” is a biblical reference, and the song is much more subdued and soulful than the rest of the album. What inspired such a stark departure on that track?

LB: It’s interesting because that’s the only song on the record that came from the first recording. That was the first time we recorded the record with Tim Kerr. That song is from those sessions, so it does sound different from the rest of the record.

I don’t know why we kept it. We looked at each song one by one that we’d done with Tim, and we asked, “How can we do it differently and in a way that is, at least, just as cool.” We could do that for every song, but that one. We can replicate that, but that’s as good as we can do, so what’s the point?

CP: When you’re putting material together, what messages or sensations do you want your material to embody? What do you want people to feel walking away from the song feeling?

LB: That’s a good question, and I think I just leave that to the songs and hope that people just listen and do experience them in a mindful way. As far as shows go, I hope that people have fun. We’re pretty loud and rowdy, and I hope people have a good time. I hope that people do reflect on the songs, and whatever they pull out of it is out of my hands at that point.

CP: What are you playing mostly these days? Your about four months out from the release of “There is a Bomb.” Have you started testing out any new material or are you pulling mostly from the album?

LB: Yeah, at this point, I think we’re playing four new songs and are still learning. We’ve been playing so much that we haven’t had much time to practice. I’m demoing songs at home, and we’ll listen to them in the van and try them out at sound checks. That makes it slower to introduce new ones, but we’re working up to the new record. We might be doing the next one up there in Chattanooga, if things work out, actually. We’re not sure yet; we’re trying to figure out scheduling and everything.
• What: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Nim Nims, The Tammy and Monocots.
• When: 10 p.m. Saturday.
• Where: JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. M.L. King Blvd.
• Admission: $7.
• Phone: 266-1400.
• Venue website:

(Knoxville weekly) – Brief positive show preview.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fired
When: September 21, 2012 | 10 p.m.
Where: Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – Knoxville, TN
Former Dexateen Lee Bains III leads a new band through the same kind of Southern rock-inspired Americana on the Glory Fires’ debut album, There’s a Bomb in Gilead.

(Chicago internet radio) – Unplugged studio session Tue. Sep. 18 at 3pm.

(Vermont A&E site)
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires are mix between the music of the Deep South and late punk. Live at Monkey House in Winooski, VT tonight!

(Toronto music blog) – Positive show preview with band photo

LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES (Birmingham.AL) w/ Canadian Shield, Troubadour – 9/13 @S.D.

Alabama is shaking again as a cradle of rock!

The next wave of southern U.S. rock, equal parts Allman Brothers/Stooges, WilsonPickett/Fugazi. Those who saw Bains perform at Canadian Music Week with The Dexateens — or The Glory Fires open for Alabama Shakes here — know that these boys are in full command if their art and the legendary music culture into which they were born…
$9 Advance @ Rotate This, Soundscapes, The Horseshoe
SET TIMES: Troubadour (9:30), CS (10:30), LB & Gfs (11:30)

(Vermont Weekly) – “Lookin’ Good” critics pick preview with band photo.

AM & MSR Presents: Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Wednesday, September 12, 9PM at Monkey House in Winooski. $10. 18+.
Song of the South

Equally informed by the likes of authors William Faulker and Flannery O’Connor and deep-fried iterations of blues, country, rock and soul, Alabama’s Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires trade in something like the rock-and-roll equivalent of the Southern Reconstruction. Following a stint touring with fellow regional sensations the Alabama Shakes, the band is currently on the road with a critically acclaimed new album. There Is a Bomb in Gilead brazenly deconstructs, and then rebuilds, the hazy, gritty sounds and themes of classic Southern music. Wednesday, September 12, Glory Fires play the Monkey House in Winooski.

(UK online music blog) – “Ain’t No Stranger” featured as the Video Of The Day on Sep 1.

(Toronto weekly) – Positive Toronto show preview

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires play The Silver Dollar Room with Canadian Shield and Troubador as openers. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires blend garage, country-soul, punk and rock influences into their Muscle Shoals-influenced sound for the . The four-piece band recently released their debut album, There Is A Bomb In Gilead (inspired by a mishearing of an old hymn lyric with the word “balm” in it).

Last time they visited Toronto, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires were opening for soul-rock sensation Alabama Shakes.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
Silver Dollar Room
_Thu. Sep 13, 2012
486 Spadina Avenue
(416) 763-9139

Thu. Sep. 6 5:00pm  at 1663 Savannah Highway Unit #5, Charleston, SC

Mon. Sep. 10 5:00pm 225 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ

Thu. Aug. 16  5:00pm Oxford, MS
(Tuscaloosa online A&E site) – Feature/show preview.

Lee Bains & Glory Fires ready to get rowdy in Tuscaloosa tonight
By Ben Flanagan
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Wild man Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires will steamroll into Tuscaloosa tonight for a show at Green Bar along with Banditos and Bloomington, Ind., songwriter Austin Lucas.

Bains and his Birmingham-based band are coming off an exhausting summer following the release of their debut album “There is a Bomb in Gilead.” But the good thing about these guys is they just don’t seem to get tired.

They’ll sweat gallons into their T-shirts after a cyclone of a set and feel inclined to play even longer after switching to another venue for the rest of the night.

The Glory Fires have played mostly throughout the South and Midwest this summer and have made plenty of friends along the way, including Lucas.

“People seem to be listening to the album, which is great,” Bains says. “That’s about as much as you can hope for when you put out a record, that folks will listen to it. We’re starting to get more people coming to shows because they have heard the record, so that’s great.”
Bains gives off a bit of a vibe that he has a big time just about wherever he is, but he says there’s something about performing in Tuscaloosa he and his band particularly love.

“We love playing in Tuscaloosa because it’s fun,” he says. “Even before I had so many good friends there, when I didn’t hardly know anybody in town, I had fun playing there because kids in Tuscaloosa come to shows to get rowdy and have fun.

“There’s not the standoffish critical crowd that you get a lot of places. As far as Green Bar goes, David Allen does a great job of booking and promoting shows, and really works hard at curating bills. I use that particular word because he clearly puts a lot of thought into making each show sonically cohesive. At one of his shows, almost without fail, if you like one band, you’ll dig the other one too.”

Check out The Glory Fires’ tour dates here. Learn more about the band and their album “There is a Bomb in Gilead” at their website.

(Mobile, AL music site) – Brief show preview with videos,  and Centreville audio stream

Lee Bains + El Cantador + Austin Lucas at AMB tonight 8/23
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires (Birmingham)
with El Cantador & Austin Lucas
Alabama Music Box Thursday August 23 9pm
Just off tour with Alabama Shakes earlier this year, former Dexateen and Arkadelphia member Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires bring the Southern Rock along with Mobile’s El Cantador & Austin Lucas.

(Tupelo, MS weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo [PRINT ONLY]

(Oxford, MS bi-weekly paper) – Positive show preview with Daytrotter illustration and related links. [PRINT ONLY]

(Baton Rouge daily) – Positive show preview with band photo. [PRINT ONLY]

(Baton Rouge, LA college station) – Phoner with Lee and spins from Gilead to preview local show (to air at 5pm central Wed. Aug. 23)

(Northeast MS daily) – “Best Bets” show preview

Best Bets August 16, 2012
Lee Bains III and band play three regional shows

There are three chances to see Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires live in the area this weekend.

The rock band, based in Birmingham, Ala., will start its tour tonight at Proud Larry’s in Oxford. The show’s at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8.

On Friday, the group travels to Memphis for a gig at the Hi-Tone at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7.

The Glory Fires will perform at the Blue Canoe in Tupelo at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $5.

For more info on each show, check out, and
(Alabama online A&E site) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with positive story, band photo, tour dates and related links.

Lee Bains & Glory Fires release music video, tour dates (video)
By Ben Flanagan
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires ascent to music scenes beyond Alabama’s continues, but the Birmingham-based rockers returned to the Yellowhammer state to shoot their first music video.

They enlisted the help of former Tuscaloosa entertainment writer and videographer Cory Pennington, who recently moved to Atlanta, to shoot and edit a video for “Ain’t No Stranger” in a pretty fast turnaround. Like a couple of days fast.

Pennington moved to Atlanta a few months ago, not long after Bains moved there. The two Alabamians put their heads together for possible future collaborations like this one.

“I guess Alabama hoodlums in the big city just kind of naturally flock together,” Pennington said. “We’ve been hanging out, scouting swimming holes in the country and such, and he asked me a few weeks back if I’d be interested in shooting a music video for them.”

Pennington said a week later, they loaded up in a van, drove to Tuscaloosa and knocked it out in a weekend. Green Bar owner Bill Lloyd kindly allowed them to shoot part of it in the venue one Sunday, and their pal Roger Etheridge found a secluded place for them to build a small bonfire and shoot off some fireworks in the video.

“It was a very quick turnaround, we started shooting Saturday evening and their management needed it finished by Tuesday,” Pennington said. “So we shot the fire scene Saturday, the Green Bar stuff Sunday and we drove back to Atlanta and I edited it Monday and Tuesday.”

The video features lots of slow motion, rocking out, fireworks and — one of rock music’s best pals — fire. Don’t go setting your own neckties on fire after watching this.

The Glory Fires recently announced its upcoming late summer tour dates, which kick off on Thursday in Oxford, Miss. They’ll hit Green Bar in Tuscaloosa on Aug. 24 with Banditos and Austin Lucas. The tour supports the recent release of the band’s album “There is a Bomb in Gilead.” Learn more at the band’s website. Tour dates are listed below the video.

(online music sessions site) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with positive posting.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Ain’t No Stranger {video}
The HearYa crew has been enjoying some much deserved R&R including Lolla, family vacations, etc. We’re getting ready to fire up for the tail end of 2012, including a live session with Plants & Animals this week. (spoiler alert – it kicks ass!!!)
What better way to get back on track than with a video of one of 2012′s best debuts – There Is A Bomb In Gilead by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. In this video, they put on some nice clothes and rock the shit out of this tune. Check out the video and then go buy their album.

(Boston-based online musicblog) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with positive posting and tour date.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Ain’t No Stranger + Tour Dates
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires present a perfect blend of Southern roots, rock & roll, and punk, making for excellent summer music, particularly for those of the male persuasion. The music video for “Ain’t No Stranger” was just released and touches on several internal conflicts a male rock & roll fan may experience. Opening with Lee and the band getting dressed up in shirt & tie for a show, the video alternates between the spruced-up group and an alternate, bonfire-starting, firework-lighting, rugged crew in which everyone looks a bit more comfortable. Throughout the video Lee lights his tie on fire several times, something every guy who has been subjected to strangling themselves with cloth dreams of doing. Finally, the video culminates with Lee and friends ripping off their shirt and tie costumes, rocking out, and starting up their bonfire via the lit fireworks method (not tested for home use). Assuming their concerts pay more homage to the blue jean, t-shirt, and firework side of the band’s personality, I would highly recommend you vidi their tour dates below and support them when they come to town. More dates are coming soon, and I’m crossing my fingers that Boston makes the cut, stay tuned.

(online music site) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with positive posting and related links.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires’ New Video
While you’re waiting for Country Day Part 3, here’s a brand new video of a kick-ass song, from my #1 album of the year so far.

(Chicago music blog) – Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with brief positive write –up.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – “Ain’t No Stranger” – New Video
New visuals for these infectious, swagger-filled southern rockers.

(online music blog) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with news posting, Lee photo, tour dates and related links..

(online music blog) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with news posting, Lee photo, tour dates and related links..

(online music sire) – “Ain’t No Stranger” video posted with news posting, Lee photo, tour dates and related links..

(national monthly music magazine) – Feature Cover story!

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires: August 2012 Cover Story

Forging a Connection Between Punk and Southern Rock
Although the South isn’t likely to rise again in any discernible militaristic fashion, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires might just be the band to help Southern rock find its bearings in a respectable manner. Bains, who cut his teeth in the Dexateens, is now trying to take the anti-establishment attitude he sees in both Southern music and punk rock and channel it through his new project. There aren’t going to be any costume changes, and there’s a good chance the audience will have to suffer through at least one fool shouting “Free Bird,” but if that doesn’t put you off, you’re in for a real Southern treat.

You cite punk and Southern rock as influences, both styles that have had their own (and very different) political and personal messages. Do you have a message? Where does it fit in here?

I guess I don’t think that the social messages of late-’70s punk rock and mid-’70s Southern rock were all that different from one another, when viewed in their own contexts. They both aimed at being somewhat humble forms of rock and roll, I think, relatively simple and straightforward. I mean, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Oak Arkansas were pretty bare bones, unpretentious rock and roll outfits compared to Yes or T. Rex or Pink Floyd or whatever other rock bands might have been internationally famous at the time. They didn’t have laser lights or drum solos or costume changes.

There was a certain anti-materialistic slant to a lot of the Southern rock bands’ songs, I think, just as there was in punk rock. And I think both forms of music appealed to outsiders, in some way.

For people of my dad’s generation, the Allman Brothers meant something very different than they mean to a lot of people now. For a lot of white Southerners who were born and came of age during segregation, the Allman Brothers represented a new South, where black and white kids could be friends, and be against the Vietnam War, and shake off the burden of bigotry and closed-mindedness. In 1969, you would get your ass kicked for wearing long hair in Mississippi, and it was for the same reason that, in 1977, you would get your ass kicked for dying it green in New York City. Each form was challenging the status quo in its own distinct, particular place and time.

Lyrically, there are some pretty common themes here. How do you make sure that what you write is unique and original?

Well, I guess folks have been writing about the same things forever. Homer and Shakespeare were talking about God and love and mortality and family and place, and Hank Williams and Louis Armstrong were, too. I guess I just try and stay faithful to my own experience and my own place – my own personal way of engaging those really universal ideas and concepts.

How did your time in the Dexateens influence you or help you evolve, musically?

Playing with the Dexateens definitely helped me in the sense that it gave me an opportunity to get intimately acquainted with the work of two great, distinctive songwriters in Elliott McPherson and John Smith. Both of those guys wrote killer songs from very different perspectives, and, getting the chance to play them every night, I felt like an apprentice in a way. I mean, I’d been writing my own songs for years at the point of joining the Dexateens, but I wasn’t nearly as developed as either Elliott or John. My favorite thing about those two guys’ songs is that they sound like they could be written by nobody but them. Outside of that, I definitely learned the logistics of being in a band: how to book shows,

how to get merch together, how to operate on the road, how to work a record contract. It was really invaluable in that regard, too.

You chose to record this album with someone who has done more work with punk bands than classic Southern rock; what led you to that decision? Why did it seem like the right choice?

Well, Lynn [Bridges, engineer] has made some great, idiosyncratic records that pretty well defy genre [classifications]. He’s worked on everything from the ramped-up Dixie-punk of the Quadrajets to some really amazingly eerie and minimal Devendra Banhart records. But, to me, there’s a sense of honesty and intimacy to all of his records. They all sound like real people making real music. Lynn is one of the few engineers I know who can reference Don Williams and Lush and The Oblivians in the same breath, and we all really appreciated that.

The same could be asked about instruments. Do you find yourself picking up certain instruments because of their sound/style/history and sticking with them?

You know, I just think rock and roll is played best with loud guitars, bass and drums. Maybe keys at times. It keeps things in your face. I play the guitar and bass, and mess around with banjo, mandolin and the piano. I just started playing the banjo within the last year or so, and I really just aspire to playing the part in Jerry Reed’s ‘Eastbound and Down.’

What sort of guitar are you using? Do you have a favorite?

I play a Gibson SG. I’ve had it since I was 16, and it’s been my guitar ever since. It’s pretty much covered with all the gunk – sweat, beer, blood and dirt – that you get from playing night after night. It kind of feels like another appendage at this point. I recently fixed up a backup guitar (an Epiphone SG model), in case I break a string on stage.

What did the recording process look like for you?

We went in to cut the record after having played these songs on the road for at least a year, so we knew them pretty well at that point. The challenge we made to ourselves, though, was to re-imagine the songs – to, rather than play them out of muscle memory – rethink the songs and have fun with them. Because he’s so enthusiastic and energetic, Lynn really helped with that. We worked really hard on the record – 16 to 20-hour days – getting the right vibe or the right arrangement or the right sounds.

You talked about how long you spent in the studio, how did this positively affect or impact the record?

Man, I think it was good to have a defined and relatively short period of time to cut the record.

On recording: These days, a lot of bands use their home studios, or friends’ local studios, and wind up spending hundreds of hours making a record. While I think that can result in amazing work, I think it can also result in a recording that’s overwrought and scrubbed clean of what made it special or real. I’m a fairly obsessive and perfectionist person, so keeping a recording session brief is necessary to making a true document, glitches and all.

Best place you’ve ever played a show?

Man, that’s a good question. My favorite shows would probably either be at The Nick in Birmingham, or Egan’s in Tuscaloosa. On a good rowdy night, it’s hard to beat either of those places. As far as places to play, I like the Bottletree in Birmingham a ton. They’ve done a lot of good for the city, and treat bands better than we deserve to be. I also love the Whitewater Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s probably a good thing I live several hours away, because otherwise I’d be in there every night.

What does your touring schedule look like?

We’ll be playing a lot in the South over the next few months, taking a trip to the Midwest in [the summer], and the East Coast in August/September.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

There is a Bomb in Gilead

Out Now!

Standout Track: “Everything You Took”
photos by Brett Falcon and David A. Smith

(online music blog) – Positive album review.

Recording review – Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, There is a Bomb in Gilead (2012)
A soul screaming message from the depths of the dirty South
Don’t worry about the pun in the title, this is anything but a comedy album. This is a country rocking, blues wailing, soul screaming message from the depths of the dirty South. Lee Bains III (ex-Dexateens) charismatically gnashes, moans, and croons his way through a rich, earthy mix of songs. While the tracks on There’s a Bomb in Gilead shift genres, Bains’ voice and his vise-grip tight band maintain a consistent all-or-nothing attitude to drive every song.

In Centreville, Bains proclaims:

If you hear any bleakness from me and the boys
We’re over educated and we’re under-employed

But they’re anything but bleak. This double time Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern rocker drives forward with unstoppable energy. A couple of songs later, on Choctaw Summer, the Glory Fires offer more of a laid back, Allman Brothers groove. The interlocking leads don’t get quite as intricate as the Allmans, but the mesh is perfectly soulful.

The heavy hitting songs like the anthemic Magic City Stomp! propel the album, but it’s the softer moments that truly show off the band’s range. The sad and sweet country folk of Roebuck Parkway, the swaying gospel of the title track, and the soulful blues of Everything You Took are every bit emotionally moving as the foot stomping rockers on the album. Bains’ desperation and loss bleed through over the touches of Soul Man pedal tones on Everything You Took:

You can keep my Walker Percy
You can keep that t-shirt my brother got the time he saw the Ramones
But just a little small piece of your sweet mercy
That’s the dearest thing I’ve ever known

The juxtaposition of literary and pop culture references shows off the band’s complexity.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are almost certainly more intense band in the club, but There is a Bomb in Gilead is an amazing album that stands on its own.

For another sample, check out Righteous, Ragged Songs on Soundcloud.

(online music site) – Positive 8/10 album review.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
There Is A Bomb In Gilead
From the heart of Dixie, mixing southern rock, garage, country, soul and gospel in some righteous ragged songs.
There are certain record labels you can trust, such as Alive Natural Sounds. They’ve been releasing consistently good music for the best part of twenty years, usually by bands that make gritty yet accessible rock that has one foot in the past, yet also manages to point a way forward. They also have a good take on how to release them. As well as CD and digital formats they also do limited bespoke runs of coloured vinyl for most of their releases.

The latest band to get their break courtesy of Alive Natural Sound is Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires with their debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead. (The title comes from Bains mishearing a hymn as a child, mistaking the word balm for bomb). Though there’s nothing particularly new or ground breaking about this album, the mix of southern rock, garage, country, soul and gospel makes for an infectious brew. Sung and played with infectious fervour. It’s not a million miles away from the music made by their old touring buddies Alabama Shakes.

The band’s music is firmly rooted in the deep south, Bains having formed the band in Birmingham, Alabama, returning there after a spell at college in New York. After a few listens to the album, Bains’ knack for storytelling and scene setting begins to shine through. Unlike a lot of more famous song writers he has something to say and he says it well, with a skilful turn of phrase. You get the impression he’s one of life’s good guys, like a more punky Bruce Springsteen. Take a listen to Righteous Ragged Songs and you’ll see what I mean. “Say a prayer for punk rock and a prayer for me” sings Bains. With pleasure sir, ’tis done.
Click here for Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ website.
Duncan Fletcher

(online music blog and podcast show) – #2 best album so far in 2012 (as f July)

AUTOPSY’S TOP 5 OF THE FIRST 1/2 OF 2012 (today):
2 (tie). Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead
If we were giving out awards for  best album to make woopie with your woman to in the first half of 2012 3 Lee Bains and Co. would have walked away with the award before anyone else even showed up for the ceremony. There Is A Bomb In Gilead is everything The Drive-By Truckers have been trying to become since Jason left/was kicked out of the band.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires   Righteous, Ragged Songs

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