Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CD Review: Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang And The Tim Lee 3 Deliver New Music

With a name like Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang, you'd think this was a great new independent country band from Nashville, TN. While you would not be that far off with the band's sound, this trio actually hails from Finland. Lead by the amazing lap/pedal steel guitar of Ville Leppanen, Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang recently released their latest album entitled "Hale's Pleasure Railway." It was recorded live in the studio with Ville handling the guitars, JP Monkkonen on bass and Tero Mikkonen on drums. The new eleven-song release begins with the rockabilly instrumental "Open Field" as Ville works the fretboard of his lap/pedal steel guitar. The band gets funky down on the "Bayou," before turning their attention towards the Hawaiian feel of "Secret Sunset." The wonderful jazzy guitar work of "Butterscotch" and the slow blues of "Red" bookend "Steel 'n' Twang," one of the only songs on the album with lyrics. The album closes with the up-lifting sound of "Feather Wheather" and the slow-moving scales of "Still." To find out more about this great new trio, Southpaw Steel 'N' Twang, and their new release "Hale's Pleasure Railway," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com.
 
A band that does come from Knoxville, TN is the Tim Lee 3 with their latest album entitled "33 1/3," which is actually the rpm of a vinyl record. Coincidentially, singer/guitarist Tim Lee and his wife, and fellow bandmate Susan Bauer Lee will celebrate their 33 1/3 wedding anniversary on the release date of the album, March 6th. The new eleven-song release begins with the steady rocker "Baby Caught Fire," which allows Lee to showcase some of his guitar skills on the closing solo. They harmonize  wonderfully on "Photo Booth" as Susan's vocals become the main focus. The guitar-pop of "Magnolia Plates" sounds as if The Pretenders and R.E.M. were mixed together in a cocktail and this song is your reward. The Tim Lee 3 pick-up the tempo on the country rocker "Shut Up And Kiss Me" and the western steel-guitar driven "Daddy's Girl." The album finishes with the southern stomp of "(Let's Do) Something Stupid" and the energetic rock of "Night Takes Legs" as drummer Chris Bratta motors the songs upbeat rhythm. To find out more about Tim Lee 3 and their latest release "33 1/3," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TimLeeThree.

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