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2023 Albums Thing #015 - Lee Bains & The Glory Fires “Old-Time Folks”

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As you may no doubt have noted they have dropped the “III” designation in Lee Bains name, no idea why, they just have. 

I read an interview with Lee Bains last year where he told how he was being interviewed by some students in Sweden when he was asked, as you obviously have so much to say why do you make it so difficult to hear it ? Something I’ve mentioned about their previous 3 albums and a question that made him think. Over the next months while racking up the miles in their van between gigs the band talked about their next album and the need for a cleaner sound and to make sure their message was better heard.

The result of all that soul searching was them hiring producer David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Sugar, REM), deconstructing their new songs and putting them back together as this, “Old-Time Folks”, one of my top 5 albums of 2022.

At last you can hear what Lee Bains is singing, the album as a whole is more like their first, more Americana and a little less Punk fire but it suffers not at all from that. This album is all about the songs and the message and letting the former breathe in order to get the latter across.

New ideas here include pianos, an orchestra, female backing vocals, OK nothing “new” but new to the Glory Fires. David Barbe has cooked a sound that makes the song the centre but retains that live feel about it.

Highlights include the bookending “Old-Time Folks” (Invocation) and (Benediction), “The Battle Of Atlanta”, “(In Remembrance Of) The 40 Hour Week”, “Gentlemen”, “Rednecks”…oh c’mon it’s all good. If you have any appreciation of the style now known as Americana just go and buy this album, I promise you you’ll love it. We’re going to see Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (the III has reappeared on the tour poster, no idea why, it just has) in Sheffield in April, my friend Paul Cookson who first introduced me to them will be there too and I cannnot wait.

(In Remembrance Of) The 40 Hour Week - https://youtu.be/7C0TjzLBtn8

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