photo: Alley Rutzel
Terry Lee Hale
Terry Lee Hale is the quintessential singer-songwriter. From his virtuosic acoustic guitar playing to his evocative lyrics, and from his lively rhythms to his live performance story-telling, TLH is the complete package,a true folk artist.
Here are some words that Chris Eckman wrote to describe Terry Lee, a couple of decades ago:
"I met TLH in a Seattle bar called the Five-O Tavern. Terry Lee worked the bar and booked "indie" bands there on the weekends... we begged him to book The Walkabouts, and he did. He asked us to come see him play, and one night after rehearsal we took him up on his offer. The Five-O wasn't full the night we walked in, but the usual laggards didn't sit with their faces in their beers, either... they were fixed and listening. And how could you not be? Hale slipped and slid and chewed and crooned and pounded his way through a seemingly bottomless well of songs. Every corner of America he had ever worked in and drifted through showed up somewhere: the dry plains of Texas, the migrant worker country in Eastern Washington, the woods of Michigan, the railroad yards of Denver and the bleak cities of the Eastern seaboard. Everything about him seemed unpredictable and unaffected. I had never met a real folk singer and here was a great one, with roughed out stories of bitterness, exhaustion, defiance and wide-eyed optimism. It was not your typical barroom fare."