Lee Bains plays 3 tracks from The Glory Fires' Dereconstructed and talks about the post-colonial theory behind the album title and dirt track racing.
Also on this episode, lo-fi blues from the Ben Miller Band, a honky tonk tear jerker from Jim Lauderdale, retro roots rock from Shovels & Rope, country rock from The Loudermilks, gospel blues from Paul Thorn, a 70's era ballad from Jim Croce, and a blues number from David Olney.
The Glory Fires
- You Don't Know / Ben Miller Band / Any Way, Shape, or Form / 3:33
- The King of Broken Hearts / Jim Lauderdale / I'm a Song / 2:51
- Coping Mechanism / Shovels & Rope / Swimmin' Time / 3:53
- Come Along With Me / Loudermilk / The Loudermilks / 2:58
- Get Yourself A Healin' / Paul Thorn / Too Blessed To Be Stressed / 3:30
- Roller Derby Queen (Harper College 2/5/73) / Jim Croce / Lost Time in a Bottle / 2:56
- Mister Stay At Home / David Olney / When The Deal Goes Down / 2:41
Lee Bains III Interview Recap
Calvin asks Lee Bains about the difference between his previous record, There Is A Bomb In Gilead and the new record, Dereconstructed. He says that the production approach between the two albums was very different. There Is A Bomb In Gilead "was recorded with that High Records, Stax, Atlantic sound in mind." He goes on to says that the band line up on the first record had not played that many shows together so the recording sounded more like a session album feel to it. For the new band and record he says, "With this record, the band had been touring a lot for a couple of years. The guitar player and bass player from There Is A Bomb In Gilead both left the band. Eric and Adam, our current guitar and bass players joined the band. As a result of all of that we really began to establish a singular voice. The songs that I was writing really jived with that well. So we just wanted to go in and cut a record that served as a document of our show. Tim Kerr who is now I guess I could say and old friend and definitely a mentor and inspiration came in to produce the album. He is really great at inspiring and capturing raw impassioned performances and making sure that what ever winds up on tape stays true to the moment." Lee Bains goes on to talk about how people at the shows tell him how the album really captures the feel of their live show.
Lee Bains sets up "Company Man." He says, "I wrote this song a couple a years ago pretty soon after the last album came out. It was inspired by a conversation I'd had with my grandmama as well as a bunch of conversations I'd had with a friend of mine in Atlanta around the Occupy Atlanta demonstrations where we were spending time and we thought it would be a cogent opener for the album.
[Calvin plays "Company Man" from Dereconstructed by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.]
Lee Bains tells the story behind the title track. He says, "The title of the album references the period following the American Civil War, known as Reconstructions where the newly reunified federal government undertook this action to reintegrate the errant south. And in doing that, employed a lot of nationalistic narrative and racial narrative that persisted in the southern psyche. I;d written a paper in college in a critical theory class. I'd been reading a lot of post colonial theory and power dialectics. I wanted to perform a post colonial reading on a book called I'll Take My Stand written in the 20's or 30s by a group of writers associated with Vanderbilt University. There was this kind of idiosyncratic, very consciously southern collection of essays that dealt with southern identity and politics. It dealt with race and class to some degree. I was fascinated by that point in southern history and this strange collection of thinkers and writers and their unusual group of views and wanted to look at it through a global lens and one that paid close attention to class and racial power in the text. As I was writing the songs for this record, I was thinking a fair bit about that and about other southern writers and historians and was thinking too about some of those other theorists. I guess to some degree I was looking at these songs as an attempt to dismantle the prevailing narrative of southern history and try to subvert the monolithic identity that has come to be associated with the South, even more strongly, to my mind over the past 10 years or so."
[Calvin plays "Dereconstructed" from Dereconstructed by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.]
Lee Bains sets up "The Kudzu and the Concrete." He says, "This was a song that I wrote in part that I wrote in response to reactions won in a consciously southern rock & roll band gets when traveling around the country. It's common that we'll play somewhere far outside of the South and folks will assume that we're country or from a rural area, that we're defined by that to some degree. But everyone in the band is from the city of the suburbs. We're all from Birmingham, which is definitely a Southern place, but it's not rural. I've personally have encountered the popular singular Southern identity as being removed from my own personal reality and experience. And it's also about hanging out at my grandparents house on the east side of Birmingham growing up."
[Calvin plays "Kudzu and the Concrete" from Dereconstructed by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.]
Calvin asks Lee Bains what his grandparents thought of The Glory Fires' music. He says his grandmama was able to see him play and she remarked, "y'all sure were making a joyful noise." So she appreciated the sentiment that was behind the music. But here grandparents were born in the 1910's and saw Elvis as crazy music.
Lee Bains sets up "Dirt Track." He says, "That song was born out of a conversation I'd had with my girlfriend's mother's boyfriend, who's really into stock car racing. I don't really much of anything about stock car racing but I knew there's been a big race Talladega or something about a month prior. I'd asked if his driver had done well or whatever. He said that he'd grown up building cars and racing cars with friends in western South Carolina and he'd move to Alabama to be close to the Alabama gang, the Allison brothers and all them. He was saying once NASCAR had become this massive, overblown corporate sponsored event, the sport really lost what was special about it to him. He just valued the fact that there were normal guys working on cars with their friends and their communities racing with their hearts in it because they loved doing it. He says he doesn't keep up with NASCAR. He spends every weekend at the drag strip and the dirt track. I related to that sentiment just because I've played in a lot of bands and seen a lot of bands over the years and the shows I can point to that really changed my life were played by a group of people who rolled up in a stinky trashed out van and played in a room that had at most a couple of hundred people in it. And were playing very obviously because they were on fire to do it. And some of those bands most people will never hear of and some of the records they put out, most people will never hear of. But they impacted me far more deeply than some of the stadium shows I've seen or whatever. So that's what the song is about."
[Calvin plays "Dirt Track" from Dereconstructed by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.]
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