Terry Lee Hale biography.
Terry Lee Hale biography:
Here, there and everywhere: singer-songwriter Terry Lee Hale has seen them all. An Army brat, he was born in Texas and inspired to pick up the guitar by hearing an old Billy Haley 78 and also seeing The Beatles on a Sunday evening Ed Sullivan Show. Terry Lee went to 10 different schools and was taught young how to travel easily and be alone. Graduating high school in Yakima, Washington and carrying an old Stella guitar, it was to San Francisco and then across the country to Maine, living and learning. Time and the interstates carried him around the country until 1984 brought him, now with a 7-year-old daughter, 2 suitcases and his Froggy Bottom guitar, back to Seattle and the great Pacific Northwest.
“Being a single parent was huge in shaping directions in my life,” Hale explains. “It certainly delayed my rock & roll dreams and plenty of other things as well. No complaints though. You roll up your sleeves and do what you have to do.”
Instead he began opening for local rock bands, acts like Soundgarden, Skin Yard, Screaming Trees and the Walkabouts and booking bands at venues around the city. For several years Terry Lee was a solo fixture on the Seattle scene, playing the clubs and bars around town with his strange open guitar tunings and his dark, dangerous songs. Seattle was changing. From being a backwater, it was suddenly America’s most livable city, and the underground music scene that had raged around town was beginning to break out nationally. Seattle had been his home far longer than anywhere else, but musically he still didn’t fit in. In a place supposedly free and easy, but where the musical lines were sharply etched, he remained the consummate outsider.
He never managed to connect with an American label except for one song on the seminal Sub Pop 200 compilation – the only singer-songwriter there.
But late one night in 1992 there was a phone call from Germany asking if he’d be interested in having his self-released cassette "Oh What A World" be released Normal Records as a CD/LP in Europe. His days as a booking agent/bartender in Seattle were just about over, his daughter Liza Lee was now living with her mom in Denver and the times were indeed changing.
In 1993 he toured the continent the first time opening shows for the Walkabouts. He made friends easily in Brittany and within a few years was spending more time there than in the U.S. It was literally life changing. Years of creativity followed. A series of records were released Europe wide (Glitterhouse, Blue Rose, Borderdreams, and in 2011 one self-release) and along with constant touring, both as a solo act and with various bands, TLH was finally able to support himself as a full time musician.
“Coming to Europe I’ve been able to shift from clubs to concerts and a more substantial level of support and respect. That’s been a huge change in status for me.”
In 2013, Terry Lee Hale was back after a three-year break from recording with The Long Draw, on Glitterhouse Records. Recorded in a studio in Brittany with a pair of French Basque musicians who had toured with Terry Lee before and produced by Bob Coke (Black Crowes, Ben Harper) The Long Draw "is a masterful album of American songwriting".
In 2015 TLH traveled to Forli, Italy to record a new disc in a 200 year-old farmhouse converted into studio. Working with Antonio Gramentieri as producer, Hale’s new recording is his best effort to date. The songs of Bound, Chained, Fettered are life lessons. "Truthful stories sung with a voice that reflects and carries the emotional weight of earned wisdom.”
The release by Glitterhouse Records was late in 2016.
Currently Terry Lee has moved again, this time to the southern port city of Marseille, France. And working again with long-time friend Chris Eckman in the producer chair, TLH will soon be ready to record and release a new collection of self-penned songs.
Here, there and everywhere. The epitome of Terry Lee Hale.