We All Need Heroes

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Tim Lake is a folksinger with a song to sing, a man on a mission on We All Need Heroes. He kicks off with the buoyant, jaunty "Are You Ready?," a song that adds a bit of a spin to the Second Coming. He turns his refrain, "Are you ready?," into an honest to God question, suggesting that many true believers might not be as ready as they think they are. Lake is an eclectic folksinger, never getting too bogged down in questions of authenticity. On the opening cut, he borrows from rollicking gospel, while the follow-up, "It's You," sounds like a lazy bit of blues or jazz from the 1920s, complete with clarinet. His material is likewise eclectic. He can be a broad social ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Tim Lake is a folksinger with a song to sing, a man on a mission on We All Need Heroes. He kicks off with the buoyant, jaunty "Are You Ready?," a song that adds a bit of a spin to the Second Coming. He turns his refrain, "Are you ready?," into an honest to God question, suggesting that many true believers might not be as ready as they think they are. Lake is an eclectic folksinger, never getting too bogged down in questions of authenticity. On the opening cut, he borrows from rollicking gospel, while the follow-up, "It's You," sounds like a lazy bit of blues or jazz from the 1920s, complete with clarinet. His material is likewise eclectic. He can be a broad social critic and satirist, as on the first cut, a straight singer/songwriter on "It's You," and a storyteller on the title cut. Lake also has a knack for adding politics to the mix without being overly obvious. On the title cut, for instance, he notes that while everyone needs heroes, there's a price to pay: heroes, with families and friends like everyone else, don't always come home. In other instances like "Praise the Lord and Shoot to Kill," he covers his liberalism with a generous dose of humor, making the pill -- for those who disagree -- easier to swallow. We All Need Heroes is a well-wrought collection by a thoughtful performer, and will be warmly welcomed by good liberals and folk fans tired of the same old same old.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/11/2005
  • Label: Padraig Records
  • UPC: 761463544523
  • Catalog Number: 35445

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tim Lake Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals, Background Vocals, Slide Whistle
Bobby Hackett Tuba
John Heinrich Steel Guitar
Ken Holbrook Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Electric Guitar
Tripp Bratton Percussion, Conga, Cymbals, Triangle, Snare Drums, Djembe, Shaker, Wood Block
Charles Thompson Background Vocals
Daniel Thompson Background Vocals
J. Flippin Organ, Piano
Nathan Wilson Bass, Background Vocals
Elizabeth Francis Vocals
Luke Francis Vocals
Technical Credits
Tim Lake Composer, Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes, Digital Editing
John Roper Mastering
J. Flippin String Arrangements
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ...and 1/2...Sultry, bluesy & soulful vocalizing

    Playing Time – 68:48 -- It’s been about 20 years since Tim Lake first caught our attention with his “Same Old Roadside Inn” release on the Rounder label. He established his own Padraig record label in 1993. “We All Need Heroes,” the latest album from Tim Lake, is the eleventh from the singer and songwriter who is originally from New York City but now living in Lexington, Ky. His musical approach fuses bluegrass, gospel, country, rock, pop, and light jazz behind his singing voice on all-original material. With sultry, bluesy and soulful vocalizing, Lake is also somewhat of a political spokesman with songs like “If Only I was a Praying Man,” “Praise the Lord and Shoot to Kill,” “Two GIs in a Foreign Prison” and the title cut. He also presents some tender love sentiments, gospel, and other messages that are creative and unique (“Ain’t Nobody Normal Anymore”). A typical arrangement has Lake’s banjo and vocals layered with piano, pedal steel, percussion and other instruments. Calling his music “jazz with bluegrass and blues,” Lake earned a doctorate in music in 1991 from the University of Kentucky. His dissertation (and one of his albums) is titled “An American Concerto for the 5-string Banjo and Orchestra.” That piece was documented from a 1993 performance with the Atlanta-Emory Symphony Orchestra. It also won the Kentucky Al Smith Fellowship for Music Composition in 1995. On “We All Need Heroes,” Lake addresses the spiritual issues that we all confront daily during turbulent times. Four of his songs were inspired by the 9/11 tragedy. He also successfully explores the role of the banjo in American popular music, with the 4-string plectrum banjo played in “It’s You,” while the 5-string is more frequently used. Lake also plays guitar and ukelele, while the rest of his Little Big Band plays woodwinds, sax, percussion, trumpet, keys, tuba, steel guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and guitars. Besides Lake’s own background vocals, others are provided by Danielle Thompson and Nathan Wilson. Some of Lake’s 17 originals work better than others, and “They Will Always Love You” is a personal favorite due to its contemporary bluegrass feeling. Some of his other songs grow on you with continued listens. With nearly 70 minutes of music on this album, you’re bound to find some melodies and lyrics to personally relate to. His family has also been both supportive and inspirational. “When I Think of You” was written for his wife, Miyuki, on Valentine’s Day 1997. “That’s Why I’m Smiling” is a jazzy ballad written for his son, Sheehan. Dave Anderson’s saxophone and John Heinrich’s steel guitar give the song an enchanting atmospheric effect. “Sail for the Lord,” with its funky riff, presents optimism for tomorrow if one has faith in the Lord. Lake’s music is a type of Americana in that it has attributes that are drawn from many American styles. If his own song, “Outside Looking In,” has any autobiographical truth to it, then we are pleased to know that Tim Lake is doing just fine despite detractors, taxes, and others who may not understand his own unique approach to musical expression. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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