Uncle Lightnin'
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Uncle Lightnin'

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | INDIE

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Americana Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Uncle Lightnin' - Hell Yes"

9 10 12 New Uncle Lightnin' ... Hell yes
by Jim Sells on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 11:04pm •
I do not write about local music much. That happens for a variety of reasons, most tying into the ability of the local scene (or lack thereof) to eat its own. No matter how good the band or the album, it usually seems to be much less hassle to let a local release slide by. Better that than being cast on one side or the other of some music scene hassle I have no interest in.
However, there is usually an exception to any rule and I have encountered one to my own rule. Almost ten years after the release of their second album, “Urban Legend”, Uncle Lightnin’ have returned with “Searching for ted ‘the cowboy’ eisenhower”. Engineered by Mike Pack and Alex Norfleet, mixed by Mitch Easter, and mastered by Dave Barbe, the new release sounds wonderful. As usual (per Uncle Lightnin’ standards), some things have changed since the last release. The one change that stands out the most is the emergence of Andrew Heck as a singing/songwriting force within the band. His songs add another narrator to the songs that are the stories of Uncle Lightnin’s shared universe. They are welcome additions.
In interest of full disclosure, I have known this lot for a while now and, for a while, hauled their gear in and out of various gin joints throughout the area. I consider them all friends and they probably wish I was not so damned strange, but hey … Anyway, before you jump to the conclusion that I cannot possibly give you an honest take on “Searching for ted ‘the cowboy’ eisenhower”, answer me this: are you capable of telling your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, whoever that what they are wearing is not doing them any favors whatsoever? I mean, I hope so. Everyone needs to have that tool of honesty in his or her utility belt. If you do, please realize that is exactly how I see reviewing this album. If this album made your ass look big, I would tell you (and them), one friend to another.
Fortunately, no one needs to worry that we will have that conversation, for this is a wonderful album. Nine years is a Hell of a stretch between albums, almost Boston-esque, but Uncle Lightnin’ has made one worth the wait. From the toe-tapping “Always Thinking about You” to Doug Bales belting out “Drink It Away”, this set of songs is top-notch, up to the high standards the band set for themselves on “Sunday Breakfast” and “Urban Legend”. Uncle Lightnin’ sounds like a band that has evolved and expanded the breadth of their scope without ever losing the knowledge of who they are and what they are after. The psychedelic country freak-out of “Judas” shows that better than I can say it …
The Whigs’ newest album, “Enjoy the Company”, is very good but this is better. “Searching for ted ‘the cowboy’ eisenhower” is a wonderful album that marches to the beat of its own drummer, which makes it even better. Music in the United States could use honest bands, bands that wander around musically, never fitting into any musical trend nor ever wanting to. More bands that look to make music because well, Hell, that is what they do.
Get this as quick as you can. I will remind y’all as the time approaches, but definitely circle October 11 on your calendar. That is the date for the CD release party at Rhythm and Brews. Be there or be square.
Later taters.
- Jim Sells - Notes

"4 Stars!"

Jeffrey Sisk – The Daily News (McKeesport, PA) – October 16, 2012
‘Searching for Ted “The Cowboy” Eisenhower’: Uncle Lightnin’ (self-released) 4 STARS - With a sound that’s been cleverly described as everything from “trailer park rock” to “folkabilly pop,” Chattanooga, Tenn., collective Uncle Lightnin’ are one of those under-the-radar bands that don’t get the credit they so richly deserve. Perhaps “Searching for Ted ‘The Cowboy’ Eisen-hower” will do the trick. It’s a twangy gathering of 16 tunes that showcase Uncle Lightnin’ in the best possible way.The first three tracks — “Hollywood Blues,” “L.A. Skyline” and “Dust” — lure you right in and Uncle Lightnin’ continue to impress with “My Sweet Girl,” “Whis-key,” “Robert Johnson,” “Police Can’t Find Me Now” and “Judas.” It’s high time you got in on the secret.
- The Daily News - McKeesport, PA

"Searching for Ted 'the Cowboy' Eisenhower"

On Uncle Lightnin’s new release Searching For Ted “The Cowboy” Eisenhower, the self-proclaimed “specialists in American musics” come out with guns blazing. Not only was this new album mixed by legendary producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M.) but it was mastered by up and coming legend Dave Barbe (Drive By Truckers, Lucinda Williams). And, with 16 songs, Ted represents an exhaustive array of tunes and tales.
Once dubbed “Faulkner with electric guitars,” Uncle Lightnin’ once again doesn’t disappoint with alt-country stylings that incorporate everything from Hammond organs and harmonicas to vibraphones and vibrant imaginations. In fact, musically Ted represents a fatter, more robust Lightnin’ than previous releases Sunday Breakfast (1998) and Urban Legend (2003).
“My Sweet Girl,” “Mythic City,” “Designated Non-Driver” and “Iris” are prime examples of how the boys have moved from a simple five-piece sound to a hometown representation of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers or quite possibly The Band.
As usual, Millard Ramsey pens lyrical brilliance reminiscent of Drive By Truckers’ Mike Cooley on his too-few album contributions, “L.A. Skyline” and “The Bitter End.” As always, frontman Richard Tate doesn’t disappoint with numbers such as “Hollywood Blues” and “Always Thinkin’ About You.” Oddly out of place is a remake of the previously released crowd favorite “Robert Johnson,” that just doesn’t seem to match the quality of the exceptional new offerings found of Ted. Even its inclusion however, doesn’t mar this outstanding new release by some of our most talented local musicians.
Searching For Ted “The Cowboy” Eisenhower is available now on iTunes, Amazon and other online music sources as well as at Chad’s Records, McKay’s and Inherent Records.
Tag Topics: Columnist Chuck Crowder
The Pulse – October 18, 2012
- The Pulse

"Uncle Lightnin' Delivers the Goods"

Uncle Lightnin' is a tight, edgy band of New Southerners with one foot in the Nashville of the 50's, the other foot in 60's Liverpool, and both hands on the pulse of American music past and present. Their music is a rousing blend of Hank Williams, The Beatles, The Band, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band boasts several fine songwriters with very different sensibilities. But what sets the Uncle Lightnin' head and shoulders above is their "more than the sum of its parts" musicianship. Uncle Lightnin' is composed of five equally essential players who make smart, edgy, melodic music that surely has Richard's Uncle Lightnin' smiling. Richard Winham, WUTC-FM - Chattanooga Times Free Press

"Uncle Lightnin' - Sunday Breakfast"

Uncle Lightnin' plays emotionally direct and unflinchingly honest roots music that manages to convey a keen ripped-to-shreds Southern sensibility without succumbing to any of the associated pitfalls. The twelve songs on "Sunday Breakfast" successfully articulate a profoundly proud-but-resigned world view, showcasing the band's considerable talent and love of authentic regional song forms. The song writing and musicianship are consistently superb, incorporating cues from gospel music, straight country and western, bluegrass, rockabilly, and elements of Texas swing. Simply put, there's not a bad song here. Standout tracks include the amiably confused dysfunctional love song "Let Me Know", the have-a-laugh-at-my-expense "Idiot Boy" and the apocalyptic portent "Something Big." Fans of Son Volt and Wilco will find a lot to like here, with discerning listeners noting the unmistakable whiff of Appalachian authenticity conspicuously absent from the current crop of No-Depression neo-revivalists. Don't miss this one. Robert T. Nash - Enigma


De vijf bandleden van Uncle Lightnin', voorheen Richard Tate & The prophets, serveren hun eigen interpretatie van het zondagmorgengevoel op Sunday Breakfast (Homegrown Records). Wat we daar onder moeten verstaan in Missisippi? Luchtige bluegrass, zwierige country, pakkende swing en kruidige rock, geklutst in een shaker. Zo meen je warempel dat je Steve Earle hoort, het andere moment komen Bill Monroe en Del McCoury voorbij. De twaalf nummers vormen een gevarieerd geheel: pakkende tunes, af en toe een rustmoment, trefzeker neergezet, en met heel wat individuele klasse. Naar het einde toe wordt het allemaal wat minder, maar dat moeten vooral beschouwen als een after-party. Inmiddels werken frontman Richard Tate (gitaren, dobro, zang, harmonica) aan een opvolger die mij reuze benieuwd maakt. En jou toch ook? Verkrijgbaar via Miles Of Music. Bart Ebisch
- Netherlands Public Radio

"David Kennedy Bird Speaks"

"devastating...seething, ghost-possessed Southern anthems." - Kudzu Festival


Still working on that hot first release.



Uncle Lightnin' was formed in 1995; the band was named for Richard's great-uncle - Elijah Hartville Ham, aka "Lightnin" - a staple of the Nashville "nightlife" scene during the late 40's. the 50's, and early 60's. The original Uncle Lightnin' was a truly unique American character - the band Uncle Lightnin' has made it their objective to be truly unique by drawing on a wide range of influences and looking for new ways to combine the elements of those influences. Although we bill ourselves as "Specialists in American Musics" we also incorporate musical influences from the British Invasion, punk, and folk music from around the world. Each member of the band brings a unique background and set of influences - each member also writes and contributes to the musical arrangements. We most admire those musicians who observe no limitations on what they play - we believe that as long as it is good and fun to play there is no reason to be limited by genre. We combine electric and acoustic instruments, energy, and intelligent lyrics in the belief that it is entirely possible to be stimulated intellectually while feeling the desire to dance. Richard, Millard, Doug, and Dan have been together for 15 years and have played together in various configurations before that, Andrew has been a member for 10 years and this year we added the multi-instrumental talents of our latest addition Milton. Uncle Lightnin' has received extensive play on public radio stations across the US and Europe, and has received critical praise for both of our CD's as well as for our live performances. We have appeared at countless festivals, showcases, concerts, clubs, and parties, appeared on radio and tv, logging too many appearances and miles to keep up with. Our next release, "Searching for Ted 'the Cowboy' Eisenhower" is slated for an October release; the CD includes 16 tracks of new material and was created with the assistance of Mitch Easter and David Barbe. Our influences are many and include literary as well as musical figures and range from the Beatles, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young, Flannery O'Connor, Larry Brown, Woody Guthrie, the Kinks, William Faulkner, the Rolling Stones, Flatt and Scruggs, Thomas Wolfe, Otis Redding, the Carter Family, the Clash, Cormac McCarthy, Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, Wilco, and a whole host of others. We have shared stages with: The Drive-By Truckers, Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, Justin Townes Earle, Blue Mountain, Dwight Yoakum, Olde Crow Medicine Show, and so many others it is impossible to remember or name them all. Uncle Lightnin' has established a reputation as a "band's band" - we come to deliver the goods and have a great time while doing so.

Band Members