verb \ bärk \
1 a: to make the characteristic short loud cry of a dog
b: to make a noise resembling a bark
c: the alt-duo of husband/wife Tim Lee (Bass VI, Vox) and Susan Bauer Lee (Drums, Vox)
During the Eighties, Tim was part of the DIY indie-rock scene in America as a founding member of the Windbreakers, and a touring sideman with Let’s Active, Marti Jones, and Swimming Pool Q’s. The WBs released five albums and several EPs, and Tim recorded three solo albums, but by the end of the decade a festering discontent with the business of making music lurked behind the artful celebration, which ultimately compelled Lee to take a hiatus for most of the Nineties.
Come the turn of the millennium, Tim’s musical itch returned, this time with an infectious twist. One auspiciously bright Saturday morning, Susan popped out of bed declaring that she wanted to learn how to play bass. By that very afternoon, she was plucking around on her very own pawn shop bass guitar. Within six months, Susan was on stage, having well and truly joined the fray.
Thence came the Tim Lee 3 with you-know-who on guitar and bass and Chris Bratta eventually settling into the drum seat. Widely praised for their stripped down, no-nonsense-except-when-necessary approach to songwriting and performing, the TL3 carried forth for a decade, releasing five full-length studio sessions, a couple of live albums and an EP, accompanied, as usual, by side projects, guest appearances, and a steady gigging schedule.
In 2014 Susan decided she wanted to learn how to play drums, and thus begat Bark, a product of the melding of two keenly honed, fiercely independent musical minds focused on carving out a 21st century niche situated somewhere between garage rock, punk rock, power pop, The Cramps, The Feelies, The B52s, R. L. Burnside, and the Delta blues.
After seven years, a few hundred shows, an EP and two LPs, a pandemic, a memoir, and a move back home to Mississippi later, and now in the year 2022, there is Bark: just the two of them, Tim and Susan, guitar and drums, doing their thing. Adequately armed and expertly seasoned, with a new LP in the can slated for 2023 release, Bark is poised for the next chapter in an unfinished tome about two committed, uncompromising musicians who love their art and craft almost as much as they love each other.
Bark discography: A self-titled EP released in 2015; a full-length LP,Year of the Dog (2017); a 45rpm a single BARK (2018); Terminal Everything (2019); Loud (2023)
Tim Lee memoir: I Saw a Dozen Faces… and I rocked them all: The Diary of a Never Was (2021)
“… a lo-fi post-punk garage-rock combo inspired by American blues and roots revisionists like the Cramps, the Gun Club, and R.L. Burnside ….”
(Knoxville Mercury, 07.06.16)
Photo by Alan Sims, InsideOfKnoxville.com