Cortez the Killer (live)

by TimLee3 with Amy Ray

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The Story...

Late last year, the TL3 was asked to play a benefit for our friend, Magnapop guitarist Ruthie Morris, who lost a bunch of her musical gear when the basement of her Atlanta home was submerged in the big flood last fall. We readily agreed and the show was set up at the Earl in East Atlanta for December 15. Indigo Girl Amy Ray was the headliner and we were first on the bill before local band Warm in the Wake.

A few weeks before the show, organizer Chris Chandler suggested we maybe play a Neil Young song with Amy. Chris mentioned “Cortez the Killer” and I said it sounded good to me. He emailed Amy and she agreed.

The show ended up being Matt’s first show with us, and we broke him in right. In addition to the orginals we’d quickly put together, we also played Magnapop’s “Open the Door” with Ruthie and singer Linda Hopper and the aforementioned “Cortez.” (We still play “Open the Door” on occasion with Susan singing.)

We met Amy at sound check and she was very cool. We hit it off immediately and ran through “Cortez” after deciding she and I would split the vocals (neither one of us had the lyrics memorized, so we had the words printed on a piece of paper on the floor between our microphones … I still managed to screw ’em up). The run-through felt and sounded great, but the version we played in our set was smoking.

When Amy takes the stage, she brings a ton of energy. I played the guitar solos, but she joined in toward the end, taking it to another level. It was the sort of spontaneous thing our band thrives on. Great fun. Afterwards, I heard a coupla people approach Amy and say, “I’ve never heard you play like that before!”

This was recorded by the Earl’s former soundman, Kurt, a true gem of a guy. (we will miss his sound touch at the Earl and wish him well way up north)

Also, if you’ve never heard Amy Ray’s Rock Band, check ’em out … ’tis good stuff.

—TL


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released December 15, 2009

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TimLee3 Knoxville, Tennessee

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