Personnel: Tim Lake (vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele, slide whistle, background vocals); Luke Francis, Elizabeth Francis (vocals); Ken Holbrook (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle); John Heinrich (steel guitar); Bobby Hackett (tuba); J. Flippin (piano, organ); Tripp Bratton (snare drum, congas, cymbals, djembe, shaker, triangle, wood block, percussion); Daniel Thompson, Nathan Wilson, Charles Thompson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Roper.
Liner Note Author: Tim Lake.
Recording information: Pad's Place.
Photographer: Lee Thomas.
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. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.