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The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow (Descendant)

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Oct. 4, 2013

ACL Music Fest 2013 Sunday Reviews

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow (Descendant)

This Brooklyn trio traffics in polished acoustic country, but not the glitzy, corporate Nashville kind. The self-titled debut from Zach Williams (guitar/vox), Kanene Donehey Pipkin (mandolin/vox), and Brian Elmquist (guitar/vox) explores the tensions inherent to love and its unpredictable swings from high to low, sublime to greasy. The rousing "Tree to Grow," in which Williams declares, "My love is older than my soul," contains a musical climax evoking a mighty oak stretching toward the sun, yet this is closely followed by "You Never Need Nobody," in which he laments, "I try to get your affection/but all I ever do is wrong," leading to a bit of tonal whiplash. "Teach Me to Know" features an exhortation one might hear in contemporary Christian music, but it's delivered within the context of earthly love. "The One You Should've Let Go" is fit for a darkly lit bar, the air thick with smoke and regret. The Lone Bellow, fresh and authentic. (3:45pm, Austin Ventures stage)

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