After hearing The Lone Bellow‘s self-titled debut, I couldn’t wait to play it for friends and on All Songs Considered — I knew people would love it. Still, honestly, I was unprepared for the stunning power of the band’s live show. When you see this Tiny Desk Concert, I’m sure you’ll experience the same sensation I did. The Lone Bellow features three brilliant players, with Zach Williams singing every word as if it’s the last time he’ll ever get the chance. He’s got a bit of Springsteen in him; it’s the sort of delivery I was sure couldn’t get more intense, until it does.
Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist aren’t just supporting players; they’re vital. Their voices harmonize with Williams’, sometimes making vocal power chords and at other times supplying delicate textures. Pipkin’s mandolin and Elmquist’s guitar create melodies and rhythms that seem a lot bigger than 14 unamplified strings normally make.
Williams began writing songs not too many years back while living in Georgia, inspired by tragedy — a riding accident that left his young wife temporarily paralyzed. That inspiration and undeniable heart comes through in every song. I’m so glad we got The Lone Bellow on the rise, because I have a feeling they’re about to get very, very busy.
- “You Never Need Nobody”
- “Two Sides Of Lonely”
- “Teach Me To Know”
- “You Don’t Love Me”
Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Gabriella Demczuk,Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Marie McGrory; photo by Lizzie Chen/NPR