The Lone Bellow
Not performing in 2017
Three voices joined in harmony so closely it's impossible to unknot them, singing American roots music with raw emotion and surgical precision. This is the intensity, facility, and wild freedom of The Lone Bellow. Following a horseback riding accident which left his wife paralyzed from the neck down – temporarily, fortunately – Zach Williams, Lone Bellow lead singer and principal songwriter, turned his turmoil and uncertainty into songs. During this harrowing apprenticeship the native Georgian found his musical niche: earnest, soulful tunes that swell and ebb like heavy weather, nearly bursting with the joy and pain of living.
After moving to Brooklyn, Williams can pinpoint the moment the group serendipitously willed itself into being: a morning in 2010 at a diner where Williams’ old friend Brian Elmquist worked that became the ideal place for the then-solo Williams to test new songs. Joined by fellow singer Kanene Pipkin, the jam birthed a new group. From the first moment the trio lifted their voices together, they knew they had hit on something special.
Now an octet, their debut album has drawn raves; the songs have a melancholic undercurrent, but are often more rave-ups than ruminations, inclusive we-will-survive anthems with swelling three-part harmonies and rousing group-sung choruses. Above the very crowded folk-revival throng, this group's stirring, emotional country-gospel soars.