The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

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The Lone Bellow, ‘Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy’

Sep 15, 2017

Sometimes, when the aggravation of modern life and stresses of our daily existence are all just too much, it helps to scream. To yell. To holler out loud — primal, guttural, true. It’s a release that can make us feel in control by letting go, if only for a minute, and if the neighbors don’t freak out and call the cops.

In many ways, that’s what the Lone Bellow is — a sort of musical holler in favor of catharsis. On their first offerings, it manifested itself in a collection of sing-along, gospel-folk explosions: Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin, and Brian Elmquist all, well, bellow along, reaching the rafters with a room of sound that could be almost borderline too earnest if you didn’t have the stomach for sincerity over sarcasm or snark. With producer Dave Cobb on board, the trio has found a way to blend their penchant for soulful roots amalgams with an outlook more comfortable embracing the darker side of life through their new LP, Walk into a Storm. And now they’re even better at belting it all out in a way that looks to use those rumbling vocal chords for a little healing. This is especially true on “Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy,” a chugging, swanky admission that it likely never will. “Try to be a better man, but I don’t try all that much,” admits Williams with his band mates joining in on harmony — with Cobb’s touch, the song is sonically more adventurous than they’ve been, allowing for warm ’70s vibes and lush Lauren Canyon touches. Is it ever gonna be easy? Probably not, but that’s life, so let out a little yell, or a lone bellow, and see what happens.  

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