Passion Filled The Stage At This Americana Triple-Header
As I walked to my car after this stellar show, I overheard two men express exactly what I felt: that The Lone Bellow put their hearts and souls into the show, filling the less-than-intimate House of Blues with a passion as well as an intense connection with the audience that is not easy to achieve.
The Lone Bellow has been on a meteoric rise since I first saw them at the Newport Folk Festival in 2013, and unless they stop creating new music, I do not foresee that slowing any time soon.
From the second they took the stage, Zach Williams (acoustic guitarist and singer) reached out to the audience, both literally and figuratively, and drew us to him.
Although Zach sings most of the lead vocals, Kanene Pipkin (mandolin, keyboard, bass) and Brian Elmquist (electric guitar) sang a number of leads. Where The Lone Bellow really shines, at least in terms of vocals, is their harmonizing.
Their music is Americana and they are one of the best purveyors of the style touring today. Evident on their faces is the joy they give and receive when they perform.
The set list included songs from both their sophomore album, Then Came the Morning, as well as their self-titled début album. It looked to me that everyone in the first few layers of people standing at the stage knew every word and mouthed them (I did not hear a lot of out-loud singing from the crowd) right along with Zach, Kanene, or Brian. A couple of times during the show, Zach stood on the barrier encouraging the crowd to raise up their arms or sing or hoot. That was beautiful to experience.
Rounding out the band was Jason Pipkin (Kanene’s husband) on bass, keyboard, and vocals, as well as Justin Glasco on drums (apologies to Justin – I did not get one shot of him).
Congratulations to Brian on the impending birth of his first-born child; had I known when we chatted briefly before the show (and yes, it was better than I hoped it would be) I would have acknowledged that.
There were two openers for this show, a practice I do not love because it can make the show end later than I prefer on a weeknight. However, both openers were fantastic. I saw Anderson East open for Sturgill Simpson last winter as a solo act. At this show, he performed with a full band and I liked him better with a band because it gave him the freedom to put down the guitar and regale us with his beautiful voice.
East’s Facebook page does not describe his style which I would call soul-country. Take a look at the photo above and imagine him singing ‘Tupelo Honey’, as he did at this show, or ‘Knock on Wood’.
He has a terrific band backing him (I do not – yet – know their names). Instruments include lap slide guitar, keyboard, trumpet, saxophone, bass, drums, and electric guitar.
This young Nashville-based musician and his band are also rising stars, opening for bands such as The Lone Bellow, Jason Isbell, and Brandi Carlile. Be on the lookout for him – he will be headlining shows in the near future.
The first opener was Hugh Masterson. I had not heard of him prior to this show, but he is now on my radar to see again.
Hugh is also a Nashville-based singer-songwriter whose style is more Americana than country. A fine guitarist with a lovely voice, he filled the House of Blues (not an easy feat for a solo act) with his original music.
I bought his album Hugh Bob and the Hustle and I recommend it. During his brief set, he was joined by Brian Elmquist for a duet which they were performing as I entered the venue as well as various members of Anderson East’s band.
This was a fantastic show that I did not want to end. These three acts complemented one another beautifully, yet each has its own sound. I cannot wait to see all of them again!
Thanks to Anderson East for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Posted on November 15, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Americana music, Anderson East, boston, Brian Elmquist, concert photos, concert review, Country music, House of Blues, Hugh Masterson, Kanene Pipkin, music, soul-country music, the lone bellow, Zach Williams. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.