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The Return of Rico Bell

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Album Review

The Return of Rico Bell, the debut solo album from the Mekons' vocalist and accordion player, is a splendidly rollicking set of roots music. On this album, Memphis soul collides with Celtic strains and then hurtles headlong into Appalachian high lonesomeness — with everything underpinned by Bell's ragged, Dylan-at-the-medicine-show pipes and wheezing accordion. Bell's Mekon colleague, Jon Langford, produces the effort and lays down some typically barbed-wire guitar work as well. Some highlights here include a bouncy, accordion-laced cover of Merle Haggard's "Lonesome Fugitive"; the searing, bruised beauty of "Devil's Dream" (bolstered by Langford's jagged guitar); and a slow-burning run through "Acadian Driftwood" (originally popularized by the Band).


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Alt-country/roots-rock singer-songwriter Rico Bell is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (playing guitar, accordion, melodion, harmonica, and keyboards), as well as a compelling storyteller whose good-natured humor belies a darker worldview. Bell began recording for the Bloodshot label with 1996's The Return of Rico Bell; he followed...
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The Return of Rico Bell, Rico Bell
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