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Bellwether

Bellwether

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Album Review

This core trio appears rooted deep in the likes of Uncle Tupelo and the Rolling Stones in their Gram Parsons-influenced period; this album is a testament to the strength of alt-country. From the lazy and loose back-porch sound of "South Dakota" to the brief country-pop of "Walk It Off," the sound is very relaxed and composed. After a couple of times, one might be questioning if the style is too formulaic or the songs sound too similar, but the infectious guitar riffs from the dueling bandmates are hard to forget. Some of the better numbers stray from this groove, though, including the lush and heartfelt "Groundspeed," despite the rather abrupt ending. "Shine a Light" is much in the same vein, fitting perfectly among other acoustic quasi-waltz ballads with its traces of piano. On the whole the album is a great snapshot of Americana and the rustbelt.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Minneapolis-based alternative country-rock quartet Bellwether was led by singer/guitarist Eric Luoma and guitarist Jimmy Peterson, who first collaborated as an acoustic duo before recruiting bassist Phil Tippin and drummer John Crist, a former member of the Athens, Georgia band Dashboard Saviors. Their debut LP Turnstiles was issued on the local Rustbelt label in 1998. An eponymous album followed in 2000 and garnered rave reviews from the alternative country underground. Bellwether's third album,...
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Bellwether, Bellwether
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