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Billy's Live Bait

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Album Review

The Gear Daddies lived up to the promise they showed on Let's Go Scare Al with the sometimes poignant and often humorous Billy's Live Bait. Though their sound was slightly harder and they were more inclined to rock out, they still thrived on a melodic, jangly guitar approach that was deeply indebted to the Byrds' folk-rock as well as to country. Those who enjoyed Al found that on world-weary offerings like "Wear Your Crown," "Stupid Boy," and "Goodbye Marie," the Daddies hadn't lost their impressive songwriting skills. They clearly learned their country lessons well — their outlook isn't terribly sunny or optimistic, but like so many country artists, they manage to smile and laugh despite all of life's disappointments. Regrettably, neither Al nor Billy's Live Bait received the type of recognition they deserved.

Customer Reviews

Billy's Live Bait

Rolling Stone magazine once called them the best unsigned band in America and Billy's Live Bait shows you why. Music from the heartland with a tinge of both regret and wonder make this a must have 'alt-country' classic. Made by people who were raised with country music on the radio and the Replacements in their tape deck show why the Gear Daddies rate as ground breakers to current bands such as Wilco, Son Volt and the Jayhawks.

Riding the Zamboni

For those looking for the "traditional" I wanna ride the Zamboni song, its a "hidden" track on this album. Track 10, "One Voice," at 4:48.


I wanna ride a freakin Zamboni


Formed: 1984 in Austin, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Plenty of alt-country bands have hailed from Austin, Texas, but the Gear Daddies were that rarity, a group playing twangy, rootsy rock & roll from Austin, Minnesota. Proud Midwesterners the Gear Daddies were formed in 1984 by Martin Zellar on lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica; Randy Broughten on electric guitar and pedal steel; Nick Ciola on bass; and Billy Dankert on drums and vocals. The band made its reputation through live work, and as Zellar told reporter Jason Schoonover, "I played every bar...
Full Bio
Billy's Live Bait, Gear Daddies
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Customer Ratings