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Show Review

We've never encountered voices like these; voices that meld together in sticky unison, that plummet to emotional depths, stir around the soul down there, lifting it anew to the heavens. Powerful voices, belonging to a masterful group of musicians we're excited to be featuring in our latest session. We recently caught up with The Lone Bellow in the hours before hundreds would shuffle into Carnegie Hall to bear witness to their testifying brand of folk rock. On a day that held the last traces of summer in its arms, we met with the amicable band of Brooklynites under the arch in Washington Square Park, negotiating with a few authoritative types to set up a few mics so that the band could busk a quartet of songs from their self-titled, debut album. As the band started moving through "Green Eyes And A Heart Of Gold" and "You Don't Love Me Like You Used To" the crowd in our grassy hideaway started to build, drawn by the luscious voices and uplifting spirit that traces through The Lone Bellow's music. After that, the band decided to take it straight to the people of the park, stripping down to a single mic capture in the middle of the main square, playing "You Never Need Nobody" and "Watch Over Us", encouraging more and more people to gather around. For those who neglected to get tickets to the Carnegie concert later that night, it was an unexpected freebie in a gorgeous setting and we were there to capture all the action.

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Transcript

- Right now we are in Washington Square Park.
It's a beautiful day out, Zack is wearing his sunglasses.
- Will Smith fought... - Zombies.
- Zombies here back in '04.
- In "I Am Legend".
- Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold,
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold,
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
You wear your faded old dress, the night of the fourth of July.
The darkness kept your silhouette, when light flashed crossed the sky.
One crash at a time, oh one crash at a time, yeah.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
We're broke in New York City, the L train takes us home.
Our wide-eyed ways may look like a wreck where we're from.
It's harder than we thought it'd be.
We're losing blood with every beat.
Our song is not a dying dream.
You're not alone, you're not alone, oh.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, yeah.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold,
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
For one crash at a time
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, yeah.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold,
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
You wear your faded old dress, the night of the fourth of July.
Your face I only saw when the fireworks crash
We're broke in New York City.
Oh, oh, oh.
The F train takes us home.
Oh, oh, oh.
Our wide-eyed ways may look like a wreck where we're from, oh.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
Green eyes and a heart of gold, all our money's gone and the house is cold,
and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.
- So "Green Eyes and Heart of Gold", it's the first song we sang.
It's a song about this city, and being broke and hungry and sad and... It's not always this pretty in New York City, it just a really pretty day.
So that's what "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold" is about.
Playing shows in the city for the past eight years you have just a certain way with the listeners, and there's certain values that end up kind of trickling through the night after night of playing shows.
It ends up being like really important to you, and then really important to the listeners.
You want to try to be a part of the moment that matters, and you to try to make something that's worth while.
A great thing about New York City is it kind of spits out things that aren't done well.
So you know if what you are doing is no good very quickly.
Usually like in an open mic, where you are trying out a new batch of songs or something like that.
And this record really was just our first set list.
So I feel like playing the shows here helped kind of create that sense of urgency.
You don't love me like you used to, just a spirit haunting my bedroom.
House I built for you feels like a tomb.
You don't love me like you used to.
You waited at the bus stop, flowers in hand.
A yellow tulip for each hour we'd spent apart,
but now my broken heart and empty hands.
I always wanted just to hold you close, are buried in the pockets of my coat,
along with all the notes I'd wrote if I'd thought you'd read them.
But you don't love me like you used to,
you don't hear me when I'm talking to you.
Just an old book you just breeze on through.
You don't love me like you used to.
I come home and the table's set just right,
and what you serve don't fill my appetite.
I know for sure your kitchen's closing nearly every night.
And day I wish that you would go away, and find another soul to suffocate.
And I love you so, but you should know I can't go on this way.
I can't go on this way, I can't go on this way,
I can't go on this way.
'Cause you don't love me like you used to,
just a spirit haunting my bedroom.
House I built for you feels like a tomb.
You don't love me like you used to.
You don't love me like you used to.
You don't hear me when I'm talking to you.
Just an old book you just breeze on through.
You don't love me like you used to.
You don't love me, you don't love me, you don't love me like you used to.
- Yeah, when we first started working on these songs together, a good melody, and country music just in particular, I feel like has always been a save haven for some of the sadder songs that have been written.
These are sad songs that come from a really hard time in life and I just needed to hide 'em somewhere.
So a fun melody to sing ended up being a safe haven for us.
- It can also only be so sad when you have a three part harmony.
Which is, it's not just one lonely guy crying about how hard his life is.
It's three people doing it together, and I think there's something joyful about, even if you are singing something sad if three people are doing it, it's not as sad.
- You never need nobody, you've never been alone,
and I try to get your affection and all I ever do is wrong.
You could break a heart in your sleep,
oh the way you move makes a grown man weak.
They all line up at your door saying, "Please (please), please (please)
I can't take no more. "
You never need nobody, you've never been alone,
and I try to get your affection and all I ever do is wrong.
You could calm a storm with your tone,
Oh, the way you sing makes a mockingbird hum.
The grass you walk on gives way saying, please (please), please (please)
come back this way.
You never need nobody, you've never been alone
and I try to get your affection and all I ever do is wrong.
Give me your hottest fever, loudest scream in the crowd
'cause all of these good times can't change the way I feel 'bout you now.
Yeah, give me your hottest fever, loudest scream in the crowd.
Yeah, and all of these good times can't change the way I feel 'bout you now.
Now I know you've got that smile and the way it shines
can drive a man half wild.
I won't dance around this no more,
I'm the only one you should smile for, yeah.
You never need nobody, you've never been alone,
and I try to get your affection, and all I ever do is wrong.
All I ever, all I ever, all I ever do is wrong.
You never need nobody, you've never been alone
and I try to get your affection, and all I ever do is wrong.
- I mean there are moments of this show that are really hard.
There's this song called "Two Sides of Lonely" that every night is a weight because it takes you back to dark times in your life.
But it's also just worth it to sing and just be a part of that moment with a group of strangers in some city somewhere.
And then there's also other songs that are hopeful and it's just like life, everything you need, the dark and the lights to paint a beautiful painting.
- Zach wrote a lot of these songs and we came in at the end to help him finish the record but, they were like, they are personal in like we were wondering if we were going to find like material because Zach was in a dark space then and like we are seeing these people and hearing all these stories.
It's inspiring to us to just be able to do this for a living and people come to our shows and help us do that.
We just want to honor them in our art, and like in our time.
- Watch over us, watch over us.
When my hands are tired, when my strength is gone.
Momma, your baby's shrouded in sorrow.
You've had your time, but who has tomorrow?
Watch over us, watch over us.
Father, your sickness lives here in me.
I don't need no crown, I don't need no glory.
You've had your life, but that ain't my story.
Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down,
sometimes I'm humbled, leveled to the ground.
But my baby's sleeping, sleeping in peace.
So watch over us, watch over us.

Artist Bio

The Lone Bellow are "Brooklyn Country Music heavily influenced by their roots south of the Mason-Dixon line, the trio grew up in Georgia and Virginia. Their soulful folk-rock debut album was released this month on Descendant Records, recorded over three days at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and produced by Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars) in Nashville. The band made their US television debut performing on Conan show 1/22 and recently attracted attention from NPR, New York Times, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today. They are dubbed "Brooklyn Country and being compared to Avett Brothers, Civil Wars and Lumineers. Watch the band tell their story on CBS News: http://cbsn.ws/Ybuqlm and a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR: http://n.pr/WEfAxn

The Lone Bellow recently played 15 shows at SXSW 13 including Entertainment Weekly, Daytrotter, Sony City and other showcases. Press from the festival garnered huge looks from CBS News, Rock Center with Brian Williams, NPR Music, Forbes and were featured on the cover of Deli Magazines Austin/SXSW 2013 issue and more.

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The Lone Bellow

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