November 30th, 2023 8pm Stage 2
The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut in 2013. The Nashville-based trio (Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, Kanene Pipkin) quickly became known for their transcendent harmonies, serious musicianship and raucous live performance—creating what NPR calls, 'earnest and magnetic folk-pop built to shake the rafters.' In 2015, the band released Then Came The Morning, produced by The National's Aaron Dessner. The album was nominated for an Americana Music Award and took the band to numerous late night shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Show With David Letterman and Later...with Jools Holland, among others. In 2017, The Lone Bellow returned with Walk Into A Storm, produced by legendary music producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson), followed by 2020’s Half Moon Light, an artistic triumph the band worked toward for years. In a departure from their past work with elite producers Dessner and Cobb, the trio struck out on their own for their fifth full-length album Love Songs for Losers, dreaming up a singular sound encompassing everything from arena ready rock anthems to the gorgeously sprawling Americana tunes the band refers to as “little redneck symphonies.” Recorded at the possibly haunted former home of the legendary Roy Orbison, the result is an intimate meditation on the pain and joy and ineffable wonder of being human, at turns heartbreaking, irreverent, and sublimely transcendent.
After sketching the album’s 11 songs in a nearby church, the band holed up for eight weeks at Orbison’s house on Old Hickory Lake, slowly carving out their most expansive and eclectic body of work yet. Co-produced by Elmquist and Jacob Sooter, Love Songs for Losers also finds Pipkin taking the reins as vocal producer, expertly harnessing the rarefied vocal magic they’ve brought to the stage in touring with the likes of Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves.
For The Lone Bellow, the triumph of completing their first self-produced album marks the start of a thrilling new chapter in theband’s journey “At the outset it was scary to take away the safety net of working with a big-name producer and lean on each other instead,” says Pipkin. “It took an incredible amount of trust, but in the end it was so exciting to see each other rise to new heights.” And with the release of Love Songs for Losers, the trio feel newly emboldened to create without limits. “This album confirmed that we still have beauty to create and put out into the world, and that we’re still having fun doing that after tenyears together,” says Elmquist. “It reminded us of our passion for pushing ourselves out onto the limb and letting our minds wander into new places, and it sets me on fire to think of what we might make next.”
Stephen Wilson Jr.
Stephen Wilson Jr. opens every one of his performances the exact same way, by walking to the microphone and introducing himself to the crowd: “I’m Stephen Wilson Jr. — I am my father’s son.” The Nashville-by- way-of-Indiana singer followed his father into the boxing ring as a child, before diverging from his dad’s path to become a scientist and, eventually, a songwriter. “My first stage wasn’t a stage at all, it was a boxing ring,” says Wilson, who pays tribute to his father and processes his unexpected death on his debut album Son of Dad. “Writing and making this album has been very therapeutic for me to learn who I am and what my existence looks like after my father,” he says. “Because life has to go on.”