December 31, 2009

Week 17 - The Belleville Outfit - Time To Stand

The Belleville Outfit
Time To Stand

The Belleville Outfit has a really cool sound to them. Some of their tracks have a Squirrel Nut Zippers (without the Zoot Suit) vibe while others have a piano-driven rock ballad feel. It’s like ragtime babies were playing with the folk and rock kiddos together in the same sandbox and they decided to pick up instruments.

Confused now? Well… pick up Time To Stand. It’s a good 13-song introduction to The Belleville Outfit.

The songs all flow well together but each have a very different vibe. Vocal duties are traded off between the folksy vibe of Rob Teter and the timeless beauty of Phoebe Hunt. Separate they sound good... in harmony it’s exquisite.

The musicianship that this band shows is also amazing. These guys aren’t just going through the motions of being in a band; they all have a very good grasp on their instruments and know how to play together very well.

On to the songs. “Once and for All” is a classic folksy ballad. “Let Me Go” has a Steve Miller BandAbracadabra” vibe to it. The fun cover of Louis Prima’s “Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby” is a great addition.

On songs like “Fly On” the violin is amazing while she plays a mean fiddle on “Outside Looking In. Hunt’s ability to jump from the classic violin sound to the country fiddle vibe reminded me of a little joke Buddy Huthmaker once told me. Q: Do you know the difference between a violin and a fiddle? A: The nut holding it.

All jokes aside, it’s hard to choose a song that rises above the rest on Time To Stand, as they really are all very good. But... if pressed I’d have to choose “Two Days of Darkness.”  The piano and violin melt together as well as the pairing of Teter and Hunt’s voices.  “Two days of darkness since you went away / I feel the same for you now as I did then / Heart in a prison won’t you let me escape / Come on home it’s been two days of darkness.”

I’ve not had the chance to see them live yet but I hope to rectify that one today. They play Gruene Hall today between 1-5p. Hopefully I can talk my wife into a little road trip.

The Belleville Outfit is Teter (guitar, vocals), Hunt  (violin, vocals), Connor Forsyth (keys), Jeff Brown  (bass), Marshall Hood (guitar), and Jonathan Konya (percussion)

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