Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Bellfuries “Workingman’s Bellfuries”

We are six decades removed from the advent of Rock and Roll. And while that may be true, there are still plenty of people out there in the music industry that use the old style of rock and roll as inspiration for their music. There are even people out there today who create the same style of music that had been created at the beginning of the musical genre by some of the genres’ founding fathers. One band out there today making what can only be called good, old-fashioned Rock and Roll is The Bellfuries.

The Bellfuries are four musicians that call Austin, Texas home. Made up of Joey Simeone (Vocals, Guitar), Jeff Seaver (Upright & Electric Bass), Mike Molnar (Lead Guitar) and Chris Sensat (Drums, Vocals), the band is making Roots Rock while everyone else around them conforms to the styles and trends of the day. Together, these four musicians create a sound that brings back the sound and style of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, even the Everly Brothers. The band’s sound and style can be found on their newest release entitled Workingman’s Bellfuries.

Workingman’s Bellfuries begins with the track “Loving Arms”. The track brings to mind the playing Carl Perkins while also having a little flavor from early Beatles, maybe even the Silver Beatles. The track contains a strong Rockabilly flavor to the music while the lyrics about love are built around one long war-based theme. The use of war-like lyrics gives the lyrics to the song strong mental imagery.

For the track “Bad Seed Sewn,” The Bellfuries create a track that borrows a lot of influence from Dion and the Belmonts. The music makes use of the same style of music that the Belmonts were known for and the vocals from singer-guitarist Joey Simeone brings to mind the style of Dion Dimucci. The track feels as genuine as anything that Dion and the Belmonts would have created back in their heyday.

One of the strongest tracks on the newest release from the Bellfuries is the song “Why Do You Haunt Me?” The song contains one of the most beautiful melodies on the entire release. The song seems to draw from the same pit of despair that Roy Orbison drew from when he wrote many of his biggest hits like “Only the Lonely”. The song even contains an eerily similar musical style that would have matched Oribison’s writing style. To add to that, Simeone’s vocal delivery all but screams Orbison as he sings the song. The track ends up being one of the strongest songs on the entire album.

One of the more upbeat tracks on the release is “Letter to My Maybe Baby”. When listening to the track, the early Rock and Roll influence in the music brings to mind the songs of Don and Phil Everly. It’s the simplicity and energy in the delivery by the band that truly brings out the feel of the duo in this track. The lyrics in the track also feel like something that the Everly Brothers might have written.

The track “Beaumont Blues” feels like The Bellfuries’ answer to the Johnny Cash classic “Folsom Prison Blues”. While Cash’s character in his song sang about the sadness he felt sitting in prison, “Beaumont Blues” finds the track’s singer lamenting the various things that happened to him while living in the town of Beaumont. The track even has a very similar outcome. Following “Beaumont Blues” is yet another track with a slightly sad storyline.

“Just Remembering” feels like a vignette from an old movie where the main character pursues a lady of interest who may not be interested in him. The sad storyline of the song is matched up well with a sad melody with a slow tempo. With a slight twang to the music, the song feels like it would have been right at home on a Country music station on AM radio back in the sixties.

While the majority of the material on Workingman’s Bellfuries from The Bellfuries is original, the band included two cover tracks that feel right at home with the rest of the tracks. “She’s a Woman” from The Beatles feels very natural among the original material from The Bellfuries and helps to reinforce the Roots Rock style of the group. The track “Baltimore” is the other song on the release not written by the band. The upbeat track written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant features a strong, quick tempo and adds a lot of energy to the album.

Throughout the eleven tracks that make up Workingman’s Bellfuries from The Bellfuries, the band maintains a strong connection to a style of music that was created many years ago. While the music on their album may seem out of place with today’s styles of music, it is certainly refreshing to find someone who, not only enjoys the music of long ago, but longs to keep it going. For all those looking for timeless Rock And Roll, The Bellfuries do a wonderful job at making the old new again with their new album of Workingman’s Bellfuries.

To check out some of The Bellfuries’ music, check out the track “Loving Arms“. To learn more, check out the band’s label, HiSTYLE Records. Also check out the band’s PR Firm, NoVo Management & Publicity.

Click on the album cover below to buy a digital copy of the Workingman’s Bellfuries from The Bellfuries.


2 replies on “CD Review: The Bellfuries “Workingman’s Bellfuries””

Thanks so much for the nice review.
FYI, Bellfuries is repeatedly misspelled throughout this review.
Only one “r” in Bellfuries.
Thanks again.

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