Zachary Williams of The Lone Bellow (Photo courtesy Grandstand Media)
Before he found success as a member of the Americana trio The Lone Bellow, singer-songwriter Zachary Williams made his bones as a solo performer. He put in hard times singing in bars in New York City, where he was not even shown the courtesy of having the basketball game turned down. In 2009, he managed to scrape things together to record and release an album on a shoestring budget, and the printing contained not one but two typos.
During his set at the Miracle Theater on Tuesday evening, the similarity of his name to Christian artist Zach Williams was a bit of a running gag. When he discussed that first solo record, Zachary mentioned that Spotify has misplaced under that other Zach. He also brought up Zach’s recent duet with Dolly Parton, and someone in the audience joked, “Living vicariously!” Zachary wryly observed, “Living vicariously, indeed. He’s a Christian artist, so God only knows what he has to put up with.”
The Lone Bellow performs a matinee show at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When a group of musicians bond to write and share songs born out of struggle and the battle to overcome those challenges, the result can clearly be a special one.
Remarkably demonstrating this exact kind of provenance with a recent matinee show at Rams Head On Stage, The Lone Bellow out of Brooklyn is now in its 10th year after forming in 2011 during the wake of what was essentially a tragedy impacting its founding member.
The Lone Bellow (Photo by Shervin Lainez)
Folk trio The Lone Bellow made their first appearance before a live crowd following the pandemic at Bethesda’s Strathmore recently. The venue is transitioning toward a past-pandemic world and, for now, they are holding socially-distanced shows on their outdoor patio.
The Lone Bellow played two shows that night. At the early show, the sun was still bright and clear, and it was an unusually temperate day for mid-June, making for a perfect night for live music. After the opening number, frontman Zach Williams said, “I love that the cicadas are out this evening;” later, guitarist Brian Elmquist commented on how perfect it was: “the cicadas, the birds, and a folk guitar melody.”