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Jesse & Noah - Nowhere Revisited
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

I’ve got to admit it. When I first heard Nowhere Revisited, the debut release from Jesse and Noah, I thought, “Not bad; not bad all.” The Florida-raised brothers delivered a crankin’ rock ‘n’ country sound that won me over. The more I listened, the more I liked. There was “something” I was hearing that appealed, clicked, and came with a touch of the familiar. But what was it? Maybe it had it do with the brothers’ undisclosed surname on my advance album …Bellamy.

Jesse and Noah’s father is David Bellamy. Howard Bellamy is their uncle, the other half of those respected Bellamy Brothers. You suspect though rather than trade on the famous linkage –David and Howard come identified as among the most successful duos in country music, with a 30-year career starting with “Let Your Love Flow” – this new generation of Bellamys trade on their own terms and not on the celebrity culture they were born into. 

While they may have cut their teeth and honed their appreciation of country music around their musical home with the family icons, Jesse and Noah realized early music would be their calling. Rather than tending stock on the family’s cattle station, the guys found refuge and passion in converting a hay barn into a recording studio. The history that followed saw the guys hook up with Florida roots rockers, Elston Gunnn; moving on, the brothers then cut their own demos with eventual songwriting trips to Nashville, all resulting in a tour of Europe for Jesse and Noah in 2005.

Now, with 14 mostly self-written tunes, the duo – Noah offers distinctive guitar while Jesse is the vocalist and songwriter – come prepared and ready for wider acceptance with their Bellerophon Records release.

Right from the first track, this album fires with both barrels. “Daddy’s Got a Shotgun” is the out and about radio single, and sets up the tempo and direction of the album. It’s a knockout first cut. With its layered harmony vocals, its chunky guitar riffs and humor, the tune is winning listener appeal – a point proven with an under bubbling 31 on this week’s Texas Music Chart.

A minor frustration with my advance copy was the lack of detail. I would have liked to have known who wrote what and who played on the various cuts. But, and that aside, bravos all around – this is a kicker and a killer of a CD. Like my earlier in the year prediction of Randy Archer for my top 10 list of best albums (to my ears for 2006) – please add Jesse & Noah to the list.

In this day of over inflated prices for music, for me to part with the dollars, I need to hear more than one radio friendly hit; I need a strong and consistent album that’ll have me playing it without harboring purchase regrets. Happy days! This album is scores a bull's-eye.

With a cross-section of rocky favs, to more melodic and ponderous prods, the album is new country at its cutting best. “You’re The World”, a team effort of J&N with Dad David and Uncle Howard, the track is a toe-tapper asking us to remember: to the world you’re just one person; but to one person, you’re the world. More thoughtful lyrics come courtesy of the Tom T. Hall-penned “Faster Horses”. With its instructional message of “faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money," the tune stands tall with “You’ve Got The Wrong Number”

(a comedic piece that tells the female dialer she’s got the wrong party…but come on over anyhow) as standout favorites.

“Every Day’s A Revolution” is catchy, while “Wild And Willin’ and the guitar-driven and drum-pounded “You Can Always Count On Me To Let you Down” is an agony lament that offers cold substance with recognizable truths. They’re great tunes that build a better album.

More could be said about the style and substance of the tunes, the clear harmonies, the keen playing, and the stellar song choices; yes, much more could be said. But, why bother?

Two thumbs and four stars -- that says it all.

Nowhere Revisited song list:


Available on iTunes!

1: Daddy’s Got A Shotgun
2: Wild And Willin’
3: I’m All About You
4:You’re The World 
5:Drivin’ Nowhere6: Santa Ana Winds
7: Faster Horses
8: Spirit Road
9: Soul Food
10:Every Day’s A Revolution 
11:Tumblin’ Down12: You Got The Wrong Number
13: You Can Always Count On Me
14: The Best Thing I’ll Ever Know

Related Links:
Official Site  
MySpace  

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