Tag Archives: zach williams

The Lone Bellow Live in Indianapolis

Zach Williams is the front man for current up and coming sensation The Lone Bellow.  I personally began following his career around seven years ago.  From the very beginning I have been impressed.  He approach to music has always been filled with an honesty that comes blasting through his vocals.  Other than Sufjan Stevens and The Weakerthans there is no other artist I have written about more frequently on The World Forgot.  Seriously, I’ve written a lot about his career (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, exclusive ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen) starting in 2006 when I found him on MySpace and continuing through a few months ago when I helped financially support his latest album via Kickstarter.

My interest began by trolling through MySpace (something all bloggers did in 2006).  I found his music, ripped a few tracks, and put them up on my blog.  I used them copiously in mixes.  As the years rolled on Zach and I eventually exchanged emails and I encouraged him to continue making music.  From that first song I believed he had a unique voice.  An honest voice.  Eventually Zach moved to New York and our communications eventually drifted apart.  Through it all I followed his music and continued to push his albums on my siblings and friends as Christmas and birthday presents.  I even convinced some friends in New York to go to his shows.  The one comment I remember those friends telling me is that they met Zach after the show and he was “incredibly nice.”

I often thought of driving to New York to see a show, but financially it really wasn’t an option.  And then a few months ago Zach’s latest band, The Lone Bellow, announced that they going on a small tour and would be playing in my current home town.  The only catch; they were going to play on a day when I was going to be out of town. My wife and I called the airline and the resort to see if we could get an earlier flight.  The cost to change reservations was over $300 – once again I was financially unable to attend a Zach Williams show.  I was bummed, but it didn’t last long.  The Lone Bellow backed out of their original performances and rescheduled for later in the year (this time as a headliner – not the opening act).

I carefully cleared my schedule. I couldn’t find anyone who was free to attend the show.  I went alone.

I was standing at the back of the venue during the opening group because I usually see someone I know when I’m at this venue.  And then Zach walked in on a video call, stood right in front of me for a few minutes, and then walked past me again on his way out the front door.  I stopped him at that point (sorry for interrupting your call) and he gave me a head nod that clearly communicated “I don’t know you, but people often call out my name, so hi.”  I wasn’t even sure if he would remember me and I hadn’t even attempted to let him know I would be at the show, but when I introduced myself he lit up immediately.  We got to meet face to face after seven years of internet encouragement.  During the show he even told the brief story of a kid named Billy who had a music blog who believed in him all those years ago when he was playing 2am shows in Chinatown.

From all of this you could probably surmise that I’m slightly biased.  However, my wife pointed out that they must be doing something right if they’ve been in People magazine twice now (Zach humbly and instantly gave all the credit to their “really good publicist”).  All personal connections aside, The Lone Bellow put on a gem of a concert.  They played and joked for around 90 minutes.  They hit all of the songs from their debut album, covered the John Prine & Bonnie Ratt song Angel From Montgomery (which you can watch here on vimeo), as well as Paul Simon’s Slip Slidin’ Away, and interacted with the audience in a way that made everyone feel like they were a part of some special shared moment.

At the end of the regular set Zach mentioned they were approaching the end of the road which prompted a front row patron to spontaneously launch into the chorus of Boyz II Men’s staple End Of The Road.  The band took it in stride and sang two full verses acapella.  Then for the start of their three song encore, just to prove they had some legitimate 90′s R&B credibility, they sang a wonderful rendition of Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby.  The crowd loved it and you could see the band was truly enjoying themselves in Indianapolis.

mp3 : The Lone Bellow – Bleeding Out

During our brief conversation I asked Zach if he felt they had finally made it.  He was straightforward in his response saying they’ve all quit their other jobs and this band is paying their bills.  I still believe in the honesty of Zach’s voice.  There is an undeniable intensity to his performance and I can’t encourage you enough to go see them when they play your town.  Their debut album is a solid effort, but it is elevated to to a true experience when it’s played in a live setting.  You’re invited to sing along and become a part of a unique moment in time that will leave a smile lingering for days after it’s done.

Go buy their album from Amazon or iTunes today and keep supporting great music.

Zach – it was great to finally meet you in person.  I’m eagerly looking forward to your long and successful music career.  Come back and play in Indianapolis some day.

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The Lone Bellow Debut Album

I have been following a musician named Zach Williams almost as long as I’ve been writing this blog.  I first stumbled upon his music when his moniker was Zach Williams and The Ramparts.  Those were the heady days of Myspace and random music links that led you farther and farther down the rabbit hole.  I followed his career as he made the move to NYC and at one point we started to email back and forth occasionally.  I recall vividly a time when he was playing a lot of local shows in the New York area and I convinced an old high school chum to go and see a show.  He ended up staying after the concert and meeting Zach in person; he described Zach as personable, friendly, and a very emotional performer.

After awhile my correspondence fell off and there were rumours that Zach was done with his pursuit of music.  And then the latest chapter in his career started with The Lone Bellow.  Originally running as another “Zach Williams and the” effort they eventually settled on the simpler moniker of The Lone Bellow.  Eventually they decided a full length album was worth a try and they raised funding on kickstarter to get it made.  Those of us fortunate enough to support the album were treated with digital and physical media alongside some magnificent live recording sessions that really captured everything I’ve always been told about their live sets.

mp3 : The Lone Bellow – Tree To Grow

If you haven’t heard of this band yet rest assured that they will be growing in popularity in the months and years to come.  They’re at their best when Zach is emotionally filling out a lyrical melody and the music swells to meet his voice.  Go buy their album from Amazon or iTunes today and keep supporting great music.  (And Zach – you need to play a show in Indianapolis)

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Zach Williams and the Bellow

If you have followed this blog over the past five years you have probably realized that I greatly enjoy the music created by Zach Williams.  You can see a collection of my posts about him here.  I remember that I randomly stumbled upon his music on myspace (yeah, remember that place?).  There was something captivating and honest about his voice.  Something earnest, honest, and at the risk of sounding cliche, something pure.

He’s gone through a lot in recent years.  He’s moved to New York.  He left his old band, found a new one.  And he successfully ran a kickstarter campaign to raise money for recording a new album.  The song below is ripped from a video update he provided for financial backers over on kickstarter.  Enjoy.  We all look forward to the album.

mp3 : Zach Williams and the Bellow – Teach Me To Know (Live)

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Zach Willams

I wrote my first post about Zach Williams on November 13th of 2006.  It was a post written back in my early years as a music blogger, but I still believe what I wrote almost five full years ago.  Zach Williams has a certain undeniable charm in his music and from what I have gathered he puts on an intimate and impressive live show where everyone walks away feeling better about their day.  That’s a quality that we are certainly lacking in the modern music scene.

Over the years his music has changed, his life and location has changed, as has most of the world.  Just has he has moved and grown so have I.  My musical taste has evolved and grown into something I would not have imaged five years ago.  Whatever our many years have done to us I still find a certain place in my heart and my playlists for Zach Williams (and his new group named Zach Williams and the Bellows).

mp3 : Zach Williams – Hospital Dream
mp3 : Zach Williams – Maybes

Both of these tracks hail from his inaugural and eponymous 2006 debut.  He has released a few other albums along the way, but I always return to the original from time to time.  As it happens he is currently in the studio recording a new album to be released later this year.  And he has a kickstarter campaign which invites fans to come and join in financing the album.  For those not familiar with kickstarter or the way that many musicians use the service you can think of it as this:  You are basically preordering an album.  When the artist has enough “preorders” they can then afford the process of creating the album (which you have paid for / funded).  If you would like to take part in the next album by Zach Williams just follow the link.

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The World Forgot Exclusive : Zach Williams – Story Time

I have long been a fan of Zach Williams and the sleepy indie folk music he creates.  I know that I first discovered his music while traipsing through the ether of myspace over three full years ago.  For awhile I was obsessed with putting tracks by Zach (he was then playing with a backup band called The Ramparts) on every mix album I put together.  No matter what mood I was in the music of Zach Williams seemed to be a soothing constant, a gentle way to ease myself into another day.

Well I started writing posts about Zach and eventually, somehow, he noticed.  I’m not quite sure how it all began, but somewhere along the way we crossed over from a simple blogger musician relationship to something more akin to friends whom have yet to meet in person.  I kept on bragging about him to all my friends, writing posts about him here on TWF, and buying his albums from cd baby for unsuspecting friends and siblings on their birthdays.  Zach meanwhile moved to New York, started a family, and began playing intimate shows (which I’ve heard from some old friends, whom have had the pleasure of seeing Zach live, are quite brilliant).

Emails have been exchanged, facebook friendship was born, and through it all I’ve felt like in some way I’ve been let into his world.  And to be honest I feel lucky to have been included along the way.

mp3 : Zach Williams – Fears

The album art you see today, here on The World Forgot, is for Zach’s upcoming proper debut entitled Story Time.  According to Zach this is the first time the public has gotten a glimpse of the album cover.  And as if that wasn’t brilliant enough he also thought to drop the track Fears as a preliminary exclusive mp3 available only from this blog.  Fortunately for us all it’s a characteristic Zach Williams song filled with character and a dash of longing.

To everyone who hasn’t heard of Zach Williams before I urge you to explore his music or make it to his album launch show on June 9th at the Mercury Lounge.  And to Zach I must say that I am glad you’re still making music and I feel honored to be able to spread your talent around.

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Zach Williams

There are some artists that just grab your attention and never let it go no matter what new bands or new albums come along to steal your short term attention.  Zach Williams is one of those artists.  I first became hip to his sound when he was living in Florida, playing under the moniker Zach Williams and The Ramparts, and only had a few tracks available on his myspace page.  Well today I stumbled upon a few of the tracks that I first learned to love about two years ago and I thought I would put them up for everyone to hear.

mp3 : Zach Williams – Across the Bridge (Live at Rockwood)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Fears (Live at Rockwood)

Zach just has a sound that makes me extremely proud to have found his music and, according to the index over at hypem.com, there has yet to be a single other blog on this planet that’s mentioned Zach’s music.  Now he lives in New York and plays a variety of intimate shows and you should count yourself lucky to see a live set.  If you do happen to drop by a set make sure you talk to Zach after his show, and mention you heard about him here on TWF.  I’ve had a few readers do just that and I’m hoping more of you will follow suit.

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Zach Williams, Josh Moore, Anthony Raneri, Dustin Kensrue, Aaron Gillespie, and Jon Foreman cover The Beatles

A few months back a musician I admire and utmost respect for contacted me to say that he was going to be playing a show hosted by the group To Write Love On Her Arms.  I didn’t really think much of it at the time, largely due to the fact that I wasn’t able to physically attend the show, but I was very excited to hear that my friend Zach Williams was finally getting a little recognition.

For those of you who have missed out I honestly think Zach Williams has a brilliant career ahead of him as a singer and songwriter.  His stories are intimate and classic and his style feels effortless.  Undoubtedly he puts a lot of thought, life, sweat, and tears into each of his creations and at the end of the day his art is better for it.  There have recently been rumours that Zach is possibly working on releasing a proper album and I must add that that upcoming day cannot come soon enough.  For now, I presume, we will try and remain content with what little offerings we can find.

mp3 : Zach Williams, Josh Moore, Anthony Raneri, Dustin Kensrue, Aaron Gillespie, Jon Foreman – With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles Cover)

If you’ve listened to anything by Zach before you’ll easily be able to hear his voice on this track.  I’m glad he was able to play with a great group or artists and I’m proud that they, in turn, played with him.

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Zach Williams live July 3

Dusty Brown is playing an album release show next Thursday, July 3rd, and a very talented friend of mine will be there to play a set as well.  If you are anywhere in the remote vicinity of the Mercury Lounge I strongly encourage you to go and treat yourself to one of the most talented young singer songwriters in New York.  I’ve mentioned Zach Williams many times here on The World Forgot and because of my humble exposure I’ve received a lot of email thanking me for the musical introduction.  I’ve even received a handful of notes proclaiming how great Zach was to see in concert and how affable and personable he was to chat with after his set was over.

mp3 : Zach Williams – All My Love (Live at Southpaw)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Take Care (Live at Rockwood Music Hall)

In a recent interview I mentioned that Zach Williams was one of the best kept secrets in the American music scene and I still feel that way today.  This show will give you a chance to see Zach play before he makes it big.  This show will give you all the indie credibility you need when five years from now you can sit back and say, “yeah, well I saw Zach play a little show in NY before you even knew who he was.”  And of course you can thank me for giving you this little insight into the musical gem that Zach is, but I’d rather you get out and see his show at the Mercury Lounge.  It’s next Thursday, July 3, and it should kick off at 8:00.

Do me a favor, do Zach a favor, do the local music scene a favor, or do your girlfriend a favor and take her to see Zach Williams.  And make sure you say hi to him after the show.  You’ll probably leave friends.

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Zach Williams

Zach Williams is an extremely talented artist currently living and performing in New York City. I’ve long had a deep desire to see Zach succeed in making a living in the music industry, although I’m not sure it will ever happen. He’s incredibly talented, affable, congenial, and puts on a welcoming live show {or so I’ve heard from multiple personal friends who’ve attended a live set of his}. He crafts music with the same care a master sculptor puts the finishing touches on a master work; each piece is cleverly formed and flows seamlessly from one part to another. His music is filled with blues, folk, melancholy, longing, and truth. He seems destined to be atop playlists from indie brats to slow jammers. But for some reason he’s not. For some reason his voice is not catching on, and I cannot seem to find the reason.

In September of 2006 I first discovered Zach Williams when he was supported by a band called The Ramparts. I put him on one of my now forgotten EA mixes alongside artists such as Joseph Arthur, Ben Folds, and Sufjan Stevens, all of whom I truly believe he could hold a stage with if given the chance. At that point in his life he was living in Florida and playing local shows down there. Since then he decided to move to New York to become serious about music and for awhile almost gave up on it altogether. Luckily for you, and for me, he hasn’t stopped yet. And hopefully, and I hope you’ll agree after listening to these tracks, he won’t stop for a long while.

mp3 : Zach Williams – Down to the Blood (Live at Rockwood Music Hall
mp3 : Zach Williams – Hospital (Live at Rockwood Music Hall)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Names that Fell (Live at Rockwood Music Hall)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Mountain Water (Live at Southpaw)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Dirty Feet (Live at Rockwood Music Hall)
mp3 : Zach Williams – Fears (Live at Rockwood Music Hall)

If you’ve never listened to Zach Williams before I would recommend starting with the tracks Names that Fell, Dirty Feet, and Fears as they do a good job of covering the breadth of Zach’s talent. For those of you interested in more by Zach you can check out his myspace, his site, or other posts that I’ve written that have to do with Zach Williams by clicking here. You can also purchase his music on CDBaby, iTunes, or Amazon. Finally, for those of you in the area, Zach is playing a show on April 12 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken NJ and I wholeheartedly endorse going to see him play live; you will not be disappointed.

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The Best Albums of 2007

At long last here are my top ten albums released during the past twelve months. Download all the tracks and play them loud, support the artist by buying their albums, merchandise, or concert tickets, and most of all continue to enjoy great music. This list was ridiculously hard to create due to the amount of talent in the musical realm, but, these are the albums that I was most excited about in 2007. {note : in the list below the artist name links to their website, the album title links to the album on amazon, and the iTunes link will open iTunes to the appropriate information}

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

01 : Cloud CultThe Meaning of 8 (iTunes)

Easily the most cathartic album I’ve ever heard the general storyline of this album chronicles the path frontman Craig Minowa took while coming to terms with the death of his son. Most of the tracks on this album have to do with what little Kaidin’s life would have been like {he would’ve turned eight this year} or how he inspired his father and those he met with the joy of life. It was a very close call between Cloud Cult and The Weakerthans for album of the year, but this band from Minneapolis pulled it out in the end. From beginning to end there is not a single note that I would change about The Meaning of 8.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Your 8th Birthday
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Purpose

02 : The WeakerthansReunion Tour (iTunes)

Second place, and by a very slim margin, goes to one of my favorite bands of all time, The Weakerthans. Coming a full four years after their previous effort, this studio album had a lot of fans wondering if rust and age would tamper with the signature lyrical and melodic brilliance of The Weakerthans. All fears were laid to rest after one listen, though, with the only complaint being it clocks in under forty minutes. John Samson tells these wonderful vignettes about empty rooms, curling tournaments, and runaway cats that are filled with a sense of forlorn truth. Something in this album rings true on every listen. If you’ve never heard The Weakerthans their newest disc is easily a wonderful starting point.

mp3 : The Weakerthans – Tournament of Hearts
mp3 : The Weakerthans – Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure
mp3 : The Weakerthans – Sun in an Empty Room

03 : RadioheadIn Rainbows

Not much else could be written or said about this album other than what has already been said. Radiohead tops many of the best of lists across various publications and blogs. They released their album completely on their own, with their own website, and charged nothing for the music if that’s what you chose to pay. They bucked convention with this release, just as they’ve continually created new and innovative sounds on each of their albums. This, their seventh studio album and first in four years, is an amazing musical achievement even without the marketing {or lack thereof} hype.

mp3 : Radiohead – Reckoner
mp3 : Radiohead – Videotape

04 : Arcade FireNeon Bible (iTunes)

Although many a rabid fan and critic balked at the slightly new direction Arcade Fire went on their sophomore effort I challenge you to find another band that made this interesting, layered, and talented a second studio album. Moving away from stories involving apocalypse and funerals this album instead finds its voice in a social commentary of sorts {which is perfect when you’re influenced by Bruce Springsteen}. I thought this album was a perfect follow up to Funeral. Yes, it is different, but so are we.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – (Antichrist Television Blues)
mp3 : Arcade Fire – Intervention

05 : Bishop AllenThe Broken String (iTunes)

Throughout 2006 Bishop Allen, which is a collaborative effort between Justin Rice, Christian Rudder, and various backing musicians, released twelve EP’s; one for each month. It was with much anticipation, then, that I awaited their first proper studio full length this past July. And Bishop Allen did not disappoint with The Broken String. From start to end the storytelling, the music, the melodies, and the undeniable fun of the album had me playing it for anyone who would listen. Over five months later it still amazes me that this amount of quality music was put on one album.

mp3 : Bishop Allen – The Monitor
mp3 : Bishop Allen – The Chinatown Bus

06 : Foo FigthersEchoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (iTunes)

Foo Fighters released their most mature and grounded album to date while finding a way to showcase Dave Grohl’s massive talent without the use of a sprawling double album. From start to finish this album shows the diversity of the entire Foo Fighter’s cannon while always keeping you on the edge of your seat, anticipating what song is coming next. From a pure rock anthem like Come Alive, to the bombast of The Pretender, down to the the ecstasy found on The Ballad of Beaconsfield Miners, there is no stone left unturned on this, the best rock album of the year.

mp3 : Foo Figthers – The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners
mp3 : Foo Fighters – Come Alive

07 : Sigur RosHvarf/Heim (iTunes)

Sigur Ros is easily my favorite band that I cannot seem to describe to others. Or for that matter get other people to listen to. They’re a band out of the great land of Iceland and lead singer Jonsi sings in one of the most beautiful falsetto voices I’ve ever heard. If the angels from on high sang in Icelandic then this is what the music backing them would sound like. This release was a double album with the disc labelled Hvarf containing studio versions of previously unreleased tracks and the disc called Heim containing acoustic versions of previous favorites.

mp3 : Sigur Ros – Heysatan
mp3 : Sigur Ros – Staralfur

08 : BeirutThe Flying Club Cup (iTunes)

Originally scoring much higher in my list Beirut fell to number eight after repeated listenings. Although this album didn’t have the staying power I thought it would have it still is a solid effort from Zach Condon throughout the mix as he brings his particular ecclectic/gypsy/folk/balkan style of music and makes it a true edition to the great new American Folk wave. There’s something in his music that cannot be found anywhere else. Due most likely to his extensive traveling throughout eastern Europe during his developmental years and the fact that a wrist injury keeps him from playing the guitar properly.

mp3 : Beirut – Guyamas Sonora

09 : Band of HorsesCease to Begin (iTunes)

The critics who hated and/or panned this album when it was released have almost nothing in common with me. I, for one, cannot fathom what they were looking for in the second studio album from Band of Horses. Cease to Begin showcases a sound and style that are uniquely theirs; from the driving guitar rhythms to the unique crooning style of frontman Ben Bridwell. I thought this album was solid from start to finish with the inclusion of a few incredible tracks like Island on the Coast and Is There A Ghost. Band of Horses is one of the best bands in the past couple of years and I’ve been excited about their music since their first release.

mp3 : Band of Horses – Island on the Coast

10 : Sea WolfLeaves in the River (iTunes)

Rounding out the top ten albums of 2007 is this little gem by Sea Wolf. This band is the brainchild of Alex Brown Church, who formerly played with the band Irving, and he incorporates a variety of devices and sounds to tell his stories. Although at times the record can sound like a smooth amalgamation of various sources, in the end it is a blissful thirty five minute mosey through Alex’s life, music, and stories.

mp3 : Sea Wolf – Leaves In The River

Download all the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

And there you have it. In my humble opinion those were the best albums of 2007. Other noteworthy albums that didn’t quite make the top ten include In Our Bedroom After The War by Stars, Wednesdays by Wakey!Wakey!, From Here We Go Sublime by The Field, Sawdust by The Killers, Magic by Bruce Springsteen, B Sides Live by Zach Williams, Graduation by Kanye West, and We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse. As talented and wonderful as this past year has been I’m looking forward to 2008 when there will be new albums by my favorites Sufjan Stevens, Cloud Cult, the Magnetic Fields, the Postal Service, and Weezer.

For those of you who just found my blog take a minute a peruse other posts here at The World Forgot. I hope you enjoyed yourself this year, 2008 is sure to bring something amazing to everyone.

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