Bellwether Bellwether

Bellwether's self-titled sophomore release puts them squarely in the alt-country genre. Hints of Wilco and Whiskeytown filter through, giving the record a feeling of familiarity without being a copycat. The weather in hometown Minneapolis seems to have seeped into the robust songwriting, especially with "Shine Like a Light" and "Overtime." How could a Southerner understand how a bleak frigid winter affects life and love? In "All on Red," Bellwether seem to keep losing out on love but want to keep trying. The strong rock influences temper any courtship with traditional country, but the lap-steel and fiddle lend enough hayseed soul to give these Northern boys some country cred. And since you don't have to be from Tennessee to know heartbreak and pain, so long as you're honest, country knows no geographical bounds. Bellwether reminds us of that. (Square Dog)