Bellows, John – “Traveller’s Shoes” – [Permanent Records]
Hailed by some as Chicago’s current most important underground star, John Bellows is a unique voice in a dynamic music scene. Reading that he comes from parents of Kentucky pig farmers made my ears prick up. An interesting journey it was from pig farm to current musical hailed position. He has a number of limited pressing releases which vary somewhat in style, from punkypoppythrashytrash to a grungy children’s album, to psychish garage, to folk country but all have several things in common: a low to no fi quality which I love, really good sometimes twisted lyrics, and a dynamic power and energy. On this two song 45, Bellows goes to the land of trashy thrash country. Less produced than the Geraldine Fibbers, it’s got that pained, stripped down feel with twangy guitars and slightly misguided drums. All good. “Traveller’s Shoes” is a slowish lament about a troubled man. A sad one it is. “Second Nature” is co-written and co-sung with Lee Relvas (of a number of other Chicago bands). Their sweet and sour harmonies, accompanied by the slide guitar that sounds like it’s gonna slide right off the neck of the guitar, sing of an off kilter relationship between one person and one alien visitor. This song was written for the no budget film “On A Clear Day You Can See For Shit.” (Watch it on Youtube!!!!) This is a wonderful piece of alt-country which deserves your attention. Put it on the turntable.