Heavy in My Hands
'There's a little of everything in their sound...and all of it has clearly been thoughtfully absorbed and rather than just spat back out, actually interpreted...' - Clay Steakly | Performing Songwriter ....... 'If you could mix the Deal sisters (Kim and Kelly) with the Webb sisters (better known as Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle), you might wind up with something like The Bellyachers.' - Wendy Gilmartin | LA Weekly ...... This is one self-released records that you can't believe hasn't been snapped up by a major or an indie, anything. If you like the idea of Calexico jamming with Love with Emmylou Harris on lead vocals then look no further you've found your latest flame. Any band that can take a Van Halen song, Jamie's Cryin' and turn it into a country rock beauty (echoes of Green on Red) has to have something about them. This record plucks away at the heartstrings of Americana and makes it sing, the songs vary from twang, Tex-Mex, old-time country swing, burning torches and space age styling of Sun Ra (Hungering to See You). Sandra Mello's sweet tough voice gives everything a charm and when joined in harmony by (the aptly named) Melody Baldwin-Baroz they elevate the whole thing. Heavy in My Hands takes things south of the border in a kind of affectionately louche way complete with a pining trumpet and accordion. You Move Me works through a combination of good songwriting sensitive vocals, cradle rocking pedal steel and an understated guitar break that pulls things together rather than blowing them apart. In contrast You Can Blame Me works in a vamping twanging way where the guitar break picks the song up by the scruff of the neck and takes it for a walk. An unassuming record that's strong in enough sub-genres to unite any bunch of critics or listeners, I'm charmed by this record. Though it covers a lot of ground it feels whole and organic, each excursion a natural path not a forced exercise. The pedal steel work on Very Married is enough to snare any Americana listener, it llopes through the song like a young hare on a frosty March morning. - David Cowling | Americana UK | April 2003.