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July 15, 2024

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Belle Starr
Far As The Wind Blows (Kip Loui, 930 Allen, Apt. 2-E, St.Louis, MO 63104)


Sure, I hate musical AND geographical pigeonholes as much as the next fella, but there are many, many good bands, full of good players, great songs, and most important of all FRESH IDEAS out there in the once pooh-pooh'd American Midwest who are slowly but surely infiltrating the dreaded pop and rock mainstream. Belle Starr is one such band: St. Louis-based and housing within its ranks at least one talent of rare caliber (songwriter Kip Loui), "Far As The Wind Blows" is a delightfully low-key, deceptively easy-going collection of music that, like all great albums, grows and endears with each subsequent play. There's not a weak song to be heard here, but several (the swirling Hammond B-2 funk of "Too Bad"; "Hook Line And Sinker"'s joyous, jumping bop) go that extra lonesome mile to hint there's far more than mere Gram Revisited at work, and songs like these - not to mention a truly inspired reading of "Sleepwalk" - make the wait for the NEXT Belle Starr record all the more frustrating. Next time you're out St. Loo way, drop by the Off Broadway Club, put in a request for Kip & Co., and tell 'em Gary the Pig sent cha, OK?
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