Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved’s: Where’s Bob?

Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved’s
Where’s Bob?
(Attaboy)

Take one part self-deprecation, one part introspection, one part political action, and 97 parts folkified country and you’ve got Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved’s. Lax leads his five-piece alt country outfit into their third release with 12 songs and one question: Where’s Bob?

Remnants of simpler, more sensible times collide with sentiments of the burdens and moral decay of modern individualist idealism on the quest to figure out Where’s Bob?  This third outing for Lax and Nearly Beloved offers serious twang with a smile here and a tear there.  The lyrical echoes of Trey Anastasio are reinvented, the phrasing of Jerry Garcia is educated, and the introduction of the “Wall of Bob” rivals the rich harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, song for song on this album. Lax and Nearly Beloved even updates Dylan for a tasty cover of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” to round out the collection.

Easily digestible, wholly satisfying, oddly familiar, always fresh, who wouldn’t want to take an Americana ride with Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved’s? Who wouldn’t run your ears through the sonic tapestry of smart songs woven by master craftsmen? Who wouldn’t want to spend a few minutes that force you to take yourself little less seriously?

There’s only one question left: Where’s Bob?