The Weepers

House of Love

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The lead singer/pedal steel player used to crank a Stratocaster in a hard rock band, the drummer formerly broke drum heads on a regular basis in a post-punk outfit, and the fiddler and mandolin player pick in a Celtic band when they're not otherwise engaged. America is said to be a great melting pot, and the Weepers are one Americana band that musically embodies the notion of "out of many, one" if anyone does; on House of Love, the members find a satisfying common ground in the rootsy sound of acoustic music that juggles country, rock, and folk. Drew Howard's songs often nod to traditional themes, but he also manages to find something fresh and unexpected in them; the details of small-town life in "Anytown Parade" and the familial discord of "House of Love" are as common as the weather, but drawn with an unblinking intelligence and subtle wit that never blunts their edge. Howard's vocals blend a rocker's grit with the wounded-heart passion of C&W, and the effect is winning, while fiddler Tahmineh Gueramy and mandolinist Mike Cutler give the performances a folkie grace that isn't afraid to also show some big-city swagger (Gueramy also displays no small vocal talent on "Out of Here"). And bassist Steve Szilagyi and drummer Pat Bills are a superb rhythm section, adding color and texture without making a nuisance of themselves. A look at the Weepers' resumes would indicate they're not a run-of-the-mill Midwestern folk group, but a listen to House of Love makes it clear that they've brought together the past and the present in music that's soulful, passionate, and full of joy. Fine stuff from a band to watch.

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