The Lone Bellow’s ‘O’ Be Joyful’ Is a Dark Good Time [Exclusive Premiere]
There's something sinister about "O' Be Joyful," the title track of Shovels & Rope's 2012 album. While the husband-and-wife duo's original version of the song is fuzzy and stomping, the Lone Bellow's new cover of the song brings a gospel influence — but it's no less dark.
"We have been fans of Shovels & Rope for a long time ... We love the story and the souring melody [of this song]," says Lone Bellow vocalist Zach Williams "Loved this song since the first time I heard them sing it at Newport [Folk Festival]!"
The Lone Bellow's version of "O' Be Joyful" is one of 15 songs on Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone, a forthcoming compilation album that features current artists and alumni from the Dualtone Music Group roster covering each other's songs. Shovels & Rope signed with the label for their second, third and fourth albums, then returned to the label for 2019's By Blood after a two-record stint with a different record label.
"They're another example [of] ... all these bands are true artists. They're gonna continue to do what they do with or without a hit, with or without radio," Dualtone co-founder and CEO Scott Robinson says. "They're a unique sound, they're a unique live experience ... and we're a sucker for those kind of artists."
The East Nashville-based independent record label, founded in 2001 by Robinson and Dan Herrington, is responsible for, among other releases, the Lumineers' first two albums and June Carter Cash's 2003 release Wildwood Flower, the latter of which earned two Grammy Awards. The Lone Bellow are a recent addition to the Dualtone Roster, having signed with the label before their fourth album, 2020's Half Moon Light.
"From the very start, we've tried to build this safe, encouraging space for artists to experiment and create," says Robinson, "and it's just so cool to see how deeply these bands have connected with each other, and to hear the influences and friendships that stretch across the whole history of the label."