Wax Poetics Records' new Minneapolis-based duo Bones & Beeker is a band that combines hip-hop-production sensibilities with classic, harmony-focused singer-songwriter musicianship, creating catchy yet complex tunes.
Anthony Newes (vocals, guitar, keys, and other sounds) and Brendan Kelly (production, drum programming, keys, glockenspiel, kalimba)-known in hip-hop circles as BK-One-were introduced through their work with the developmentally disabled. Their first meeting was a five-minute conversation about Tom Waits. Their second was at a client's deathbed.
BK-One is probably best known for his decade of work with rapper Brother Ali, yet early in his life he toured the country in a jazz band while studying piano and vibraphone alongside musical giants like Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Yusef Lateef, and Wynton Marsalis.
Anthony Newes-who studied audio engineering in Arizona and improvisation and music theory in Northern California, and worked at a homeless shelter in Seattle-formed a critically celebrated rock band while in Eureka, California, and earned a reputation playing folk music in the old Minneapolis haunts of Dylan and Guthrie.
When the two artists decided to work together, they faced many challenges, often arguing about how to properly balance two radically different musical sensibilities. Both were way out of their element, and each song was a strange new compromise.
Flanked by bassist Chris Bierden (Poliça and Pony Trash) and guitarist Nate Collis (Atmosphere and Attracted to Gods), Bones & Beeker delivers an album full of surprises.
3. Oh Lord
4. Heartbroken in Love
5. A Song for Al's Dead Mother
6. Wind-Up Dolls
7. Each Time I Die
8. All That We Are (So Far to Go)
9. Tiny Little Pieces
10. Elfman in Nine
11. A Song for Liam Joe
13. World Behind
14. In Search of Signs