By Jason Schneider
Canadian country music fans will remember Bellamy as the co-frontman (with Jason McCoy) of the Road Hammers, the band whose quest to conquer Nashville was chronicled in their own reality series. The Alberta native regrouped from that disappointing endeavour last year with his first solo album,Everyone’s A Dreamer, and Five Crow Silver firmly establishes Bellamy’s identity as a purveyor of top-flight roots rock, with the emphasis on rock. Although a fine guitarist in his own right, Bellamy trades licks throughout the album with Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson and ex-Black Crowe Audley Freed, on top of giving turns to a host of other guest stars, such as Ian McLagan, Garth Hudson, Bobby Keys and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section: Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton. It all adds up to a solid roadhouse extravaganza anchored by “Goodbye America” and “Victim of My Own Compromise,” both sly nods to Bellamy’s Road Hammers experience, and the rollicking, Faces-esque “You Could Be Mine.” Although Bellamy obviously isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, his commitment to down and dirty, old school rock comes off as more genuine than anything else he’s ever done.