Reny and Bell are something, well, unique. He’s a beautiful guitar player, really squeezing every drop of soul out of that tinny, wild-sounding instrument with the metal pie-plate top. But he’s a helluva a singer and songwriter too. And he comes at it from his beginnings as a rap artist, so his songs tend to have a modern-zeitgeist, social-protest bent (lyrically), coming at you through that gut-bucket, gut-wrenching ’30s resonator guitar sound that feels dirt-poor, mad and about 100 years old. It’s an odd mix. When Reny really gets going, he stomps his foot in a frightening, raise-twist-slap-down manner that makes you fearful he’ll break something (like his ankle). Lil’ Bell, really is lil’ (about 4 foot 11, and all of maybe 80 pounds). But she can play the drums like a ring in a bell and sing like a bird, the perfect accompaniment to Reny’s spare, brimstone performances.
They manage to forge their own sound and push musical boundaries in an era when many other musicians strive to sound the same.