This year's Rip Curl Pro and Women's Pro at Bells Beach, the oldest events on the Championship Tour, saw tense battles, challenging conditions and some surprising early exists. But history was made there nonetheless: Mick Fanning (AUS) rang the bell for a fourth time, becoming one of only five pros who have achieved that many wins (or more) at the blustery break. Carissa Moore (HAW), meanwhile, added to her own growing tally, with a third win at Bells, and a second win this year, which further solidified her lead in the rankings.
As the CT moves on to the next stop across the country, the music from the WSL's Bells broadcast plays on.
J. Roddy Walston and the Business, "Heavy Bells"
J. Roddy Walston and the Business formed in Tennessee and feature a raw, Southern sensibility that's woven into their patchwork of rock'n'roll riffs and throaty vocals. Frontman J. Roddy is joined by guitarist/vocalist Billy Gordon, bassist/vocalist Logan Davis and drummer Steve Colmus for a quartet that's known to put on raucous live shows.
Since their start in 2002, the band has since moved to Baltimore -- Walston's wife was attending the Peabody Conservatory of Music -- but they haven't strayed far from their musical roots. "I don't think our band or our music is particularly Southern," Walston says on the band's website, "but our sense of storytelling and use of language is very much aligned with a more Southern way of life." And yet, he counts Southern writers like William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor among his influences. A casual listener, meanwhile, might add acts like the Allman Brothers and John Mellencamp to that list just as easily.
Fans can catch them live this month and next at venues along the US's mid-Atlantic coast.
Kingswood, "Micro Wars"
Kingswood is a four-piece band that includes Fergus Linacre (lead vocals), Alex Laska (lead guitar & backing vocals), Jeremy Hunter (bass & vocals) and Justin Debrincat (drums & backing vocals). Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, they recently spent time in Nashville, Tennessee, to work on a new album with producer Vance Powell, whose credits include The Raconteurs and Jars of Clay.
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With a sound akin to Kings of Leon, Kingswood's single, "Micro Wars," features a catchy hook, soulful vocals and a rock underpinning that keeps it planted in the realm of leather jackets and guitars. Fans can catch them live in the American West this month, while they'll be back on home turf in May.