Brooklynâ€™s sorta-Americana group Bel Air have released their debut album, â€œPole to Pole,â€ a collection of songs created and first performed in the studio. The band sounds vaguely like Cowboy Junkies, but without the I-wanna-die melancholy. â€œThis Cityâ€ is country the way the Grateful Dead did country, only without the jams, while â€œUsed to Believeâ€ is more reminiscent of Gram Parsons. â€œSometimesâ€ is a sad country lament, but â€œGoodnightâ€ is a perfect send offâ€”a bluesy lullaby. No pretentious fake Southern accent, no forlorn honky tonk twang, nothing but an honest reflection on the miseries of urban lifeâ€”â€œThis city is killing me,â€ the chorus wails, and itâ€™s easy to understand why. Thereâ€™s a few guest shots by Mike “Slomo” Brenner (Magnolia Electric Company, Marah) on slide guitar, but other than that itâ€™s all Bel Air. The roots-rocky record has 5 songs sung by Jeffrey Mensch and 5 by Allison Langerak. The latter are sweeter to listen to, as Allisonâ€™s vocals are fantastic, but the former are often better written songs. All in all, itâ€™s a very solid release. Iâ€™m offering you two samples, one from Allison and one from Jeff.