The days are getting shorter and the weather cooler, which means it’s time to move the concerts indoors at the Jones House. On Saturday, November 9 at 7:30 PM, the Jones House will host the first indoor concert of the fall season, featuring Bill and the Belles. The public is also invited to attend a free harmony singing workshop put on by Bill and the Belles at 4:00 PM.
Based out of eastern Tennessee, Bill and the Belles put their own modern, unique spin on traditional American roots music, fusing together elements of country, jazz, vaudeville, and bluegrass. Band members include Kris Truelsen on guitar, Kalia Yeagle on fiddle, Helena Hunt on banjo and banjo ukulele, and Andrew Small on bass. All are talented instrumentalists and vocalists and have deep personal connections to the musical heritage of the region, coupled with formal educational backgrounds and advanced degrees in Appalachian Studies and Oldtime and Bluegrass Music.
More than just performers, Bill and the Belles are cultural brokers; the band carries on a rich tradition of folk Appalachian-Blue Ridge music, dating back to the renowned Johnson City Sessions of the 1920s, and beyond. One of the most ambitious undertakings of Truelsen and his fellow bandmembers is hosting the live radio show Farm and Fun Time on Radio Bristol. This program, which has recently been picked up for syndication by PBS, pays homage to the live radio broadcasts of the 1940s, complete with a studio audience, in-house performances by featured artists, and original segment jingles. Most significantly, Farm and Fun Time reintroduces a golden era of radio programming to a new generation of listeners.
With honey-sweet melodies that channel Jimmie Rodgers and pitch-perfect harmonies reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters, Bill and the Belles invoke a sense of nostalgia that hearkens back to a simpler, more troublefree time. In contrast to the antagonistic break-up songs of this modern pop era, Bill and the Belles’ lyrical response to love lost ranges from one of carefree acceptance (“That’ll Be Just Fine”) to jaunty empowerment (“Taking Back My Yesterday”). Bill and the Belles’ light-hearted lyrics and on-stage enthusiasm make for an allaround enjoyable show.
“Audiences across the board will appreciate the band’s skillful musicianship, creative arrangements, and tight vocal harmonies,” says Brandon Holder of the Jones House.
Professional, yet charming; traditional, yet innovative; feel-good, yet poignant – Bill and the Belles have carved out their own unparalleled niche in Americana music. Accordingly, this band has garnered critical acclaim, having shared the stage with the likes of Marty Stuart and Del McCoury. Slated to perform at next year’s South by Southwest Music Festival, the band’s 2020 schedule is filling up quickly.
“Big things are on the horizon for Bill and the Belles,” says Cultural Resources Director Mark Freed. “This is a great opportunity to see this band perform in an intimate setting.”
Tickets to see Bill and the Belles are $20 and limited seating is available. To preorder tickets, you may stop by or call the Jones House at 828-268-6280 or email [email protected] The harmony singing workshop is a free event, but advanced registration is requested. For more information about indoor concerts and other events at the Jones House please visit joneshouse.org