Bill and the Belles @ Ashe County Arts

Ashe County Arts, West Jefferson, NC


"What may be the most modern interpretation of vintage roots music." -No Depression

"Bill and the Belles is committed to helping early country music remain appreciated – not just replicated." -Rolling Stone

"It's Americana as dark comedy." -Tinnitis

Happy Again isn’t exactly happy. But the delightfully deadpan new album from roots mainstays Bill and the Belles is full of life, humor, and tongue-in-cheek explorations of love and loss. Happy Again marks a new chapter for the group by featuring all original music penned by founding member Kris Truelsen. Over eleven tracks the group shows their knack for saying sad things with a bit of a smirk, and tucked amongst the grief and jubilation are some jingle-worthy oddballs for which the band is well known. The raw songcraft along with the deft production touch of Teddy Thompson gives Happy Again an emotional punch that deepens with each listen. Bill and the Belles is Truelsen on guitar, fiddler Kalia Yeagle, bassist Andrew Small, and banjo/banjo-uke player Aidan VanSuetendael. They revel in the in-between: deeply engaged with the stringband tradition and eager to stretch those influences to contemporary settings. Happy Again is the latest chapter of that ongoing story: what happens when a stringband from East Tennessee lays down a session at Motown. It’s a welcome evolution that feels familiar and timeless.