Latest News

New Music Video! “Smile, It’s Christmas” 

Bill and the Belles announce new music video, “Smile, It’s Christmas” 

Don’t get it wrong, Bill and the Belles love the holidays. They live for gatherings of family and friends, snow days, sparkles and cheer, as evidenced by their 4th year hosting the Johnson City Jingle Bell Jamboree (a holiday roots music review) and their annual holiday music videos that come out each December. But this year’s video is different: “Smile, It’s Christmas” reminds us that the holidays ain’t just eggnog and mistletoe. Sometimes the world loudly expects joy and cheer when you just don’t have any to give. Written by Kris Truelsen, “Smile, It’s Christmas” delivers downbeat material in an upbeat way, with the ironic wit of Roger Miller and a vocal arrangement nodding toward Phil Spector-level lushness. Fans of Bill and the Belles know the band’s knack for making simple, refreshing music videos, and “Smile, It’s Christmas” definitely delivers: against a peppermint backdrop, the trio toys with contrasts, giving viewers a little bitter with their sweet. 

“Smile, It’s Christmas” also marks the debut of banjo player and singer Helena Hunt in Bill and the Belles. From Waynesville, North Carolina, Hunt grew up steeped in traditional music and went through the region’s Junior Appalachian Musicians program. Currently attending East Tennessee State University studying Biology and Old Time music, Helena is a wonderful vocalist, a force on the banjo and banjo ukulele, and a total delight to watch and hear.  

Watch Bill and the Belles’ “Smile, It’s Christmas” below: 

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sIwfv2WxkDg 

Share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/450190431817314/posts/1171624633007220/

  

BONUS! Merry Christmas, Bill and the Belles! 

“DreamSongs, Etc.” was named to Country Music People’s Top Ten Albums of the Year! What a treat! “So many fantastic albums I could have put in this list, I decided this was worthy of a place, though. Just so different to everything else here, refreshing to hear and Wedding Bell Chimes was probably the video of the year!” Big thanks to Radio host Dave Watkins for the love, and for everyone who’s bought and listened to our album this year! 

Fall Updates from Bill and the Belles 

It has been a big few months of release shows celebrating our latest album on Jalopy Records, “DreamSongs, Etc.” We’re grateful to have shared it with so many of you! If you don’t have a copy yet, visit our webstore. We’ve also got a sampling of other fun goods that make for excellent holiday gift-giving! Your support makes all the difference! 

Here’s what the press has had to say about “DreamSongs, Etc.” 

  • No Depression: “Bill and the Belles showcase with their debut album, DreamSongs, Etc., what may be the most innovative modern interpretation of vintage roots music.” “...a fresh, pop spin that emphasizes the simplicity and beauty of the music.” 
  • Now It’s Nashville: “Equal parts traditional folk, vaudevillian and meta-modern aughts entertainment, Bill and Belles put on a show that is sure to stand the test of time, much like the acts that preceded them, and perhaps the ones to follow.” 
  • Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association: “Charming. Deeply charming. That is the essence of this full-length debut by Bill and the Belles, Dream Songs, Etc.”  

Read more: 

UP NEXT: Bill and the Belles is headed to Deutschland! In just a few days we’re flying to Germany for a month! We’ll be playing a marathon of 23 shows with The Brother Brothers and Jeff Scroggins & Colorado as part of the European Bluegrass Jamboree. If you’ve got any Deutsch buds send them our way! See www.bluegrassjamboree.de for details. 

This trip marks a new chapter for Bill and the Belles as our first European tour, and also as Grace’s last tour with the band. We thank her for her years of hard work and great performances, not to mention her amazing contributions as a graphic designer. You can keep up with her over at her page: facebook.com/graceellenvanthof. We know you’ve been touched by her music and humor, and we hope you’ll join us in wishing her continued success! 

Thank you, as always, for supporting live music! We hope to see you soon! Wish us "Gute Fahrt!"

Tschüss!
-Bill und die Belles

 

“DreamSongs, Etc.” OUT TODAY! 

“DreamSongs, Etc.” is OUT TODAY! 

“Bill and the Belles showcase with their debut album, Dream Songs, Etc., what may be the most innovative modern interpretation of vintage roots music.” 
-No Depression 

LISTEN HERE: 

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dreamsongs-etc/1406157930 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3tvlpaGNMGfsS44qMp2MEu?nd=1 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F5YGBQT 

Buy a physical copy: billandthebelles.com/shop

 

RECENT PRESS:

Now It’s Nashville: “Equal parts traditional folk, vaudevillian and meta-modern aughts entertainment, Bill and Belles put on a show that is sure to stand the test of time, much like the acts that preceded them, and perhaps the ones to follow.”

No Depression: “Bill and the Belles showcase with their debut album, DreamSongs, Etc., what may be the most innovative modern interpretation of vintage roots music.”

“Dream Songs, Etc., stands as a beautifully engineered reflection back to the charming sounds of vintage roots music that provides new reflections on life and, as visually experienced through their two music video releases (see below), a fresh, pop spin that emphasizes the simplicity and beauty of the music.”

Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association: “Charming. Deeply charming. That is the essence of this full-length debut by Bill and the Belles, Dream Songs, Etc.” 

“This is not the ‘old, weird America’ as Greil Marcus famously termed the music collected by Harry Smith. This is the ‘sweet, gentle America.’”

http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/bill-and-belles-announce-debut-album 

http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/10-influential-songs-led-my-love-country-and-blues 

https://bluegrasstoday.com/wedding-bell-chimes-from-bill-and-the-belles/ 

http://americansongwriter.com/2018/06/bill-belles-announce-dreamsongs-etc-drop-wedding-bell-chimes-video/ 

https://thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-bill-and-the-belles-dreamsongs-etc/

MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE: “Finger Pointin’ Mama” 

NEW VIDEO PREMIERE on 👉PopMatters👈 

“Taking influence from old-school jazz, blues, and folk, the playful tune is a callback to the foundations of roots music and the timeless lessons that come with them. It's a sweet and sincere piece of work that perfectly captures what Bill and the Belles are about in a song. The accompanying video ups the charm tenfold, conveying the band's effortlessly enchanting style and sound that much further in its composition.”

WATCH HERE: https://www.popmatters.com/bill-belles-finger-pointin-mama-2597635816.html

Album Release Tour Dates Announced 

 

Lo ts of fun shows coming up with the release of “DreamSongs, Etc.” just around the corner! A few *super special* shows we want you to know about (and come to): 

As always, keep an eye on our website calendar (www.billandthebelles.com/tour) and “like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/billandthebelles) to stay in the loop!

Pre-Order "DreamSongs, Etc." 

CLICK HERE to pre-order your copy of "DreamSongs, Etc."! You'll get first access to our singles (including "Wedding Bell Chimes," as featured in American Songwriter) and on release day, you get a digital download of the entire album and your hard copy goes in the mail! 

Have you seen our latest music video? WATCH "WEDDING BELL CHIMES" HERE and pre-order the album to get a download of the single! 

August is just around the corner, and we can't wait to get this album out to the world! In the meantime, follow us on Facebook to stay connected, and keep an eye on our tour calendar! Hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows: 

7/20 Radio Bristol Fund Drive! (listenradiobristol.org) 

7/21 R.A. Fountain Store (Fountain, NC) 

7/28 RockyGrass (Lyons, CO) 

8/4 Pickin in Parsons (Parsons, WV) 

8/5 Bonefire Smokehouse (Abingdon, VA) 

8/9 Farm and Fun Time (Bristol, VA) 

8/10 Milton's (St. Paul, VA) 

8/11 Ken's Backyard Concert (Baltimore, MD) 

8/14 5 Spot (Nashville, TN) 

8/15 Tennessee Shines (Knoxville, TN) 

8/16 Blackthorn Club (Jonesborough, TN) 

8/17 The Down Home (Johnson City, TN) LOCAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW 

8/18 Workhouse Arts Center (Lorton, VA) 

8/24 Jalopy Theater (Brooklyn, NY) OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW 

8/25 The Hoot (Olivebridge, NY) 

8/26 Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association (Rhinebeck, NY) 

8/30 Naumkeag at Night (Stockbridge, MA) 

9/1 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Woodstown, NJ) 

9/8 Old Tone Roots Music Festival (North Hillsdale, NY) 

9/9 Sunday Concert Series (New Haven, CT) 

9/15 Crossing the Cumberlands Festival (Hilham, TN) 

9/16 Brews and Tunes (Jonesborough, TN) 

9/20-23 Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (Bristol, TN/VA) 

9/25-28 IBMA World of Bluegrass (Raleigh, NC) 

9/28 Wide Open Bluegrass, StreetFest (Raleigh, NC) 

9/29 Dust Bowl Jamboree (Kansas City, MO) 

*ALBUM ANNOUNCEMENT + VIDEO PREMIER* 

Bill and The Belles Announce Debut Album DreamSongs, Etc. 
American Songwriter Premieres First Single, “Wedding Bell Chimes” 

Today, Bill and The Belles announce their first full-length studio album, DreamSongs, Etc. From the foothills of Blue Ridge in Johnson City, Tennessee, Bill and The Belles captivate fans with rich vocal harmonies and simple catchy melodies, built on a strong foundation of love for early American music. The forthcoming album, recorded in just two days inside a beautiful old farmhouse in the rolling hills of Southeast Virginia, is set for release on August 24, 2018 on Jalopy Records. Along with the official album announcement, the video for the album’s first single, “Wedding Bell Chimes” premiered exclusively on American Songwriter today. Bill and The Belles are currently touring the East Coast and will appear at RockyGrass, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and IBMA (full dates below). DreamSongs, Etc. is available for pre-order today. 

Read complete press release here: "Bill and the Belles Announce DreamSongs, Etc." 

Media Contact: 
Sarah Bennett 
sarahbennett@thepresshouse.com 
(706) 892-7367 

CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO, "WEDDING BELL CHIMES" 

 

*PRE-ORDER "DREAMSONGS, ETC." TODAY!* 
On release day (August 24th), we'll put your CD in the mail and give you an instant digital download of the entire album! Shop here: https://billandthebelles.com/shop 

Tour Dates: 
July 1 – Abingdon, VA – Bonefire Smokehouse 
July 2 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle with CW Stoneking 
July 4 – Bristol, TN – Border Bash 
July 6 -- Memphis, TN 
July 7 – Mountain View, AR – Ozark Folk Center 
July 12 – Bristol, TN – Birthplace of Country Music 
July 13 – Johnson City, TN – Founders After Five 
July 21 – Fountain, NC – R.A. Fountain 
July 28 – Lyons, CO – Rockygrass 
Aug 4 – Parsons, WV – Pickin' In Parsons 
Aug 5 – Abingdon, VA – Bonefire Smokehouse 
Aug 9 - Bristol, VA - Birthplace of Country Music 
Aug 10 – St. Paul, VA – Milton's 
Aug 11 – Baltimore, MD – Ken’s Backyard Concert 
Aug 12 – Johnson City, TN – Music in the Park 
Aug 14 – Nashville, TN – 5 Spot 
Aug 15 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Shines 
Aug 16 – Jonesborough, TN – Blackthorn Club 
Aug 17 – Johnson City, TN – Down Home (LOCAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) 
Aug 18 -- Fairfax, VA 
Aug 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Jalopy Theater (OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) 
Aug 25 – Olivebridge, NY – The Hoot 
Aug 26 -- Rhinebeck, NY -- HVBA Concert 
Aug 30 -- Stockbridge, MA -- Naumkeag at Night 
Sept 1 – Woodstown, NJ – Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival 
Sept 7 – North Hillsdale, NY – The Old Tone Roots Music Festival 
Sept 9 – New Haven, CT – Second Sunday Concert Series 
Sept 13 – Bristol, TN – Birthplace of Country Music 
Sept 14 -- Hilham, TN 
Sept 16 – Jonesborough, TN – Brews and Tunes 
Sept 21 – Bristol, VA – Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion 
Sept 25 – Raleigh, NC – IBMA 
Sept 29 – Kansas City, MO – Dust Bowl Jamboree 
Oct 5 – St. Paul, VA – Milton's 
Oct 6 – Johnson City, TN – Studio One (WETS) 
Oct 6 -- Clintwood, VA -- Ralph Stanley Museum 

Thank you so much for supporting live music! We believe in the power of music to do good and we know you do too. Hope to see you soon! 

Cheers, 
Bill and the Belles

Exciting things in the works... 

We’ve got a new album underway, and we can’t wait to share it with you! We recorded it live in two days (as we do) at Studio808A in Floyd, VA with the one-and-only Joseph "joebass" DeJarnette. For the first time we’re unveiling original material, and we have some incredible guests artists sitting in as well: Evan Kinney on accordion, and Aaron Olwell on clarinet. We’re proud of the product, and we’re hard at work getting the pieces in place for its release later this summer. Stay tuned for details, including pre-sale info! In the meantime, here’s a peak at the recording process: 

We took over this beautiful old farmhouse for a few days. 

Evan Kinney on accordion! 

Aaron Olwell on clarinet! 

Engineer Joe "joebass" DeJarnette! 

Our post-recording jams were delightfully eclectic. 

 

We’ve also got some new shows to announce this summer, and we hope to see your beautiful faces there! Here are some dates we’re especially excited about (check our website for full calendar): 

6/2 Blue Ridge Music Center (Galax, VA) 

6/9 Northeast Fiddlers' Convention (Pittsfield, MA) 

6/23 Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival (Tunbridge, VT) 

7/4 Border Bash (Bristol, TN/VA) 

7/7 Ozark Folk Center (Mountain View, Arkansas) 

7/21 R.A. Fountain (Fountain, NC) 

7/27-29 RockyGrass (Lyons, CO) 

8/4 Pickin in Parsons Bluegrass Festival (Parsons, WV) 

9/1 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Woodstown, NJ) 

9/6-9 Old Tone Roots Music Festival (Hillsdale, NY) 

9/21-23 Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (Bristol, TN/VA) 

9/26-28 IBMA's World of Bluegrass (Raleigh, NC) *OFFICIAL SHOWCASE ARTISTS* 

9/29 Dust Bowl Jamboree (Parkville, MO) 

 

If you haven't "liked" our Facebook page, please do! It's the best way to stay up-to-date. Keep an eye out for details about new album presales, release information, and more exciting news from Bill and the Belles land! News like this latest video, a Radio Bristol Session from IBMA 2017: 


Thank you so much for supporting live music! We believe in the power of music to do good and we know you do too. Hope to see you soon! 

Cheers, 
Bill and the Belles

Happy New Year from Bill and the Belles! 

As the end of 2017 approaches, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on some of what this year had to offer, and to thank you for all you’ve done to support our efforts! 2017 was a wild ride for Bill and the Belles and here are some of the highlights: 

  • We were honored to be nominated for 4 IBMA awards this year, and hosted the official IBMA Awards Show After Party! 
  • We played some spectacular festivals, including the Brooklyn Folk FestivalGrey Fox, Ossipee Valley Music FestivalOld Tone Roots Music FestivalJoe Val Bluegrass Festival, and the Washington Square Park Folk Festival. We also had the privilege of playing the last Tennessee Fall Homecoming, one of the region’s longest running festivals that we will be sad to see go. 
  • As host band of Radio Bristol's Farm and Fun Time we were incredibly happy and grateful to see the program sell out every month, and witness it change and expand. We got to share the stage with a bounty of talented artists including the Earls Of Leicester, John McEuen, the Secret Sisters, and Alice Gerrard. 
  • We made our second appearance 333ft below ground, with Bluegrass Underground! 
  • Along with many heroes, we hosted the first Martin Guitar Gathering! 
  • Our playful rendition of "Mr. Frog Went a-Courtin" was included on the Grammy Nominated album "Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition." 
  • We released our third annual holiday video, “Mistletoe Minnie,” shot at some quintessential Johnson City locations. 
  • And the most incredible journey of the year took us to Michoacan, Mexico, where we played shows in towns around Lake Patzcuaro and collaborated with local Purépecha bands for a finale festival in Tzintzuntzan. This was one of the most impactful trips any of us have been on. It really put into perspective our participation in celebrating tradition, and what it means to be an artist in today’s world. One of our biggest takeaways was how valued the arts seem to be there. The smallest communities with the fewest resources were brimming with artists, and many people expressed to us with pride how everyone was expected to play music. It was seemingly a given, not a thing that required immense convincing and systematic overhaul. It was refreshing and inspiring to say the least. How have the arts shaped your identity? What are you doing to support the arts in your community? These are some of the many questions we’re bringing home with us. 

We’re ready for what 2018 has to offer, and we’ve already got big plans in the works. We’ll be heading out to Colorado for RockyGrass, and returning to favorite festivals like Old Tone Roots Music Festival. We also are planning a few trips overseas this year! And most exciting of all, we’ll be recording and releasing our NEW RECORD! Released in conjunction with Jalopy Records, it will feature our signature three-part, highly-arranged harmonies, plus playful and high-spirited songs presented with the energy of early country radio. For the first time we’ll feature original material, and we’ll be collaborating with a few world-class artists to add new musical voices to our mix. Keep an eye out for more details and plan on getting a copy in May 2018! 

Most importantly we want to thank all of our fans, friends, and family for your constant and overwhelming support. This has been a big year for us and we couldn't have made the strides we've made without your belief in our music. Thank you, and we wish you the happiest of new years! 

Love, 
Bill and the Belles

NEW VIDEO: "Mistletoe Minnie" 

Bill and the Belles Release Third Annual Holiday Music Video,
“Mistletoe Minnie”

Bill and the Belles - "Mistletoe Minnie" 

Well folks, here it is: our third annual Bill and the Belles holiday video! Written by Kris Truelsen, shot and produced by Josh Littleton, we think "Mistletoe Minnie" is a real charmer. While last year's video, "Santa's Hula Holiday," took viewers on an island getaway, this year's features some unexpected and quintessential Johnson City locations. 

We hope you enjoy! Happy holidays from Bill and the Belles!