Bobby BellWhat happens when a young man saves $7.50 from his paper route to see his idol perform at the Boston Gardens in nineteen sixty-something? A chance meeting with the one and only Jimi Hendrix inspired the then 15 year old Bobby Bell to make a career decision. Music would be his passion and he would further develop his natural talent for guitar playing and songwriting. Bobby Bell, today an accomplished guitar player and charismatic stage performer, has been captivating audiences ever since.
Born in Boston, MA where he grew up listening to Sam Cooke, James Brown, and of course his greatest teacher Jimi Hendrix, music intrigued Bobby Bell. Bobby began sneaking into after-hours clubs in Boston to watch and learn from the local and national musicians, typically blues artists who gigged on the Boston Chittlin' Circuit. The British Invasion of the sixties affected national television exposure, and Bobby learned his fingering technique through imitating performers and eventually taught himself how to play the guitar.
Still a teenager, he became a regular in the clubs, working odd jobs like lighting technician just to have the chance to get in on a session if the opportunity ever presented itself. At the club, The Sugar Shack, Bobby learned from the great talents like James Brown, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, and Eddie Hazel of Parliament/Funkadelic. It was at The Sugar Shack that Bobby met Jeff Beck and Patti LaBelle. Jeff Beck gave Bobby an opportunity to play for three hours at an "after" party. Bobby's performance so impressed Patti LaBelle's band that he was asked to join them in Philadelphia six months later. The rest is history.
Throughout his career Bobby has performed with an impressive list of musicians including Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Kinsey Report, Mandrill, Albert Collins, Koko Taylor, Nile Rodgers and The Betty Davis Band (led by the former wife of the great Miles Davis).
Bobby's long-awaited album was released in 1997, entitled 'Bout Time, on Exile Records. Bobby brings to his listeners his years of solid experience in live performance, fluid guitar playing and great songwriting. The listeners feel as if they are "sneaking" in on an after-hours jam session -- not unlike those Bobby frequented. Bobby characterizes his CD as "an eclectic compilation of music styles. Blues, funk, rock, and soul -- it's all in there. "My music is a reflection of me. The listeners will experience the CD as a journey or a ride. We just have fun riding the rhythm," he comments.
A member of the Black Rock Coalition, in addition to recording and promoting his new CD, Bobby maintains an in-demand live performance schedule. He hosts "Blue Mondays" at the famous Terra Blues in the heart of NYC's Greenwich Village, every Monday night. He will also perform in the first annual Peekaboo Music Festival in NYC, April 1997 and in New Orleans Heritage Festival, May 1997. His song "Winners" from "'Bout Time" has been placed in the independent film, "Fairy Tale Of New York", which will be released theatrically in 1998. Bobby also has an instrumental song, entitled, "Blues For The Dancer", in the Australian documentary film, "Millennium Shift".
For more information on Bobby Bell & The Bell System: Exile Records
31 East 31st Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10010
(tel) 212-689-4641 - (fax) 212-689-6926