Whether you’ve heard of Cellist and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bell or just stumbled onto his cello which emotes into the worlds of Blues, Funk, Folk and even Carnatic influences, do yourself a favor and buy “Rust”, the new album by Bell. Beyond music – it is an artistic masterpiece. Go lay down in a field at night with your headphones, stare at the stars and listen to this album. The emotional range is beyond words as is the organic instrumentation. Besides Christopher Bell’s electric cello, you will hear brass, a string quartet, baritone guitar, upright bass and drums.
Apart from interpreting Howlin Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”, Bell writes simply and beautifully – he’s not using words that make little sense just because they rhyme, nor is he trying to impress you (but this is the very reason he does impress). He tells such vivid stories that you feel as if you are right there watching the scenes unfold. His simplicity is so refreshing that this is will become one of my few go-to albums when I come home from a long day. He also has a distinctive and compelling style: somewhere in the spaces between Tom Waits, Patrick Sweany and Andrew Bird, among others.
Christopher Bell combines beautifully written songs, passionate vocals, and soulful instrumentation which has plenty of that back-porch warmth nobody can quite do anymore. The energy coming from the music on this album is visceral, seductive and intoxicating. But seriously, you do not need to read words about Bell’s music. You need to hear it. For those who have been waiting for a young musician to take roots Americana and Rock music into the new world, creating their own style and feeling, this is the one. Do not wait. And get ready for a very long career to unfold before your very ears. Certified and guaranteed.
It seems like the music scene has been starving for real talent these days. You could listen to all of the auto-tuned drivel out there if you are willing to settle for sub-par schlock, or you could move your mind and soul on to songs like “Darlin’ I Am Fine”, “Path Back Home”, “Gone Gone”, “Kiss Me”, “Weather The Storm” and “Skeletons”, by Christopher Bell.
Christopher Bell can play the cello like a beast. Using various pedals he layers and distorts his electric cello and shines while so many other cello players of our time are still working out ways to better employ this instrument into modern music. This guy is getting it right where others haven’t even started trying yet. His hooks are memorable and catchy enough to get stuck in someone’s head but Bell never forfeit’s his talent while still being completely relevant. The gritty intensity of the production and the diversity of styles on “Rust” show that Bell is willing to be a completely relevant artist today, without having to compromise his craft like so many others.
Christopher Bell is the type of artist to not put into any box. His talents should be left to its own devices, so that he can start his own quiet musical revolution to delight true music lovers and shake up the airwaves once again.