Magazine article Anglican Journal

Second Generation a Welcome Addition

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Second Generation a Welcome Addition

Article excerpt

Steve Bell and Sarah Bell Sons & Daughters Signpost Music

BOTH CHANGE and constancy have marked the life and work of Manitoba-based musician Steve Bell. In his teens, he was honing his skills as a world-class guitar picker. In his twenties, he was a member of the folk pop trio Elias, Schritt and Bell. In his thirties, he was a stay-at-home dad before finding his niche as a musician.

Bell has spent the last 15 years honing those skills and refining that niche with spectacular results. A two-time Juno Award winner, he has released 10 albums and sold nearly 200,000 units worldwide. He straddles two musical idioms--Christian music by virtue of lyrical gifts that are unique and folk/pop/roots secular music with a signature, evocative tenor voice, a great knack for a timeless hook, and those early guitar-picking skills now fully developed.

Never have the intertwining of change and constancy been more apparent than on the baker's dozen tracks that make up his new album Sons & Daughters.

The big change is the high profile of Bell's now-adult daughter Sarah, who earns co-credit status on this album after cameoing on the Juno Award-winning album Simple Songs.

Sarah does lead vocals on four tracks, and her pure, unadorned soprano--a clarion call that recalls Susan Aglukark--is especially effective as a harmony counterpoint to Steve's tenor.

There are other changes too--a rhumba feel to Everything Lies, a 3/4 shuffle beat in Getting Ready For Glory, and an overall jazzier sound in much of the music.

"Sonically, Sons & Daughters has a moodier, jazzier feel than I initially anticipated," Bell said in December as the album was launched. …

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