Bill and the Belles
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Bill and the Belles

Johnson City, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Johnson City, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Americana Roots


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"AmericanaFest 2016: 20 Best Things We Saw"

Best Roaring Twenties: Bill and the Belles
"We like to play pop hits – of the 1920s and 1930s," teased Bill and the Belles, a quartet of pomade-favoring throwbacks from Johnson City, Tennessee. With an approach reminiscent of the Secret Sisters, the group had a post-midnight crowd toe-tapping and dancing to sweet, poignant numbers like "Work Don't Bother Me" and "Old Lonesome Blues." Helmed by Radio Bristol producer Kris Truelsen, a man with a literal master's degree in Appalachian Studies (from East Tennessee State University), the group is committed to helping early country music remain appreciated – not just replicated. - Rolling Stone


Johnson City, Tennessee, quartet Bill and the Belles pay homage to their mountain upbringings with Tin Pan Alley covers and Appalachian-inspired arrangements. They're a joy to watch live, and we bet you can't make it through their set without smiling. - The Bluegrass Situation


Since its inception eight years ago, Music City Roots has become an institution -- for Nashvillians, it's one of the best places in town to catch amazing live music; for the United States, it's perhaps the only way to enjoy the best and brightest roots musicians from the comfort of home, whether online or, since 2013, on PBS. Now the famed show is bringing you yet another way to enjoy great roots music: their new live album series.

Kicked off in June with a release from Johnson City, Tennessee, band Bill and the Belles, the series brings listeners a handful of songs recorded at a recent Music City Roots broadcast. The inaugural release features seven songs and is available across a variety of digital platforms, including Spotify and iTunes.

According to Music City Roots associate producer Ashlee-Jean Trott, whose background prior to joining the Music City Roots team in 2010 was in artist management and music festivals, the idea came to life after she attended DelFest and saw fans' excitement over getting to purchase live festival recordings shortly after they happened. "We have so much content every week, and we have a very large fan base that comes to the shows every week and watches online," Trott explains. "They always want to hear the music afterward."

Trott and her team decided that the series would be selective, with a goal to release one album every two months instead of releasing recordings from each week's show. She hopes that frequency can increase to once a month in 2017.

"I book the bands for the show, so usually I know what all the bands sound like before," she says. "Usually, the bands that blow me away or blow our crew away at the show are the ones that we choose. So, this first band that we did -- Bill and the Belles -- I had heard them at IBMA and I really liked their music and I booked them on the show. But when they played at the show, it was one of those moments that I’ll never forget. It was just so good and the audience gave them a standing ovation. Those are the kind of bands we want to do a live album on, some kind of special moment we had on the show. "

... - The Bluegrass Situation

"Smokin’ Section"

The parlor formality of Johnson City band Bill & The Belles helped set the throwback, timewarp tone of their set, but not half as much as the crooning tenor of their voices and the gentle, immaculate swing of their old acoustic instruments. It was a 78 RPM shellac record come to life. What a wonderful and authentically American sound they made, kicking off with “I Told Them All About You,” which I knew from a Doc Watson/David Grisman recording. This take, with a glimmering trio of voices – Mr. Kris Truelson, Ms. Kalia Yeagle and Ms. Grace Vant Hof – was light and effervescent. The ladies conspired on the duet “The Lonesome Blues,” which came off as wry and funny and heart stirring. Then Yeagle led the way on her fiddle for the dance number “Magnolia One Step,” played with immaculate old-time timing. This is why we cherish the artists who are keeping old songs and old ways of singing alive, because they create unmatchable flavors of delight. - Music City Roots


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


With striking three-part harmonies and masterful instrumentation, Bill and the Belles skillfully breathe new life into the sounds of early country music. At the foothills of the Blue Ridge and the forefront of old-time music, Bill and the Belles (Johnson City, Tennessee) continue to further the music traditions of their region. From sentimental Southern ballads to the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley to regional fiddle breakdowns, a Bill and the Belles show is a celebration of the diversity country music once represented.

Bill and the Belles play alongside America’s top country and roots music artists as the resident band for the historic radio program Farm and Fun Time presented by Radio Bristol and the Birthplace of Country Music. Lifelong musicians Kris Truelsen, Grace Van’t Hof, Kalia Yeagle, and Karl Zerfas bring to the stage an uplifting show unlike any other, and they are hitting the road with fervor. This fall they’ll be showcasing at both the Americana Music Association’s (AMA) AmericanaFest and International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass. It’s clear this group shares a rare musical connection and deep love for the music, and their excitement is contagious.

Band Members