Louie Bello
Gig Seeker Pro

Louie Bello

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF | AFM

Boston, MA | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Country R&B

Calendar

Music

Press


"BOSTON’S LONGEST-RUNNING R&B RESIDENCY OVERFLOWS INTO A BIGGER VENU"

There are countless awesome moments that come to mind when thinking about Quiet Desperation, the web-based reality sitcom orchestrated by Boston comic and musician Rob Potylo. My favorite, though—and I’m pretty sure that I have noted this before—features a female comedian playing one of my contemporaries in the realm of local arts criticism. Taking herself super seriously, the Boston music critic says it’s unbelievable how artists, upon leaving Boston for a bigger pasture like New York or Los Angeles, suddenly become talented.

It’s hogwash, of course, as Massachusetts breeds innumerable stars with endless chops. But while the city’s subterranean cachet fits with the image that a lot of indie rock and hip-hop acts are cultivating, Hyde Park r&b singer Louie Bello has steered clear of Boston’s underground trappings, and carved a unique space for soulful pop music. Louie is a family friend of mine, close like a brother, and as such, I have abstained from having newspapers I work for gush over his music. At the same time, it would be absurd to ignore the following that he built up over the past year-and-a-half in particular.



In a city that arguably has a segregated nightlife scene—a topic which we have addressed in DigBoston, and will continue to address in upcoming issues—the Louie Bello Concert Series at Abby Lane packed the most diverse crowd that I have seen on a consistent basis. On any given Wednesday, for 75 consecutive weeks, the club filled with musicians, businesspeople, municipal employees, and music fans of all races and ages, 21 and up of course. The impact earned Louie a 2015 Boston Music Award, while City Councilor Tito Jackson, who made regular appearances at Abby Lane along with other elected officials, even named a day for the band at City Hall.



By their final show at Abby Lane, it had gotten to the point where people couldn’t get inside the door. So instead of making fans line up around the block, Louie and his team decided to move their residency next door, to the much bigger Venu. I can’t stress how important it is to support this institution, or how much fun it is to watch Louie perform. If you’ve been looking for a party that attracts all of the best elements of Boston, or if you grew up in the ’90s and know all the words to “Real Love,” then I hope to see you there. - Weekly Dig


"Louie Bello on His Abby Lane Residency, Making Music Local & Why Boston Calling Falls Flat"

The Lawn on D is full, as is usual for a Sunday afternoon. Most people take refuge under the tent but many brave the scorching heat to play ping pong. Louie Bello walks across the lawn in a white tank-top and bright blue pants – much to the chagrin of his manager, hoping he would be better dressed–to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to talk about his career as a veteran of the Boston music scene and headlining BostonFest prior to his set that afternoon at the Lawn on D.

Bello, a pop/r&b/soul singer, plays a mix of his original work and covers both classic and current. He's been playing all over the city over his 20 year career and has established himself as one of Boston's premier r&b acts, earning five consecutive Boston Music Awards nominations. But over the past year, Bello has found popularity and stability because his residency at Abby Lane, a bar and restaurant in the Theater District.

"A friend of our's asked us if we'd do a couple weeks," he said. "We told them 'yeah, we'll do a couple weeks.' It was supposed to be, I think, five weeks. And after four or five, it started getting really, really busy and the word started getting out. We decided to extend it another five weeks and before you know it, we're about to hit show number 70 in two weeks."

The residency started last spring and week in and week out brings a capacity crowd of over 200 people. He performs every week with his band and often brings in other local guests to perform alongside him. Sometimes they are a local group that Bello believes needs more publicity, other times it could be his friends who are from out of town. He believes that he's helping open people's eyes to good music both in Boston and around the country.

Bello is incredibly proud of the crowd he gets every week, easily filling up Abby Lane. He estimates that the residency has tripled his fan base. He loves the diversity of his crowds (although it generally skews towards women) and the atmosphere they help create at his weekly shows.

The residency earned Bello his first Boston Music Award for best ongoing live residency. Even as it still goes on, Bello realizes what it has done for his career.

"I've had pretty much the same guys, the same core of guys," he said. "And now we're just so tight because of all these shows together. From Abbey Lane we've travelled across the country, doing SXSW, Red Gorilla Fest, just all these other festivals because we're so tight, when we go to these places, we're blowing people away across the country and it's creating more buzz back here."



Back here seems to be the place that is most important to Bello. He fashions himself as an advocate for Boston's current music scene, one that is longing to live up to the successes of a now long ago era. There are two major problems plaguing Boston's musicians, according to Bello. The first he describes as "compartmentalizing." The people making music in certain areas seem to stick to certain areas ("Cambridge is what Cambridge is"). The second is a lack venues and places that support local acts.

"There's not a lot of live show atmospheres. There's a lot of bars where you've got a group playing in the corner and nobody's paying attention and I don't think that constitutes a live venue, to me anyway as an artist."

While Bello praised the efforts of the city to create more festivals, such as Outside the Box, that offer opportunities for more music in the city, he is highly critical of the lack of support they give local acts. Bello was especially critical of Boston Calling.

"Boston Calling is awful," he said. "Boston Calling, to me, they shouldn't name it Boston Calling. They really shouldn't. If they're gonna have a concert series name it "The Calling" because there's hardly any Boston influence in that. I understand bringing national acts, I get the balance. You bring in a balance, you bring in somebody who has a little bit of a name but then bring in a couple people who don't."

He sees a missed opportunity for local acts to get some of the fame from performing alongside bigger national acts. As someone who works with younger acts, he feels bad that they have to miss out on these chances.

Bello continues to do his part through his residency and bringing special guests. He's happy at Abby Lane, although he feels bad that often people can't get in. Another venue is an option down the road, but Bello is not ready to leave his current situation. A documentary based on the Abby Lane residency is coming out in September. Outside of his residency, he's working on new music and will debut some new music at BostonFest.

RELATEDOne Week Until BostonFest: 7 Reasons Why You Should Be There
One Week Until BostonFest: 7 Reasons Why You Should Be There
Back at The Lawn on D, Bello emerges with the tank top covered by a white button-down shirt. He sound checks quickly with his band and starts his set a little after 4 p.m. with Aloe Blacc's "I Need a Dollar." The crowd is into it, but seems to have spent its energy the night before or playing ping-pong outside the tent.

For Bello, this shouldn't be a concern. There will be a packed house Wednesday. - Bostinno


Discography

First full length album The Bello Project, Mix Tape pre release Dirty Crimes LP, Duet with Lisa Bello Acoustrack Vol1. My Music is my latest Album release. We get airplay on Kiss 108FM, Jamin 94.5, Wmln 91.5 and 88.9 as well as numerous college and online streaming stations across the country.

Photos

Bio

Louie Bello is a  Country R&B artist/songwriter who can be seen in venues from Nashville to LA. He recently finished his first European tour playing in Spain, Portugal  and London has taken the stage at many national music festivals such as Milwaukie Mile of Music Fest, PA  Musik Fest, Boston Fest, Red Gorilla Festival, SXSW 

Since then, he has written theme songs for PBS, ESPN,  had a publishing deal with Sony, and had his original songs featured on the television shows such as Lincoln Heights, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and The Real World.  Louie has recently opened for Country stars Tyler Farr and Eric Paslay. His new record is available on Spotify and iTunes. 

Band Members