The Belleville Outfit

The Belleville Outfit

BandAlternativeAvant-garde

The Belleville Outfit, an assembly of 6 extremely talented 20-somethings, is simply one of the most original, unique, and hard-driving acoustic acts working today. With influences running the spectrum from Django Reinhardt all the way to Lyle Lovett, you'll just have to see for yourself.

Biography

With a tight, seamless, acoustic sound — a mix of gypsy swing, big band jazz and cross-genre Americana roots music, original songs and clever covers — the startling six-piece Belleville Outfit of Austin belies the tender age of its members and its vast experience garnered swiftly after its union around Merlefest 2007 in Wilkesboro, N.C.

In fact, in just six months, the band has played for more than 10,000 people, ridden in a van-with-trailer to get to shows from Texas to Nashville and the Carolinas, sold out shows throughout Texas and along the East Coast, shared stages with the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Del McCoury Band, Mark O’Connor, and The Waybacks, and recorded a full-length album with producers John Rees and Bil Vorndick. When the band is home, members soak up other acts’ music, absorbing how music transmits energy from musician to listener, healing both — always learning, learning from the past but breathing their own interpretations into what they hear.

The Belleville Outfit came together when The DesChamps Band of Spartanburg, S.C., was offered a slot at Merlefest 2007. The former band of singer-guitarist Marshall Hood (of the famous Hood family) and singer-songwriter-guitarist Rob Teter was no more, so Teter got Hood and vocalist-violinist Phoebe Hunt (who’s won Daniel Pearl Foundation honors) to New Orleans to meet drummer Jonathan Konya, pianist Connor Forsyth and upright bass player Jeff Brown. After two days of marathon rehearsals, the band was ready for its first shows together — complete with a sound that mixes members’ Appalachian roots and the traditional jazz of New Orleans, American swing, blues, country, soul and gypsy music.

Teter, Forsyth and Konya had been studying music and business at Loyola for two years, and Hunt had earned a degree in history at the University of Texas at Austin while learning to play the fiddle in a local folk trio, The Hudsons. Brown, also a member of The DesChamps, had joined the military. Hood was playing gigs for Austin’s Toni Price and Warren Hood and the Hoodlums. But after Merlefest, each decided to give the band their all. Its name (“belle ville” means beautiful town in French) honors New Orleans and the dramatic influence Hurricane Katrina had on the city and the Loyola trio. And “Belleville” is a Django Reinhardt song the band plays, which exemplifies a great portion of its sound.

Discography

Debut Album Wanderin' (February 5, 2008)

Unreleased sample tracks are available on this site.

Set List

We play original music, and the music of others who influence, that's pretty much it. And, no, we will not learn particular songs for your party, especially not the YMCA or the Macarena. (We've been asked for both).

We'll play as long or as short as you'd like.