The John Paul Bell Band

The John Paul Bell Band

 Annapolis, Maryland, USA

The John Paul Bell Band features top notch musicians on guitar, drums, bass & keyboards, seamlessly combining blues, funk, roots & rock. John's engaging vocals, smoking hot guitar licks, blues grooves & funky sounds get the patrons’ feet on the dance floor – and their jaws on the ground.


John Paul Bell was born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. His first guitar was a plastic guitar he rescued from the neighbor’s trash. His father and uncle recognized John Paul’s superlative musical gift and bought him a Sears Silvertone guitar. By age 15, John Paul Bell was playing at the local Moose and Elk lodges with band mates 10 years his senior.

John Paul’s Grandmother Ruth was a major influence on young John Paul. She was a master on the Hammond B3 organ and could play left hand bass on the keyboard as well as the bass foot pedal. The first time John Paul heard Jimmy Smith he thought “wow, that sounds like my grandmother." She played songs from Booker T. and the MGs all the while saying: "this stuff is easy, son." Grandmother Ruth was right - it was easy for John Paul.

John Paul’s Uncle Bill was a country and bluegrass picker. John Paul said that “he would effortlessly play song after song with great skill” and “he used to get a kick out of picking some really fast notes then hand me the guitar and say: "go play something now.”

Before long John Paul was able to repeat what he was playing. Uncle Bill told John Paul’s father "this boy can really play... get him an electric guitar and an amp and then sit back and watch the magic happen." Uncle Bill was right.

As a young man, John Paul worked in music and guitar stores, where he soaked up everything he could about guitars and music.

For most of his adult life, John Paul was a truck driver. He played music part-time in several Baltimore area bands. In 2003, John Paul retired to devote himself full-time to his music career. That year, he joined the renowned multi-WAMA award winner, the Tommy Lepson Band. More than eight years later, he remains a driving force behind the band.

John Paul’s influences include British rockers such as: Rory Gallagher and Ritchie Blackmore. Jeff Beck remains a major influence. He has also been especially inspired by power trios like: Cream, Grand Funk Railroad, James Gang, Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsies, Trapeze and ZZ Top.

A resourceful and versatile self-taught player, John Paul began playing blues and jazz in the 1980s and emulating much-admired players such as Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robben Ford. John Paul added funk to his repertoire, and remains one of the area’s leading groove makers.

John Paul has acquired serious recognition as a demonstration specialist for Garrett Park Guitars in Annapolis, Maryland, where his high-end guitar demonstration videos are posted online and viewed worldwide.

John Paul recently formed his own power band, The John Bell Band.

In 2011, John cut his first CD, Looking Back, and performs with his band, the John Bell Trio.

John Bell on guitar and vocals
Brad Kimes on Drums
Chris Sellman