The Maybelles
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The Maybelles


Band Americana Country


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Country blues all the way."

Its country blues all the way - in a delivery that'll knock yer' socks off! (Susan Porter) - Fayetteville Free Weekly (AR)

"Four STARS"

Dreamy, beautifully modulated and exquisitely arranged folk country blues (John Conquest) - 3rd Coast Music, Austin, TX

"Truth Teller."

"In Jan's songs and stories there is the strength and struggle of all humanity. She is a truth teller, a true troubadour, heart breaker and heart mender" - Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas)

"Four STARS"

Critics Pick of NXNE: Wonderful chiller thriller of a new album, Jan Bell and company are the real deal. (Tim Perlich) - NOW Toronto at NXNE

"Latter day Loretta Lynn"

The British are even making waves in the home of country. Jan Bell, a latter-day Loretta Lynn from a Yorkshire coal-mining background, emigrated to America in her teens. She leads an old-time trio, the Maybelles, and an alt-country band, the Cheap Dates, whose Songs for Love Drunk Sinners won best alt-country album at the 2008 Independent Music Awards. Her roots still show: her song Yorkshire Water catalogs the death of the coal industry, while Carried by the Wind is a lament for British farmers. (Tim Cooper) - Sunday Times, London UK

"Soaring, haunting country band."

Pity the act who has to follow Jan Bell and her soaring, haunting, old school country band. - Lucid Culture, NYC


Celtic, Appalachian tinged...Dark, old timey spareness...gorgeous. But even more gorgeous is Jan Bell's ode to New York City. - Village Voice (Chuck Eddy)

"Completely won me over!"

Jan Bell and company completely won me over! Creative arrangements, meaty melodies, crisp playing and really fine songs.

- Sing Out!

"Onto something big!"

I love bands that are willing to explore new territory. I love the instrumental combination, the old-time real country feel, the close harmonies and the sprightly fiddle playing. I think you all are onto something big.
Dave Higgs - Nashville Public Radio - Bluegrass Breakdown - Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio

"Freshness bordering on wonder"

The Maybelles capture the spirit of Appalachian lyric folk song with startling precision...freshness bordering on wonder. No complaints here folks.
(Jerome Clark)
For full review please visit -

"They've got it all!"

"I'm a big fan. they've got it all. Good writing. Good voices. Great sound. Katy gives them a lot of versatility. If you haven't seen the Maybelles in a while, you're in for a big surprise."
(Presenter, Goodfolk Concert Series, Fayetteville, AR. 'the pickin' Post' KUAF, Arkansas Public Radio)

Fayetteville Free Weekly HIGHLIGHTS (Feature, Fall 2007)
The Maybelles are a charming and up beat old time country trio. Don't miss their show at the Goodfolk. (Susan Porter) - Mike Shirkey (KUAF Radio, Arkansas)


Jan Bell leads the Maybelles in up tempo, soulful country. - Time Out NY

"Brilliant! (IBMA Featured Artists)"

Feature Interview by Edd Hurt 'Driving a Hybrid' article on the Maybelles at the IBMA's 2008.
Along with the usual names up for awards—Krauss, The Del McCoury Band, banjoist J.D. Crowe—the conference hosts newcomers such as Cadillac Sky, a Texas quintet with a bracingly experimental take on bluegrass, and singer-songwriter Jan Bell, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, and moved to Brooklyn 20 years ago. Bell's music isn't strictly bluegrass, but her reworking of old-time country and jug-band blues is remarkably nuanced. It embodies the wide-open spirit of what has become an antic, hybrid genre.

"I was studying English literature and theater in England and had a view on building a career in community theater," Bell says. What she calls a "student-exchange scheme" got her to New York state, where she taught theater in a summer camp for children. Growing up in coal-mining country, she learned about music on a strictly local level and witnessed the kind of labor unrest familiar to residents of eastern Kentucky.

"I was born in a little coal-mining village, and in my teens there was a lot of political struggle," Bell says. "They were closing all the coal mines, and my grandfather and uncles were going on picket lines. So I started to see music and hear music in those places, for working-class people that didn't have musical ambitions but played just to keep themselves going. When I first came to this country and was traveling through Kentucky and Virginia, I thought I was hearing broad Yorkshire."
Along with her early experiences with working-class music, Bell cites the post-punk ferment of early '80s British music as an influence. "Back then, one of the first times I ever saw somebody singing with a guitar, I thought, wow—that was Billy Bragg," she remembers. "Billy Bragg was playing in this burnt-out building and getting people to vote for Neil Kennock, the Labour Party leader at the time. I thought playing an acoustic guitar was pretty cool. You can pack a punch with it."

Substitute mandolin or banjo for acoustic guitar, and make the abandoned building an American club or festival stage, and Bell's story rings true for any number of musicians. Still, Bell says she came to America with a limited notion of bluegrass. "I knew who Dolly Parton was, and Loretta Lynn. Bill Monroe, I had never heard of him before I came to America. This was before O Brother came out, and now I think people in Britain and Europe know much more about old-time country and Americana."

After honing her skills and smarts as a street musician in New Orleans, Bell joined with bassist Melissa Carper to start The Maybelles. Recently the group has added violinist Katy Rose Cox, whose wild, rhythmically charged solos and accompaniment make her the bluegrass equivalent of Flying Burrito Brothers' steel-guitar wizard "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow. On last year's Leavin' Town Cox powers their version of Gillian Welch's tale of rape and murder, "Caleb Meyer," and her instrumental showcase, "Devil's Gap," races along like an out-of-control moonshine Cadillac down a series of hogback roads.

Leavin' Town is a brilliant record, with Bell's breathy and slightly reticent voice contrasting with her sharp phrasing. As do many modern bluegrass artists, Bell takes the music out of the country and into another place. For her, it's New York City. "Cowgirl Blues" contains the lines, "I see the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan too / I see the East River flowing, baby, down to you." Carper's "Been Probed" stands with The Byrds' 1966 "Mr. Spaceman" as droll science-fiction bluegrass: "I'm prayin' for my sins / And I let 'em take me into that gospel mothership in the sky," they sing.

Meanwhile, Cadillac Sky's delirious Gravity's Our Enemy combines ace songwriting with restless arrangements. Singer and mandolinist Bryan Simpson writes songs about battered women and the downside of stardom, and displays a real feel for paranoia on "Inside Joke." They're nominated for an IBMA award for Emerging Artist and are clearly an ambitious group. - The Nashville Scene

"Voice Feature Nickel Creek/The Maybelles"

A triumph for equal opportunity bluegrassers! You remember their art, not their science...much more traditional than Nickel Creek or The Duhks.
- Mikael Wood

"BBC Radio London"

The Maybelles sound like they might be the great grandchildren of country singers from the 1930's.
Charlie Gillett, BBC Radio London - Charlie Gillett

"Top 10 New Orleans"

Featured artists in Annual Music Issue:
The Maybelles may be the spiritual daughters of greats such as Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, Memphis MInnie, Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, and of course, Mothr Maybelle.
As the Maybelles, they do prove they have some form of spiritual guidance from these legendary performers, following in their predecessors' footsteps with their own brand of old-time country blues.
(Maybelles original on magazine compilation CD) - New Orleans City Life

"Jolie Holland's Top 10"

Songs for my Baby is a beautiful, soulful record.
Jolie Holland, ANTI Records Artist.

One of my favorite singers, Jan Bell wrote this tearjerker about a break up 'Right To Love'
featured in Jolie's MIX TAPE interview for Magnet Magazine. - Magnet Magazine


EP : 2011 "Hello Stranger".
Recorded LIVE before an audience; and in the open room studio at The Fabulous Jalopy Theater, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NYC.

Leavin' Town produced by David Singleton & the Maybelles. (2007) with special guest Arkansas Red.

White Trash Jenny (2005) & Songs for my Baby (2004) both produced by Mike West at the ninth ward pickin parlor, New

Jan Bell:
Songs for Love Drunk Sinners (2008) produced by Samantha Parton. Winner Best Alt. Country Album - Independent Music Awards.

Between the Bridges (2000)



The Maybelles are a harmony driven band based in Brooklyn, NYC and comprise of guitar, fiddle, upright bass and sometimes piano. They are often described as having an Appalachian/Celtic/Old time country sound.

"Jan Bell leads The Maybelles in up tempo, soulful country"
Time Out, NY

Festival highlights include Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival NY; The International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA); and the Ozark Folk Festival (AR).
In NYC they've been honored to play Joe's Pub, High Line Ballroom, City Winery, and are regulars at The Dumbo Arts Festival down by The Brooklyn Bridge.

Live show, Four Star album reviews, and feature interviews can be seen in Americana UK; The Village Voice; The Nashville Scene; and The Sunday Times, London UK.

SUPPORT slots include The Be Good Tanyas, Emmylou Harris, Wanda Jackson, Odetta, Rosalie Sorrels, Ferron, and Steve Earle.

UK Festival Tours, including Jan playing a solo show at Glastonbury.

The current touring trio comprises Violinist, Rima Fand (Luminescent Orchestrii) who has played with Jan for ten years; and Megan Palmer who joined The Maybelles as a multi instrumentalist in 2009. Megan brings piano to many songs for the first time.
Hilary Hawke now focusing on her own band The Flipsides, has been the banjo Maybelle since 2006, when they opened for Wanda Jackson in NYC. Philippa Thompson recently gave birth to twins, and has been on board since opening for folk legend Ferron at The Highline Ballroom. NYC in 2007. Tim Luntzel (upright bass) is the honorary 'May Bro' when he is not on tour with Roseanne Cash.
The Maybelles began as a duo - Jan Bell and Melissa Carper in the Ozarks. Melissa is now based in Austin, TX but joins the new line up on occasion.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (NY) - Main Stage, Masters Stage and Dance Stage.
Hudson River Country Fair (NYC)
Gotta Have Park Festival (Prospect Park NYC)
Music In America Festival (Richmond, VA)
Ozark Folk Festival (AR)
South 40 Festival (KS)
DUMBO Arts Festival (NYC)
Brooklyn Waterfront Festival (NYC)
Brooklyn Country Music Festival (NYC)
Kings County Opry Annual Winter Hoe Down (NYC).
Woody Guthrie Archives at CUNY (NYC)
National Folk Alliance Official Artist, Memphis 2008
International Bluegrass Music Awards. Roots and Branches Stage, Nashville 2008

Jan Bell hails from coal mining country in Yorkshire, England, trained in English Literature, Theater, writing and radio. She came to NYC as a student teacher; fell in love with the folk festival realm and life on the American road.
Today, she teaches songwriting classes at Jalopy Theater, Brooklyn , NY and has won several Awards in that sphere:

*Independent Music Awards WINNER Alt. Country Album of the year 2008. People's Choice Award
*Brooklyn Country Music Hall of Fame Award 2009
*Top 3 Albums of the year 2008
CMR Nashville, UK. Hosted by Gail Comfort.
*Brooklyn Arts Council September 11th 'Memorial Sing', NYC
*Mayor Bloomberg's Award for Women in Business, NYC
Superfine cites Jan Bell and Little Red Hen Music in receipt of this coveted prize
*WINNER New Jersey Folk Festival Singer Songwriter 2007
*WINNER New Orleans City Life Singer/Songwriter 2005
*Audience Award Title Track in Malibu Film Festival 'Between the Bridges'

Founder : Little Red Hen Music 1999. Presenters at The National Folk Alliance Convention 7 years running.

Artist/Agent with Charisma Artist Agency. (USA)