Latest News

Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots 

The time has come, friends. We're finally headed to Merlefest! We've been looking forward to this festival for a long time, and to add to the delight we've been spotlighted as a "must catch" act of the weekend! 

The Holler says "The Tennessee-based roots group is one of the quirkier offerings of the weekend.... They’re an ideal band to witness after the past year and a half." Gee whiz, what a compliment! Heartfelt thanks to the folks at The Holler and No Depression for the shout outs. We hope to see you at our sets on Friday! 3pm at the Creekside Stage, and 6:15pm at the Traditional Stage. 

Our 6th Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion was wonderful! Thank you to all our friends and fans for showing up and making us feel so loved this weekend, and to Wide Open Country for highlighting Friday night's Farm and Fun Time! It was such a good feeling to look out and see so many folks we haven’t seen in such a long time smiling back at us. Y’all give us the energy to keep pushing forward and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you! 

We have some local and regional shows coming up, and we'd love to see you there! Take a look at our website caeldnar for the full scoop. Here are some highlights: 

UPCOMING SHOWS 

10/1 - IBMA Street Fest (Raleigh, NC) 
10/1 - Music in the Valle (Valle Crucis, NC) 
10/14 - Farm and Fun Time (Bristol, VA) 
10/15 - Cork and Keg (Asheville, NC) 
10/16 - Home Craft Days (Big Stone Gap, VA) 
11/12 - Baltimore Old Time Festival (Baltimore, MD)

Now Signed with Concerted Efforts! 

Now Signed with Concerted Efforts! 

For booking, contact Lori Peters :: Visit Concerted Efforts' Website 

“Bill and the Belles is committed to helping early country 
music remain appreciated –not just replicated.” 
–ROLLING STONE 

“What may be the most innovative modern 
interpretation of vintage roots music.” 
–No Depression 

“They’re a joy to watch live, and we bet you can’t 
make it through their set without smiling.” 
–The Bluegrass Situation 

Bill and the Belles began as a project to explore the sounds between rural and urban music, between vaudeville and down home roots, but they’ve arrived somewhere wholly their own. They revel in the in-between: deeply engaged with the stringband tradition and eager to stretch those influences to contemporary settings. Happy Again is the latest chapter of that ongoing story: what happens when a stringband from East Tennessee lays down a session at Motown. It’s a welcome evolution that feels familiar and timeless. 

Out May 21, 2021 on Ditty Boom Records (distribution and promotion by Free Dirt Service Co.), Happy Again marks a new chapter for the group by featuring eleven all-original songs penned by founding member Kris Truelsen. Anyone who’s been to one of their shows can attest that you leave feeling lighter and refreshed. The deft production touch of Teddy Thompson, who encouraged using only first or second takes, gives Happy Again an emotional punch that deepens with each listen. 

Watch the Live Performance "Meatloaf Mama"

UPCOMING FESTIVAL APPEARANCES: 
Aug 13 Podunk Music Festival- Goshen, CT 
Aug 15 Appaloosa Festival- Front Royal, VA 
Aug 20 Music on the Square- Jonesborough, TN 
Sept 3 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival- Woodstown, NJ 
Sept 10-12 Bristol Rhythm & Roots- Bristol, TN 
Sept 17 Merlefest- Wilkesboro, NC

August '21 highlights! 

The Down Home THIS SATURDAY! 

We're playing the iconic Down Home in Johnson City, TN this week! Call 423-929-9822 for tickets or visit downhome.com. *NOTE: are you a student or a parent of a student? Hit us up for a secret codeword that'll get you a discount at the door!* It's always an honor to play this spot, and we're eager to support our favorite local venues as we all navigate this ongoing pandemic. This will be a limited capacity show. 

Appaloosa Music Festival!! 

We've got a few chances for you to catch us in the DC-area coming up, including the one-and-only Appaloosa Music Festival with our buds Scythian! We'll be there Sunday 8/15. We sang a song about meatloaf to share our excitement: 

Happy 10th, Ear Trumpet! 

This month we're celebrating 10 years of Ear Trumpet Labs! Ear Trumpet microphones have been our trusty companions and supporters over the years, and we're excited to contribute to the festivities this month! There will be a #10YearsofETL Video Concert Special on August 25 with performances and call-ins from artists including us, The Milk Carton Kids, Amythyst Kiah, Darlingside, Gangstagrass, Rainbow Girls, and more. Keep an ear(trumpet) out for the new jingle Kris wrote just for the occasion! 

UPCOMING SHOWS 
see website calendar for full schedule 

8/5 - Farm and Fun Time (Bristol, VA) 

8/6 - Concerts by Canoe (Franklin Co, VA) 

8/7 - The Down Home (Johnson City, TN) 

8/8 - Brews and Tunes (Jonesborough, TN) 

8/12 - Fairfax County Government Center (Fairfax, VA) 

8/13 - Podunk Music Festival (Goshen, CT) 

8/15 - Appaloosa Music Festival! (Front Royal, VA) 

8/20 - Music on the Square (Jonesborough, TN) 

8/21 - Roan Concerts (Roan Mountain, TN) 

9/1 - Red Barn Radio (Lexington, KY) 

9/3 - Delaware Valley Festival (Woodstown, NJ) 

9/10+11 - Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (Bristol TN/VA) 

9/17 - Merlefest (Wilkesboro, NC) 

... 

Stay safe out there! Wear a mask, get vaccinated, do right by one another. We love you and miss you and can't wait to share more music together. Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. 

- Bill and the Belles

People Gonna Talk - New Music Video! 

People gonna talk, just let 'em 

You gotta keep your head up and forget 'em 

They talk about you cuz they got nothing else to do 

Except to tell somebody some made up story that's all about you 

Holler just premiered the new music video for our new country-folk meets 60s pop-rock song "People Gonna Talk" 

“People Gonna Talk” is a song about the kind of frustrations that small town living can create, presented in a weird ball of joy (if that's not Bill and the Belles in a nutshell...). In contrast to the sassy lyrics, we decided to celebrate small town life in the music video, because for all its challenges, living in smaller places can have a lot of perks too. 

One of the biggest is how rich in character these places can be, and we had no shortage of character on hand for this music video! Celebrated artists and local legends Eugene Wolfe, Christine Murdock, and Ed Snodderly were generous enough to revive their former band, Mehitabel and the What’s Their Name Brothers, for an afternoon lipsync session at a great local dive, Nappy’s Bar. 

These folks truly embody part of what we love about life in Johnson City, and we were fortunate that they were so willing to get ridiculous with us. We give you a music video that’s a little John Waters, a little local Friday night talent show, and a lot Bill and the Belles. 

WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE 

WATCH IT ON FACEBOOK 

We've been blown away by the support our new album, Happy Again, has been getting, including topping the Americana charts! We're honored, and so grateful to get to share this music with you! Keep streaming it wherever you listen to music, follow us on all the places, and let a friend know if you think they'd like what we've got going on. Maybe we'll see you at a show this summer? See website for details! 

6/25 Bluff City, TN 

6/26 Johnson City, TN 

7/8 Farm and Fun Time! (Bristol, VA) 

7/9 Redwing Roots Festival (Mt Solon, VA) 

7/10 Holy Taco (Johnson City, TN) 

8/5 Farm and Fun Time! (Bristol, VA) 

8/6 Concerts by Canoe (Franklin County, VA) 

8/7 The Down Home (Johnson City, TN) 

8/8 Brews and Tunes (Jonesborough, TN) 

8/12 Fairfax, VA 

8/13 Podunk Music Festival (Goshen, CT) 

8/19 Middlesboro, KY 

8/20 Music on the Square (Jonesborough, TN) 

9/2 Delaware Valley Festival (Woodstown, NJ) 

9/10 Bristol Rhythm and Roots (Bristol TN/VA) 

9/17 Merlefest (Wilkesboro, NC) 

Keep on shuckin, 

- Bill and the Belles

Happy Again is out TODAY! 

Happy Again is out today! 

“Happy Again introduces some new textures to the band’s sound… but the fundamental, classic country, gather-round-the-radio sounds that Bill and the Belles tap into haven’t changed a bit, and neither has their charm.” -No Depression 

“You’ll get a kick out of it. It’s a welcome reprieve from the always raging storms of life.” -Farce the Music 

“The entire production is delightful… Expertly played… Reeks of 60s melodic magic.” -American Highways 

“It’s Americana as dark comedy.” -Tinnitist 

“[Happy Again] delivers lilting, upbeat melodies, excellent harmony vocal work, and a pervasively playful mood.” -Jeff Burger 

Top 50 on the Americana Charts! 

We are thrilled to crack Top 50 on the American Charts with a debut at #41, and to be one of the most added this week nationally! We also made Top 20 on the Alt Country charts. Thank you to all the DJs playing us around the country! 

Y’all, the challenges we faced to put this record out were no joke, yet we persevered and did it and we’re so happy we did!!! As many of these songs were born out of hardship, we hope this record helps provide comfort and a pick me up to those who might be in need of a friend or serve as a reminder that hard times do in fact pass. 

We are so grateful to the community of people that helped make “Happy Again” a fully realized project. Huge thanks to our Producer Teddy Thompson for his expertise, and creative vision and for keeping us directed during such a whirlwind recording session. Our friend who wears all the hats, the amazingly talented Josh Littleton. Jim Price and Bobby Starnes at Hat Creek Recording Company. Our amazingly talented friends who sat in with us Don Eanes on keys and Nicholas Falk on drums. “Happy Again was mixed by the great Ted Young and masterfully mastered by Anna Frick. Thanks to @spitzerspacetelescope for nailing the album art and to Billie Wheeler for supplying great images. The Earnest Tube for loaning us some great vintage gear. And of course the band who dedicated so much time to making “Happy Again” a reality - Kris Truelsen, Kalia Yeagle, Helena Rose, Andrew Small, and Aidan VanSuetendael. Huge thanks to our fans friends and family for their support through it all!!! 

And thanks to everyone who has ordered our merch! It makes all the difference, and will continue to. We look forward to getting back on the road and bringing our music to your town, but until then we are SO HAPPY (again) to share this new album with you! If you haven’t already, be sure to add Happy Again on your streaming platforms, subscribe to us on Youtube so you’ll catch all our videos, and follow us on social media so we can keep you up-to-date on our goings on.

Happy Again” releases THIS Friday!! Pre-order NOW!! 

Happy Again comes out THIS FRIDAY 5/16! 

We're mailing out pre-orders this week (THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!), and it's not too late to get in on the action! Click here to get your goodies! And watch this message from Kris and Kalia on why you should order this album: 

Have you seen our latest music videos? 

The Boot just premiered this one for Kris's talking blues number, "Sobbin' the Blues." It's a real pick-me-up! Big thanks to our buds at Cosmic Video (Burt Murder and Fanny Gould) for their help with this one and Happy Again (I'll Never Be). They knocked it outta the park! 

Check out this exclusive song premiere for "The Corn Shuckin' Song!" 

Farce the Music says it's "a plain goofy Roger Miller-esque double entendre of a song and I think you’ll get a kick out of it. It’s a welcome reprieve from the always raging storms of life." Heck yeah! Read more and listen here

People are already talking about this new album, and we're so grateful for the support! We can't wait to share another video with you ~soon~ and to release the full album this Friday! This project has been a longtime coming, and we are READY! 

Rolling Stone! New album "Happy Again" 

Rolling Stone featured a single from our new album, "Happy Again!" 
Pre-order it today! 

It's almost here! The new Bill and the Belles album you've been pining for (you have been pining, right?). And hot damn, what an honor to get a nod from Rolling Stone! The music video for the title track was shot by our friends at Cosmic Video, and we're stoked with how it turned out. Produced by Teddy Thompson, this new album "Happy Again" is bigger and better than anything we've done before! Like Rolling Stone mentions, it isn't exactly ~happy~ but it is undeniably chock full of life, humor, and tongue-in-cheek explorations of love and loss. We are thrilled to finally be sharing it with you! Watch our latest music video here (and subscribe while you're at it!). 

 "Happy Again" drops May 21st, and you can pre-order it now! Check out these two pre-order packages (see our webstore for more!): 

  • THE REALLY HAPPY PACK: This one is going make you more than pretty happy. We swear. You get a signed “Happy Again” CD, a T-Shirt that will make you smile, and a pin that will make you hungry. And a sticker. Rest assured that by purchasing the Really Happy Pack you will have made Bill and the Belles really happy. 
  • THE SUPER DUPER HAPPY PACK: This is it. The Super Duper Happy Pack. It’s the whole kit and caboodle. A signed “Happy Again” CD, limited edition vinyl, limited edition T-Shirt, super cool pin, handwritten lyrics, and a sticker. It’s Super. It’s Duper. You need it almost as bad as we do. 

We recorded this album before the pandemic, and we've been working diligently to figure out how to get it to you! Releasing an album is dauntingly expensive, and to be honest we were banking on funding it through our biggest year yet of touring in 2020. No such luck! Like the rest of the world we've had to pause, reflect, and adapt. As a result, we're relying on your pre-orders to make this release possible! Over the years we've been routinely blown away by your support, and we're counting on it especially right now. The best way you can support us is to pre-order and pre-save "Happy Again." We can't wait for you to hear it! Thank you so much. 

Love, 
Bill and the Belles

We released "Another Damn Christmas Song" 

An end-of-year note from the band: Thank you all for your continued support throughout this tumultuous year! We have big plans for 2021 including releasing a new album, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime, please continue to take care, practice social distancing, and show up for each other in the ways that matter. We're thinking of you this holiday season, and can't wait to see you again soon! In the meantime, we have a new video to add a little light to your day... 

Bill and the Belles Releases “Another Damn Christmas Song” 
Seasons greetings from East Tennessee! 

“Fa la la la…” We all know that 2020 brought no shortage of new challenges, but it also brought some of the same-old-same-old. Namely, the dozen or so Christmas songs that are ingrained into our collective consciousness. Kris Truelsen of Bill and the Belles decided to poke fun at this fact with the band’s latest holiday song, “Another Damn Christmas Song:” 

“Another year has come and gone, still singing the same old songs, like ‘fa la la la.’ I don’t particularly need to be reminded…” 

Bill and the Belles typically delight in the holidays. The sparkle and cheer play to their strengths, as evidenced by their 5 consecutive years hosting the festive Johnson City Jingle Bell Jamboree (they’re taking this year off, no surprises there). Traditionally the band releases a new holiday video every year (watch all the videos on their Youtube channel and subscribe while you’re there!). This one features a single-shot of them walking the streets of Johnson City, Tennessee. Shooting it involved befriending some stray cats, a perfectly placed dumpster, and only one neighbor calling the cops about some “teenagers” with a giant square peppermint perched against the Juvenile Detention Center sign. “What can we say, it was the perfect place to end our walk and provided great scaffolding for our trusty peppermint backdrop that otherwise lives in my basement,” said Kalia Yeagle. “And honestly I’m pretty flattered that somebody thought we were teenagers.” Both the song and the video are refreshing, catchy, and lighthearted, in typical Bill and the Belles fashion. Do yourself a favor: turn off the radio and find a new damn Christmas song to listen to. 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE ON YOUTUBE AND HERE ON FACEBOOK

PERSONNEL: 
Recorded by: Jon Atkinson of Big Tone Records 
Mixed by: Josh Littleton 
Video: Josh Littleton 
Written by: Kris Truelsen, PalMuzak ASCAP 
Banjo/Vocals: Aidan VanSeutendael 
Fiddle/Vocals: Kalia Yeagle 
Guitar/Electric Guitar/Vocals: Kris Truelsen 
Bass: Brandon Story 

Media Contact: 
Kris Truelsen 
303-709-5367 
billandthebelles@gmail.com 

###

Big news from Bill and the Belles! 

Welcome to September, friends! We've got exciting news: 

photo by Billie Wheeler 

Join us in welcoming Aidan VanSuetendael! 

We are thrilled to introduce this wonderful new addition to the band, and look forward to featuring her three finger and clawhammer banjo playing! Aidan grew up in South Florida where she first cultivated her interest in traditional American music. That interest deepened during her time at Denison University in Ohio, and carried her to Nashville where she currently resides. We are so happy to welcome her to the Bill and the Belles family, and can't wait for you to meet her! Please also join us in wishing Helena Hunt well as she moves on with new pursuits, including the release of her new single, Girls Like Me! You can keep up with Helena's music by checking out her Facebook page

Also in the spirit of season change, here at Bill and the Belles we are very ready for cooler days, fresh projects, and exercising our civic duty at the polls! Are you registered to vote? It only takes 2 minutes: Rock the Vote

Click photo to watch our Quarantine Happy Hour livestream

Of course we hope to be able to see you all in person soon, and we hope you are hunkering down safely so we can get through this crisis sooner. In the meantime you can visit us virtually! You could spend an evening with us on the front porch with our chorus of cicadas and train whistles by watching our Quarantine Happy Hour livestream! We were blown away by the response (9000 views in just a few hours?!) and are grateful to the Quarantine Happy Hour crew for having us! We encourage you to follow them and support all of the artists they feature! You can also... 

Tune in for a new Farm and Fun Time! 

We're kicking off shooting season 2 for PBS with a virtual show that you can watch live on Radio Bristol's Facebook Page, featuring 49 Winchester and the Po' Ramblin' Boys! Farm and Fun Time is now airing in 18 million homes on PBS affiliates throughout the south, and Kris has his sight set on national syndication in the coming year. Look out! Kalia wanted to make cardboard cutouts to fill the theater seats at this show--like they're doing at sports games--but turns out that's trickier than we thought. We'll be imagining your faces and uproarious applause! 

Another virtual show to put on your calendar: 

The Floyd Radio Show Season 10 Extravaganza! 

Saturday September 5th at 7:30pm eastern. We always have a wonderful time as part of the Floyd Radio Show, and are happy to be a part of this special online event! In addition to the signature skits and commercials, they are presenting an impressive lineup of musicians including Sammy Shelor and Jesse Smathers of the Lonesome River Band, Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms, Alice Gerrard, and more. This event is being produced in conjunction with a fundraising campaign. It pains us to think about a world without incredible venues and community spaces like the Floyd Country Store, and we hope you'll consider supporting them financially

While you're at it, also think about subscribing to us on YouTubeliking us on Facebook, and following us on Apple Music and Spotify. While we can't put on shows for you in-person, these other ways of engaging matter even more. Plus we have a ton of new music, videos, and other content cooking for you, and you're gonna want to stay up-to-date! 

Thanks for sticking with us. We'll keep sticking with you. 

love, 
Bill and the Belles 

Thanks for the amazing new photos, Billie Wheeler!

Hello from Bill and the Belles! We miss you! 

HI WE MISS YOU! From our homebase in East Tennessee we're sending you an extra dose of strength, compassion, and patience, three things the world is demanding of us in large quantities right now. We're also sending you news! Like other artists and industry workers, we've been forced to confront the big unknowns that the future holds for live music. Not gonna lie, it's sad and frustrating and scary. But we're taking it a step at a time, and feeling grateful for those of you that are supporting the arts as you're able and grateful for our fellow artists demonstrating immense creativity and commitment amidst trying times. Thank you! We love you! Here are some things you can do to support us this week: 

1. Subscribe to Bill and the Belles on YouTube (it makes a difference! And you’ll see all the new vids like this one: SHINY NEW VIDEO

2. Tune in to our Quarantine Happy Hour on Facebook, Friday 8/28 at 8:30pm eastern! You’ll be the first to meet a certain special someone…!! Pester us in the comments. We miss that too. 

3. Tell your friends about Saturday’s show at the Blue Ridge Music Center! A real live show in a big outdoor amphitheater. It seats up to 5000 and they’re capping tickets at 400. Wear a mask, keep your distance, help us do this right. More info here: http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org/20-8-29.htm Check out this poster that Taylor Rushing made to commemorate the occasion! 

4. Tune in for our Sunday online set at the Hideout's “A Day in the Country” festival featuring a bunch of cool artists, including Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms and some band called Bill and the Belles. Learn more here: hideoutchicago.com 

5. Congratulate Kris on his IBMA nomination for “Industry Involvement of the Year!” He’s involved, alright! Well deserved. 

Hope to see you soon! 
Love,

Bill and the Belles