The BellRays – True Believers

The BellRays True Believers is a facebook group for fans of The BellRays that are more than fans. They are True Believers. A place to hang with like minds and the band. Special offers, LIVE events and more to come.

Blues is the teacher. Punk is the Preacher. It’s all about emotion and energy. Experience and raw talent, spirit and intellect. Exciting things happen when these things collide.

Bob Vennum and Lisa Kekaula made The BellRays happen in 1990 in Riverside, California but they weren’t really thinking about any of this then. They wanted to play music and they wanted it to feel good. They wanted people to WANT to get up, to NEED to get up and check out what was going on. Form an opinion. React.

So they took everything they knew about; the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Who, the Ramones Billie Holiday, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, the DB’s, Jimmy Reed, and Led Zeppelin (to name a very few to whom “BLUES IS THE TEACHER”) and pressed it into service. 

Those bands and artists have since become “buzz words”, things to imitate and sound like. That was never The BellRays intention. The BellRays were never about coming up with a “sound”, or fitting in with a scene. It was about the energy that made all that music so irresistible. The BellRays’ influences learned from the Blues and then learned how to to make it their own. The Beatles wanted to play R&B, converted that energy and invented “Rubber Soul”. The Ramones were trying to be Del Shannon or Neil Sedaka and out came “Rocket to Russia”.

The BellRays believe combining Rock and Soul is not meant to be a conscious effort. You shouldn’t have to force them together because they’ve never really been separated in the first place. It’s an organic trail that flows through Bob and Lisa and the current rhythm section  of Bernard Yin (Fur Dixon, Par Avion ) on bass and Dusty Watson (the Sonics, Dick Dale) on drums, and comes out honest and urgent. You will learn and you will feel. Blues is always teaching and Punk is always preaching. 

The BellRays are always listening. 

Listen to some ‘real’ music here…..The BellRays Music.

Funky Mamma in E

The bass player in the funk band that I play with found this rhythmic displacement line on a youtube channel called ‘studio jams’. He’s been driving us mad with it ever since. Thing is, when the guys on YT play it they speed up slightly, making it very hard to get just right. I decided to see if I could put it together ‘straight’. Here’s the result…..

Thanks to Tim Bragg for the flute, Andy ‘SupaWal’ Bennett for the drums, and Serge Bardot for the bass. I played the guitar and keyboards parts. It was fun! 🙂

Benbros Album released today!

Here it is, as promised! This morning the release of the very first Benbros album. Today also marks the birthday of my brother Supawal, and the 10th anniversary of Carla and I moving to France! You can download a selection of tracks from our album for free this morning at the link below. Wishing you all a fabulous day.

A taster!

With the release of our first album “Friday’s Child”, just over a week away, we’ve been asked what sort of shizz is it? Here is a taster of type of shizz it iz! This track will give you the idea, and although it won’t appear on the album you can download it for free! Please give us a like, share it, and leave a comment.
Thanks 🙂

Still gigging like a good ‘un….

Last Thursday we played Devant Les Halles in Anguoleme city centre (Outside the Blues Rock Cafe. It was ‘Madame Blanc and Friends’…..a ‘put together just for the gig’ band…we had great ‘no rehearsal fly by seat of pants’ fun, and a few strong beers! 🙂
madame blanc and friends

Saturday was a private party with Jazz a la Carte. A very different night, though still great fun. We played from 8pm until midnight with a 30 minute break! A real workout!

…..and still to come in September, a solar powered gig, and a gig at a nudist camp! I kid you not! 🙂

Here’s the details…
16th September, Friday 8pm, La Caverne 14 rue Montebe?lo 86500 Montmorillon.
17th September, Saturday 8pm, Auberge du Noyer, La Brousse, Londigny 16700.
20th September, Tuesday 8pm, Camping Creuse Nature, Route de Betete, Boussac 23600.
24th September, Saturday, Private party. Solar Power!

Stay in Bed

Here is a cover version of Jess Roden’s ‘Stay in Bed’. Recorded here in France, one late night in August. Madame Blanc on vocals, Andrew ‘Supawal’ Bennet on drums, Serge Baudot on bass, me on guitars. If you like it, please comment and share it……