Kris Bell

Written by Randy Patterson

Posted January, 2012

krisbell01Some people think that rock and roll is dead.  Judging by some of the new music being released by certain labels and artists, I might be inclined to agree with some of those dire statements.

However, as evidenced by the many interviews and reviews that I’ve written on this and other publications will attest, I am not quite ready to pronounce a time of death for the rock genre.  There’s just too many great artists who ARE rockin’ to declare rock dead.  They’re just not being recognized to the level that rock once was.

That is what Boomerocity is here for.

To that point, I was recently introduced to a rocker who has rock and roll oozing out of every little pore of his body.  His name is Kris Bell. Remember the name and buy his work because this guy will be around, rockin’ us, for a very long time to come.

A little background on Kris:

Kris Bell was born and raised in San Diego, California.  He began playing guitar at the age of seven and, at the age of thirteen, wrote his first song.  He honed his guitar chops playing all over SoCal and developing a name for himself as a pretty darn good axe handler.

In 2005, Kris took the big step of packing up and moving to the great city of Nashville, Tennessee.  Nashville is a pretty tight town, musicians-wise, and can be kind of tough to elbow your way in to good gigs.  However, it didn’t take Kris long to land the Lead Guitarist slot for Bo Bice.

After a couple of years rockin’ the world with Bice, Bell took his next huge career step and launched his solo career, introducing his brand of “American Rock” to rockers like us all over the country.  Already, Kris has the dubious distinction of having already shared stages with some pretty big names.  Folks like Hank Williams, Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, 3 Doors Down, and Blackfoot, to name just a few.

Kris gave me a shout recently from his Nashville area home to tell me what he’s been up to and what’s on his radar in the future.  We first started chatting about the new album he’s working on.

“It’s going really well!  I’ve been in the studio with Geoff Koval from Wilderside Studios.  He’s a good friend of mine. He co-produced the first record that I put out last year, Turn It On, Turn It Up. So, we’re back for round two this time.  Recently, Wilderside Studios moved into The Castle Studios in Franklin (Tennessee) so we’ve been taking advantage of a world class studio without having to break the bank to pay for it. It’s just going really well.  Geoff just – we just click!  He’s a rock guy. He knows what I want even before I open my mouth.  It’s really, really, really an exciting, fun and creative environment to be in. I think the band and I are laying down our best stuff right now.”

Regarding when this work will be made available, Bell adds, “We’re going to release an EP of it in the spring, with more songs to come later on in the year. But we’ll have a good seven songs finished by March and we’re probably going to release a single within the next month or so – either by the end of this month or by mid-February we’ll have our first single out.

“Like I said, the album’s coming along really well. The music’s a little more aggressive – a little bit heavier edge but still that ‘American Rock’ style that I was doing on the last record. We’ll have our ‘peaks and valleys’ and our dynamics in songs are what I really like to emphasize – great melodic hooks and melodic guitar solos. You know, just good, straight ahead rock n’ roll!”

As you heard Kris mention, his last album, Turn It On, Turn It Up, is straight forward rock and roll.   I would add the word “great” before the word “straight” because, in my opinion, it’s that good (catch the Boomerocity review of it here).  I asked Kris what the response has been to the record and to its tunes by live audiences.

“Just really positive stuff. Luckily, I had a pretty dedicated fan base when I went into to record it and we’ve been adding to that base. It comes in waves. Sometimes you get a lot of fans – sometimes you get them trickling in.  The more we play out and the more the people are hearing the newer stuff – even the people hearing Turn It On, Turn It Up material for the first time – really seem to be attracted to it and supportive of it. It (the audience) seems to be missing the style of rock that WE play – it’s been missing in mainstream music and people are hungry for it again, which is a good thing.”

That comment resonated with me and prompted me to ask

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