Soundcheck: An Interview with Bello
Post by Carell Casey on 8/13/2012 11:00am
Bello - it means beautiful.
And their work IS beautiful. Richly textured and layered vocal harmonies float elegantly above simple chords and arrangements creating a sound reminiscent of the harmony heyday of the Mamas and the Papas and the Beach Boys. Their writing was also influenced by more modern groups like The Civil Wars, The Head and the Heart, and The Avett Brothers.
The three members of Bello; Ida Jo, Scott Lamps, and Mike Droho are all active in the Madison music scene as singers, songwriters, performers, and more - and have come together in various other projects over the years including The Compass Rose, and The Profits.
This project started with the three of them getting together a couple of times a week to collaborate. Someone would have a lyric or a hook to start things off, then the others would bring their ideas to the mix. "Working solo can sometimes be exhausting. It's amazing what collaboration can do when it works," said Ida Jo.
"The writing went really fast. Faster by far and away from any other music project I've ever been involved in," said Droho. "Sometimes I have pined over a lyric or song idea for years, literally." But he brought some of those ideas into the writing sessions and by the end of a couple hours the song would be complete thanks to the input of the others. "I was enjoying the writing process so much it was hard to stop to record," he said. And to get to all the business aspects of the project. "I feel it is one of the best artistic statements I've ever made."
Because Bello is a pleasure project, and not the main focus for any of the members involved, they felt free to focus on the sheer beauty of the songs. And to take joy in the collaborative process without worrying about money or the business aspect of music. They are also happy to be able to be choosey about the shows they play.
Lamps says he hopes their live performances create a beautiful, calming experience for listeners. "It's like Jackson Pollack said, you don't ever look at a field of flowers and tear out your hair about what it means. Pretty is just pretty and not only is that enough, but it's more than enough," he said.
For Ida Jo, Bello's performances are a chance to take a break from being serious and trying to accomplish something grand - to just relax and have some fun.
They would like to do more house concerts. So, if anybody wants Bello in their home amongst their friends, just contact them with the details!
For more information visit: http://www.idajo.com/bellomeansbeautiful.html
Ida Jo with Scott Lamps playing:
Saturday August 25th. Redamte Coffeehouse. 8pm
Thursday August 30th. Indie Coffee. 7pm.
Thursday September 6th. Majestic. 8pm.
Carell Casey is a contributing writer for dane101.
She is also a musician (both solo and as a singer/songwriter, and guitarist in local band Fire and Love), is a Holistic Life Coach and Intuitive Counselor, and advocates for Animal Rights, Peace, Equality, Justice, and Racial Healing.
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