Brooklyn Roads Reviews: 'Goodbye to the River' Live at Barbes, Brooklyn 2019.


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Jan Bell and her band The Maybelles are Rima Fand - violin and piano, Tina Lama - upright bass, and Philippa Thompson regularly joins in on mandolin, washboard and the Saw. Jan Bell is the singer songwriter on guitar and harmonica. 

Festival stages include River to River Festival, Hudson River County Fair, Bronx Botanical Gardens Festivals, Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park Festival, Governor's Island Opening Day, Prospect Park Harvest festival, The International Bluegrass Music Awards, Ozark Folk Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and in the UK: Broadstairs Folk Fest, Yorkshire Moors Fest, Devon Folk Festival, and Glastonbury.

Featured in The Village Voice, The Sunday Times, Nashville Scene, New Orleans City Life, Americana UK. NYC highlights include The Woody Guthrie Archives, Joe's Pub, Highline Ballroom, 'The Winding Stream' Documentary opening for Rosanne Cash at Independent Film Center.

Along the way opening for Emmylou Harris, Odetta, Wanda Jackson, Steve Earle, Ray Charles (with Opal Fly), Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and Ferron. 

Jan Bell's 'solo' album dedicated to her Grandfather 'Dream of the Miner's Child' was a nominee Independent Music Awards for BEST CONCEPT ALBUM. :'Guest Artists include. Jolie Holland, The Carper Family, Samantha Parton, Casey Neill, Truckstop Honeymoon, and Alice Gerrard.

Feature Reviews include The Village Voice; Nashville Scene; GO NYC; Americana UK; NOW Toronto,  Off Beat, 3rd Coast Music; New Orleans City Life; NY Post.

The band began as a duo in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with long time and ongoing collaborator Melissa Carper.  Guests from the thriving Brooklyn folk music community include Megan Palmer, (now in Nashville) violin or piano;  Hilary Hawke (banjo on Broadway in Oklahoma!), violinist Katy Rose Cox (now in Austin TX). For ten wonderful years May 'bro' Tim Luntzel played upright bass.


Enchantingly fusing Anglo-Americana sounds Jan Bell has a wonderful knack of breathing new life into time worn folk tales and rare used human stories - 4 STARS - Maverick Magazine, UK


Bill Monroe's 'With Body and Soul' Live at Joe's Pub, NYC 

It could be 1925 and the Appalachians! A cool clear harmony and narrative driven by the simple guitar cycle and the ghostly violin. Taut vocals and beautiful instrumentation.   - Americana UK.

Making waves in the home of country, from a Yorkshire coal mining background whose roots still show...A latter day Loretta Lynn. - Tim Cooper, The Times, London UK.

Beautiful blend of old timey folk and  alt. country - 4 1/2 STARS American Roots UK

THUMBS UP! Fetching British American album. fRoots.

A strong argument in favour of keeping the album format alive 4 STARS R2 Rock n Reel, UK

It’s not a stretch to imagine future generations of Americana musicians referencing the Jan Bell versions of many of these songs: this album secures her place among the finest and most individualistic musicians in that world. New York Music Daily

In 2000 Jan decided to settle down in a neighborhood by The Brooklyn Bridge called Dumbo (Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). There she put together her first country band playing on the back of a '64 Ford Pick up truck outside an iron workers bar that stood there for a century.

Seven albums and five UK tours later, Jan continues to play as band leader of  The Maybelles. Often accompanied by violin, upright bass, banjo, mandolin, or lap steel. Year round she hosts Americana, Folk and Country Blues artists from both sides of the Atlantic, and has built a vital grass roots music scene on the ever gentrifying Brooklyn waterfront culminating in the Brooklyn Americana Music festival, now in its sixth year in 2020.

'Much as a lot of New York clubs exploit musicians, there are other venues that actually support and nurture scenes: Barbes, with its global talent base; the Jalopy’s oldtime Americana roots crew; punk rock at ABC No Rio; jazz at Smalls. Count 68 Jay St. Bar in Dumbo on this short but crucial list. If Jan Bell (a poignant and potent Americana singer and tunesmith herself) has booked a band for one of the bar’s Wednesday and Saturday night shows, that’s a guarantee that the music will be good'. - New York Music Daily

A Few Highlights:

Playing the Brooklyn Country Music Festival, opening for Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

The Carters, the Cashes & the Course of Country Music: 

Jan Bell and The Maybelles opened the night at IFC Center, New York City. THE WINDING STREAM is a story about the family at the heart of American roots music. Part history, part performance, part family saga, the film features interviews with a veritable who’s who of American music.

Emcee and co-producer of A Musical Extravaganza to Restore Red Hook at The Bell House, Brooklyn. Starring Rosanne Cash.


Click here to see/hear Live Session Interview for Breakthru Radio at Shelter Island Studios, Manhattan, NYC. Hosted by DJ Maia. *

Glastonbury Festival! Band Stand Stage.

A packed house in Berlin; and a Live broadcast overlooking the city on Amsterdam FM.

Joe's Pub, NYC - packed house with The Sweetback Sisters

Make Music New York with Baby Gramps.

Singing at Friends Weddings in New Orleans in the 9th Ward, & a 9th Century Church in Sussex, England

Duets with Jolie Holland - Dumbo Arts Festival, City Winery, NYC. World Cafe, Philadelphia.

Brooklyn Arts Council September 11th memorial Sing at Powerhouse, DUMBO.

 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, 'The Real Deal' Songwriters In the Round on the Masters Stage with Claire Lynch, and The Gibson Brothers.

Americana UK Feature Interview.


Tribute album to EC Ball, singing alongside Samantha Parton (The Be Good Tanyas) and Jolie Holland.

Top 3 Albums Country Music Radio UK Hosted by Gail Comfort.

Independent Music Awards 8th Annual Best Alt. Country Album.

Brooklyn Country Music Hall of Fame for 'Unending support of Country Music'


International Bluegrass Music Awards, IBMA Nashville - Official Artist

Village Voice TOP 10 Folk Albums

1st place WINNER New Orleans City Life Singer/Songwriter

WINNER New Jersey Folk Festival Singer Songwriter

Top 3 Albums of the year CMR Nashville, UK 


Mayor Bloomberg Award for Women in Business, NYC
Superfine cites Jan Bell and Little Red Hen Music in receipt of the Award.

MacDowell Colony100 year celebration in Central Park

Audience Award Title Track in Malibu Film Festival 'Between the Bridges'

Emerging Leadership Institute at APAP - Arts Presenters and Performers, NYC Annual Convention 2011

Made in Brooklyn and produced by Samantha Parton (The Be Good Tanyas), 'Songs for Love Drunk Sinners' was chosen over thousands of entries world-wide winning The People's Choice Award at the Independent Music Awards.

WINNER! Independent Music Awards for Alt. Country Album of the year