New Texas Tunes: Glenna Bell’s ‘Lone Star’


Glenna Bell Glenna Bell — ‘Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas’

Well, it looks like Texas has done it again. The state (that is as much a state of mind for those of us unlucky enough to not live there) has produced yet another singular voice, worthy of her place in the long line of true Lone Star State artists. I’m talking about Glenna Bell, whose new album ‘Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas’ (to be released on April 15, 2016) is as welcome as a rainstorm in West Texas in August… or as welcome as truth and beauty at any time here in New York City.

The album is an introspective take on moments from a life lived in Texas. It is full of songs that are like chapters in a novel; a novel to be read when needing the companionship of coherence gained from experience. The flexible vocal power that Glenna Bell delivers is the only map you need. One listen to her sometimes weathered, sometimes trembling, always soulful voice and you know that she is to be trusted and believed.

If I could hear the song “Shiner Bock & ZZ Top (Houston Avenue),” over and over, I bet I could drive all the way across Texas without even needing to stop at Whataburger once for relief. The song perfectly captures her unique quality—a poetic blend of confession and provocation. What a song and what a delivery. Also particularly charming is Bell’s anthem, “Proud To Be From Texas,” which comes across as a sublime tribute to Janis Joplin.

Oh, Texas. We, who love authentic music can alway count on you. Thank you for giving us musical offerings much more frequently than your mysterious bluebonnets bloom. Glenna Bell is a gift to be sure, and a gift to be shared.

Essential Downloads: “Poor Girl (in Blue),” “Everybody’s Changing,” “Shiner Bock & ZZ Top (Houston Avenue).”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

Glenna Bell (photo: Amy Morris)

Glenna Bell (photo: Amy Morris)

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