Music

Must-Hear Music: Glenna Bell — ‘Let Freedom Ring: Songs for a New Generation’

Glenna Bell — Let Freedom Ring: Songs for a New Generation

Glenna Bell has given us a new gift.

Heck, Glenna Bell is a gift.

The first time I was honored to hear her sing live, she took my breath away. Her latest album, Let Freedom Ring, is everything I hoped it would be—simply more original music from one of the great singer/songwriters of our time.

In her raw, poignant voice, she delivers the multiple sounds of the authentic self, telling simple, unforgettable tales of the human condition. She means what she sings and she sings what she means. Along the way, she imparts insights that make a good argument for the universality of East Texas eccentricity.

With its seven unique tracks, the album, subtitled “Songs for a New Generation” offers a very encouraging outlook. Let Freedom Ring offers some advice that arrives just in time for the coming political season: “United we stand, divided we fall, Together let’s stand for freedom for all, Starts with you, starts with me, starts with us so let’s be free…” The tendency to provide a productive, confident perspective on things places a distinct Texas accent on the folk music language in use. Just give a listen to “Big Thicket” and you’ll not only get a very necessary Texas music history lesson, you’ll also hear Ms. Bell place herself in the lineage that includes Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, George Jones and Janis Joplin. And she fits right into such gritty, life-affirming company, hallelujah!

Let Freedom Ring features Glenna Bell on vocals and guitar, Ronnie King on piano and strings, and Alex Vo on acoustic and steel guitars. Production values are kept simple and clear. Ms. Bell wafts out tunes that are as natural as the visual poetry of a sunset. When necessary, repeats in the music or lyric drive the sentiment being expressed home until it reaches the marrow of the soul.

Every once in awhile an artist comes along that allows me to write a review so glowingly over-the-top that metaphors are mixed and successive adjectives become redundant and unnecessary. And I am happy to say that I don’t care; Glenna Bella is that “once in awhile.” She makes music for anyone who has ever wondered if there is still any new music worth hearing. If freedom is a trustworthy voice singing truth and hope, then let freedom ring… and let Glenna be the bell.

This album is available for download and streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube. To purchase it on iTunes, click here.

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