Josie Bello- Resilience review

Josie Bello Resilience

Last summer, I was pleased to encounter Josie Bello’s previous album Have Purpose Live Long from 2020. I praised that recording, noting “Bello’s deep, resonant voice carries her melodies with presence and poise” within “personally universal” songs.

Contemporary folk music, the type of Americana that is song-based and influenced as much by Carole King and Eliza Gilkyson as it is Pete Seeger or Ola Belle Reed, is a tricky flock of which to be a member. Too introspective and one loses the plot, not to mention the listening audience. Not introspective enough and one is considered generic, a failed country rocker at worst.

Bello has no such weaknesses, and for whatever random way the brain works she brought to mind this day of Caitlin Cary. Remember While You Weren’t Looking and I’m Staying Out? Great stuff, that was, and so is Resilience. Straight-forward and without pretension Bello communicates her ‘personal benedictions’ within a wide-variety of textures, often times hopeful (“Resilience,” “Love That’s Real,” and “The Sound of Guitars”) and with a sense of faith (“Rising,”) elsewhere wistful (“Too Many Changes,” “I Am Empty”) and at other times resigned.

The album’s most appealing song—“Killing Time”—is of the latter sort. Initially the song reveals remembrances of the past—youthful experiences and such—and one is lulled into a sense of sepia-toned wonder of opportunities nearly forgotten, before Bello pulls back the curtain to reality: “He’s downstairs with tequila and lime, I’m upstairs with a glass of wine, hiding away just killing time…” One of you has to die eventually, right? And hopefully it isn’t you.

Not one to get ahead of herself, the “Coffee Shop Open Mic” keeps Bello grounded in her community of “21st Century troubadours singing songs from the century before.” My kinda folk folks. The playful “Calling Card” also appeals.

Most songs feature unhurried tempos, beautifully framed by a three-piece band comprised of producer Mike Nugent (guitars, bass, Dobro, and vocals), and Shawn Murray (drums, percussion). Jim Small adds touches of harmonica, with Richie Guerrero and Shawn Dolan making percussion appearances.

Resolute, Josie Bello has again delivered the goods. She’s waiting for you to discover her music. What are you waiting for?

One thought on “Josie Bello- Resilience review

  1. Thank you for this thorough and very positive review of my album. I am very grateful. Best to you, Josie

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s