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The Opera Bell Band New Novelty and Bizarro Folk from Saint Louis, MO

BIO

The Opera Bell Band is an experimental musical-comedy revue whose music rings with the sounds of cajun, country-western, tin pan alley, sea shanty, calypso, and 1930s cartoon music. The novelty and charisma of the band leads to energetic live performances that feature DIY costumes, props, games, and on occasion, a nice, warm loaf of homemade bread. Their beloved & befuddled host Butternut the Pilot holds it all together. The Opera Bell Band’s arsenal of instruments is chock-full of everything from upright bass to Audubon whistles and includes two instruments of their own invention. The band’s first full length album, Bell Slide, released June 14, 2019.

Shane Devine: vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo. Kristina DeYong: vocals, percussion. Jess Adkins: accordion, xylophone, saxophone, flute. Jake Hurst: bass, guitar. Grant Martin: trumpet, valve trombone

LISTEN

Bell Slide (June 2019)

Bell Slide is the band’s first full length album. Recorded live on analog tape by Kevin Buckley (Grace Basement), the album exhibits the band’s acoustic strengths and their influences from Cajun, country, pop, latin, and traditional folk music. Organic sound effects (horns, whistles, animal calls, chains, etc) and a self invented instrument provide an impressive and unexpected soundscape. Two songs include Ryan Koenig (Pokey Lafarge, Rum Drum Ramblers) playing bones and slide guitar, which compliments the many instruments, such as xylophone, banjo, trumpet, flute, and accordion, played by the band through out the tracks.

Lazy, Tired, & Uninspired (2017)

Lazy, Tired, and Uninspired is the band’s first EP of experimental ragtime, cartoon country, and bedtime ballads. The lyrics are quick and catchy, and the four instrumentals invoke the nostalgia of Sunday morning cartoons.

Other Appearances

The band recorded the Theme song for Pono AM’s 2018 album Variety Hour. The theme opens the album and appears in several stylistic variations through out.

Watch

Lo-fi Cherokee is an annual event in which local filmmakers and businesses team up to create 18 music videos in one day. Bands are selected on a competitive basis.

Green Lemon Buggy was awarded 2nd place in the City Garden Film Competition and has been accepted to the St. Louis Filmmaker’s showcase and the 2019 St. Louis International Film Festival,

Media

The Band also enjoys making various media such as short videos, junk mail, and fake advertisements.

Press, etc

The Opera Bell Band was featured in the Riverfront Times in August 2019. Click here to read “The Opera Bell Band Aims to Make Every Show A Surreal Circus Experience” by Christian Schaeffer.

Click here to read the Opera Bell Band's interview in St. Louis Magazine about the Bell-Slide album release and music video for Green Lemon Buggy.

The Opera Bell Band has opened for anti-folk hero Jeffrey Lewis and shared the stage acts such with Ryan Koenig, Jack Grelle, Pono AM, Schwervon!, and Beth Bombara.

The band has gotten spins from radio stations such as KDHX (St. Louis), WXNA (Nashville), and WLUW (Chicago).

The band has been invited to perform at the Riverfront Times Showcase (2018, 2019), the Saint Louis Art Museum (2019), Whiskey War Festival (2019) LO-FI Cherokee (2019), the Missouri Botanical Gardens (2019) and was the house band (Nov 2017-March 2018) for the River City Opry.

“Opera Bell Band walks a fine line between novelty act and serious band — and showgoers would be forgiven for thinking of the music as secondary to the spectacle. But Bell-Slide introduces Devine as one of the sharper sui generis lyricists in town, and the music the band plays sounds like an indiscriminately old-time pastiche” - Christian Schaeffer of The Riverfront Times
“St. Louis novelty country act, The Opera Bell Band, are quickly becoming darlings of the local music scene” - Folk School of KDHX
“Every city needs a Musial act that highlights it’s eccentricities. And right now, The Opera Bell Band serves that role for St. Louis” -88.1 KDHX
“Vintage vocals and a nostalgic soundscape set the tone for a wild trip” - Santa Rosa Records
“The best I can describe them is folk-y Americana musical theatre and generalized shenanigans...DO. NOT. MISS. THESE. FOLKS. Ever. Ever. Such a unique and entertaining thing put on by good people” -Brad Jackson, River City Opry Founder