Electronic Press Kit
Beth Bell † Music Bio (2016)
Beth Bell’s (aka BeTh isBell) journey to become the rocker she is today hasn’t - by any means - taken a traditional musician’s path to artistic fruition. Beth, born as a young boy named Bill in Columbus, GA, grew up in the US and Europe through school, college and law school as boy, and then practiced civil rights law for years as a man. After being diagnosed as transgender, Isbell began transitioning and is now, after surgery, a woman. After her transition, she experienced hiring discrimination in returning to law, and at the time, there were no legal protections for trans persons, so she decided to return to college to pursue a new career in music & the arts.
She auditioned and was admitted to prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, but chose instead to attend Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips’ run Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), graduating with the school’s first class of bachelor’s degree candidates in Spring 2013. An accomplished musician with a library of diverse yet equally compelling recordings, Beth’s gift as a songwriter and infectious live performances mix elements of both genders, all while maintaining, at the core, a magical soul and mastery of craft capable of inspiring the hope within all of us to be who you truly are and become our dreams.
Beth’s musical journey began in the late 90s, after a divorce, as she was winding down her career as a civil rights attorney and beginning her journey to cross the gender divide. She fell in love with music, singing songs around campfires with talented songwriter and guitarist friends. Infused with these folk influences, the first country song she ever wrote, “The Good Woman Waltz” became the title cut of her first CD, originally released under the name Bill Isbell, and the #1 song in the Texas Top 40 for original songwriters. Simultaneously, she began furiously writing punk rock songs and released The Flying Lennys EP a punk-pop collection that featured a special guest appearance by one of her close friends, neighbor, and musical mentors, Jazz legend Joe McBride.
Living as a women in a man’s body was not an easy evolution; Beth was thrown out of clubs and banned from playing some of her favorite venues as her soul and body transitioned. But, she persevered. During this trying period, she focused on song writing and improving her performance skills as the front person for Dallas psychedelic blues rock band - and underground critic darlings - The Dead Prophets. Beth’s prolific songwriting continued and she placed in several national songwriting competitions and went on to release a number of EPs spanning genres including coffee-house style folk-rock, acoustic rock, and electric blues [“Live @ Blue Moon” (B. Isbell), “The Awakening” (B. Isbell), “Aardvark” (Beth Isbell) and “This Is The Blues!” (Beth Isbell)].
In September 2014, Beth and her band alternative psychedelic rock band BeThisBell (aka BeTh isBell), a collection of good friends from music college (ACM@UCO) released “We Are The Gods!” - a full-length psychedelic-grunge-punk-glam rock album, produced by Trent Bell (Chainsaw Kittens). The band issued a 5 song follow up EP "Work It Out" in April 2015, with Trent Bell again producing. Beth was the main songwriter for both releases. As a result, BeThisBell was invited and performed at the 2015 CMJ Music Marathon in NYC.
Beth currently lives in Humboldt County, CA, on the gorgeous North Coast of California, about 4 hours North of San Francisco, where she DJs the popular Flower Power Hour psychedelic rock radio show for local station KMUD FM, as well as co-hosting the station’s Friday drive-time new releases show Musical Possibilities. Beth works with developmentally challenged adults during her day job, even occasionally getting to put her musical skills to use to teach and entertain the facility’s disabled clients. “It’s very rewarding, but challenging, work.”
In December 2015, Beth released a 4 song EP “2015” under her new stage name “Beth Bell”, a nickname given to her by local Humboldt guitar legend Jimmy Jeff (Robinson), with three new songs recorded in Humboldt by producer Jimmy Foot (Bongo Boy Studio), and orchestrated pop song “Love Tonight” recorded ACM@UCO.
In February 2016, Beth Bell officially released a 6 song EP “Shine On!” featuring some of the opening and closing songs from her three most recent official releases. The new EP kicks off with contemplative Work It Out, the Bowie-esque We Are The Gods!, and this EP’s powerful title cut Shine On!. The EP rounds out with the inspiring In This Moment, recent single “Love Sublime” – a message to her twins and the LGBT community, and the heavily pop-orchestrated “Love Tonight.” Six very uplifting mainstream rock songs intended to inspire. And devoid of drug references and F-word filled grunge punk rants for which BeThisBell albums are known.
Beth and her new and old bandmates have begun work with Trent Bell on their next full length full band Beth Bell debut album “Sun King” which includes some new, sonically different, tracks featuring local keyboardist Holly Moorad. The new Beth Bell “Sun King” album is expected to be completed and available later this year.
The Story of the Band BeThisBell:
Guitarist & vocalist BeThisBell, aka BeTh isBell, and lead guitarist Justin Hays met at ACM@UCO & formed BeThisBell in Spring 2011. Shortly thereafter Cody Fowler (who is also in the band Horse Thief) joined the band on bass and turned us on to Kellan Turner on drums. The band has played shows at various clubs and music & pride festivals Oklahoma City, OK, and Dallas, TX. After graduating from music college in 2013, BeTh and the band began recording We Are The Gods! at Bell Labs in Norman, OK, with producer Trent Bell (Chainsaw Kittens). And that essentially is the same line-up as appears on BeTh's new We Are The Gods! album, although we brought in Nick Ley of the band colourmusic in to play drums on the album. Justin & BeTh played all the rhythm guitar parts on the album, then we picked up Blaise Thompson of the bands Moon & Drainbows to join us and BeTh & Blaise finished all the lead guitar parts on the album. And right as we were finishing up the album, Holly Wood joined the band in live performances in the OKC area on keyboards & vocals. She's amazing and has perfect pitch, lol. Holly & BeTh have also played a lot of duo shows around OKC and even in LA & SF. BeThisBell recently picked up a music publishing contract with David Bowie's publisher, Essex Music Intl., Inc. on it's WATG! album & new EP.