Josie Bello has been musical from an early age. She would often walk around the house, humming or singing some tune she had formed in her head, so frequently that her mother would ask her to "please pipe down".
At 7 years old she expressed a desire to learn guitar, however, her Italian-American family directed her to take accordion lessons, where she learned enough musical structure to maintain her interest in making music.
Growing up in Queens, NY, it is no surprise that her musical hero is Bruce Springsteen - an artist she wishes she could channel into her own songwriting at times. But then again, doesn’t every songwriter want… need... to channel “The Boss.”
Josie met and married Frank Bello, who spent time playing coffeehouses in Brooklyn during his college years. More recently, Josie accompanied him on stage - playing keys and providing backing vocals. This renewed musical energy spilled over to Josie and she took up her original instrument of interest, guitar.
Josie's writing process is spontaneous, at times a phrase or chord progression that gets written down only to sit for a time, until the moment is right. Other times it comes in a rush, allowing her to grab the inspiration of the moment and run with it.
In the past few years, she’s recorded and released two albums with songwriter and producer, Mike Nugent.
Beyond “The Boss”, her musical inspiration runs the gamut, including Emmylou Harris and Mary Chapin Carpenter. She considers each of her idols both inspiration and instruction - drawing both pleasure and lesson from the listening.
She has performed live in the NY area, including a show at Hope Lodge, a hotel in mid-town Manhattan run by the American Cancer Society. Performing for patients and their families was both humbling and inspiring. It dovetails nicely with her belief that music is a unifying and healing force. Josie's band, The Kit House Band, is popular on Long Island Festival Stages and have performed a number of times at the annual Long Island Fall Festival and the Long Island Bluegrass & Roots Festival. Josie Bello & The Kit House Band have developed a loyal following throughout the New York metro area, and look forward to the day when live music returns once again to venues everywhere.
It is her desire that her music can provide you with a simple respite from the troubles of the day or, if nothing else, the simple joy that music holds.
Who are your musical influences?
I’ve always loved blues music. The older I get the more I like the Chicago stuff like Elmore James, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Snooky Pryor. But Clapton is where I found the blues and I still love his playing the most.
What single song had the most impact on you as a young musician?
Clapton’s version of Have You Ever Loved A Woman had a significant effect on me.
What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?
Being able to record with musicians like Anton Fig, Nathan East, Kenny Aronoff, Michael Powers and Stu Hamm has meant the world to me. These are guys that were hero’s to me in my formative years.
What's the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
Pay attention to the phrasing. It’s all about the phrasing.
How has your music changed over the years?
I’m never interested in making the same record twice. I make a real effort to be sure it’s an evolution in some way. So I would say almost everything about my music changes with each release.
What inspires you to write the music you write?
I honestly don’t know what else to do. It’s as simple as that.
How does your latest album differ from any of your others in the past?
This one is more traditional and raw. I’ve been listening to a lot of older blues over the last few years. I left all the grease in this one.
Do you feel like you are continuing to grow musically?
I feel like how I hear music is always evolving. I am less interested in stellar guitar playing and more interested in the swag of the whole thing. If there is a mistake that has the right attitude then it stays in.
If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?
With Clapton, in a garage. I don’t need an audience to be there. Just a few straight classic blues songs and a great band.
If you could change anything about the music industry today, what would it be?
I would like to see the infrastructure of labels return.
What strengths do you have that you believe make you the musician that you are?
Commitment, patience and unrelenting attention to details.
Describe your favorite part about being a musician.
My favorite part is working with the people I have the privilege of working with. They all inspire me to make the best record I am able to.
Do you like to perform or do you prefer to record in a studio?
I don’t play live at all anymore and I don’t see myself returning to it. The recording process is enough to keep me busy and creative.
Give us some advice for new musicians just starting out in the industry.
Make a real effort to play with not just good musicians, but great ones. You will learn what a real pro sounds like in 4 bars. It is a sobering and inspiring experience. It exposes what the possibilities are and why they are who they are. Make no mistake, they didn’t get there by a stroke of luck.
What are your interests outside of music?
I’m obsessed with the Kennedy assassination. I’m also a pretty bad golfer, but I enjoy it.
What is the best way to stay updated on current news; gigs, releases, etc.
My website at www.bchristopherband.com
What's next for your band?
Now that the new album is complete I will need to go back to churning out tracks for television. I will go back into hiding soon and write a whole bunch of new music.