Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bebe Buell and The Rebel Souls to perform at Joe’s Pub in New York City on April 4th and 5th

One artist whose decades-long career seems to have never stopped evolving is the legendary and iconic Bebe Buell. It would be a near insurmountable task to touch upon the amazing adventures and achievements of her life in just a few introductory sentences. Rather than attempt to recap this innovators incredible history, the spotlight here shines on her exciting new endeavors. Links to wonderful in-depth pieces already written about Bebe are included throughout this feature, providing insight into her remarkable career.

The ever inventive singer, songwriter / harmonica player / storyteller and Mother Of Rock N' Roll will debut her all-new live show “Baring It All” at Joe’s Pub in New York City on April 4th and 5th. The show promises a unique blend of her decades spanning songs combined with storytelling from her extraordinary rock-n-roll life. Bebe’s sonic engine will be her dynamic duo, The Rebel Souls which features her husband, guitarist Jimmy Walls and drummer Mindy Wright.

Photos from their recent show in Nashville by @nadineroxx

For more information on how to get tickets to either of these two show, follow this link

Photo by Emily Beaver

For anyone interested in an incredible rock history read, look no further than her best selling autobiography, "Rebel Heart; An American Rock And Roll Journey" published by St. Martin's Press in 2001.

It's a remarkable can't-put-down page turner account of Bebe's life from the early 1970's up through the time of it's publishing in 2001.  Detailed insight into the interpersonal behavior of key figures from the most influential rock bands and solo artists of all time is an eye opening education.

Bebe has come a long way since then, as she continues to carve out a place for herself as a singer, songwriter, musician and storyteller.  This site first covered Bebe's full rock band live show at The Highline Ballroom in New York City on July 5, 2012 during that year's CBGB's Festival.

That year had her doing a number of shows promoting then current album "Hard Love"

That record stands out for a number of well produced, cleverly crafted classic rock songs.  "The Devil You Know" weaves spirit animal imagery via structured lyrics delivered in a passionate style.  "Got It All Wrong" jumps with the heavy beat by song collaborator (and current Guns N' Roses drummer) Frank Ferrer as she sings in an Iggy Pop (circa Brick By Brick) style about how "the time has come to stop the fiction."  The whole record benefits from huge power chords delivered by producer and co-writer on most of the songs, Jimmy Walls.

Speaking of Jimmy (who has been married to Bebe coming up on 18 years now), he has an interesting back history as well.  As a founding member of 1980's psychedelic hard rock band Das Damen, he honed his playing style in the era Thurston Moore got his Ecstatic Peace label off the ground, while landing prime opening spots for emerging powerhouse acts like Nirvana.  In fact, their 37 minute opening spot for that most-successful-of-all-time grunge band can be viewed in it's entirety here on YouTube.  From that performance you can see how Jimmy was developing a playing style that would ultimately lead up to the role he now plays as Bebe's primary writing partner.

In May of 2012 Bebe visited Nashville after being invited to sing on Plowboy Records' Eddy Arnold tribute album, "You Don't Know Me."  As one of the central figures of the stage production Million Dollar Quartet, Arnold is currently depicted in CMT's wonderful adaption "Sun Records."

That experience would serve as a catalyst for her eventual move to that city in 2013.  The lure of the South's first "Music City" can be powerful and Bebe has been quoted as saying how you don't really choose to live there but rather "it chooses you."  Her subsequent professional relationship with musician Shannon Pollard (Eddy’s grandson and co-founder of Plowboy Records) saw him playing drums in her live band for a number of significant shows.

Bebe experienced an epiphany with her live Nashville debut on Mother’s Day 2014 at the famed Bluebird Cafe.  She has since gone on to perform three sold out shows there, establishing a fan base in this city as well.

Photo by @ginafrary

This past February 14th (yes, Valentine's Day) saw Bebe and her Rebel Souls perform “Baring It All” at another favorite Nashville venue 3rd And Lindsley.  That show was so well received, it only made sense the next performances should take place in New York City.


Playing drums for the Rebel Souls is newest member Mindy Wright. As an already established drummer on the Nashville scene, Mindy’s studious drive for excellence combined with her love for classic artists and the hardest rockers (with Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Chet Atkins, Cream, Rush, Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder as noted favorites) makes her a perfect fit for Bebe’s Rebel Souls.

When not playing shows with her own band, Bebe will frequently join in with hot Nashville band Thee Rock N' Roll Residency as a guest vocalist.  That band is part of a thriving rock scene that one might not initially realizing is happening in the country music capital of the world.

She’s also appeared on New York stages when invited to participate in special occasions. Once again at the CBGB Fest in 2013 here – as well as one of her iconic photos being displayed in that festivals headquarters gallery in 2014.

As I said at that time,there's something a bit surreal about taking a photo of another photo (if you look closely you can see my hand "ghosted" just under Patti Smith's face). This classic Bob Gruen image continues to reappear in the ongoing annals of rock history, and rightly so as it is a perfectly captured moment in time.
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Another noteworthy New York appearance was for Max's Kansas City's 50th Anniversary Benefit Concert at The Cutting Room on January 14, 2016.  Check out her wonderful heartfelt performance of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" here.

Bebe returned to NYC later that year to participate in the literary salon event “Women of Letters”

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Currently in post-production is a short biographical film documenting the life and career of Bebe as a model, musician and muse.  The trailer can be viewed here:

Bebe - Trailer from Moderna Pictures on Vimeo.

Photo by Cory Rivard

What's next is the current power trio Rebel Souls show.

These two performances are a rare opportunity to catch Bebe and her band in classy intimate setting.

For additional reading on Bebe and her storied background, read this wonderfully detailed interview with celebrated photographer and blogger Alan Mercer.

For everything else Bebe related, check out her Official Site.

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