THE MAYBELLES are a harmony driven Folk, Country and Americana band led by Jan Bell, accompanied by a rotating cast of Brooklyn based musicians.
"Up tempo, soulful country' Time Out NY
New York shows include Joe's Pub, City Winery, The Highline Ballroom, Hudson River County Fair, The Bronx Botanical Gardens, River to River Festival, DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park Sculpture Festival, and Governor's Island Opening Day. Performances at The International Bluegrass Music Awards, Ozark Folk Festival, and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, NY were the first foray onto Bluegrass stages. Celtic and Appalachian influenced originals made the Top Ten Folk Albums (Village Voice), 4 Stars (Now Toronto), and Best Alt. Country Album (Independent Music Awards).
The Maybelles include violinist Rima Fand, Megan Palmer who plays violin and piano, Philippa Thompson on Mandolin, washboard, and the Saw; May 'bro' Tim Luntzel plays upright bass, except when on tour with Rosanne Cash. Tina Lama plays upright bass, and newest member Katy Stone plays banjo. Past members of The Maybelles join back in from time to time - Hilary Hawke, Katy Rose Cox, and founding member Melissa Carper.
Jan Bell: The Maybelles
Event of the Week!
An EXPERT BAND ! Celtic tinged, Appalachian influenced repertoire puts their album in my Top Ten Folk Albums 2005.
Fabulous harmonies, marvellously balanced instruments, contemporary lyrics and sassy attitude, a formula which first made them big favorites in New Orleans and now has them touring European festivals this summer.
"British-born, Brooklyn-residing Jan Bell leads the Maybelles into up-tempo, soulful country." May, 2010.
We just love The Maybelles...memorable songs, great spirit, lovely and lilting harmonies---plus they're just plain fun. Its great to hear them re-inventing a whole new kind of old-time music.
I love bands that are willing to explore new territory. I love the instrumental combination, the old-time real country feel, the close harmonies and the sprightly fiddle playing. I think you all are onto something big. Thanks so much for sending me a copy of Leavin' Town.
"Gloriously sensual harmonies, with expert and authentic instrumentality and solid songs. Their style is "mountain music"--Appalachian--with a good bit of bluegrass flavor. "
“ Of all the music the Be Good Tanya's gave me, my favorite is The Maybelles. They sound like they might be the grand daughters of country greats from the 1930's, The Wild Wood Flowers”
"I'm a big fan. They've got it all - good writing, good voices, good sound. If you haven't seen the Maybelles in a while, you've got a real surprise coming!"
Goodfolk Concert Producer, Arkansas.
This terrific trio is everything you would expect from a folk country blues outfit: deliciously sweet harmonies and dexterous hands that can turn their skill to all kinds of buoyant Appalachian bluegrass and mountain music.
The North Devon Journal
It's exactly what you want, a good-time band in a good-time pub. Who'd have thought that a bit of the Appalachian mountains by the beach would make a perfect night out? Brighton Artists and Makers.
Their own songs had the air of classics in the making. The Maybelles make well-matured, fiery, musical moonshine – with a twist.
The Argus Daily
In Fall 2009, The Maybelles returned to where it all began, back in their Ozark Mountain home - Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Ten years or so ago Nebraska native Melissa Carper and Yorkshire lass Jan Bell sat on a bench in the heart of Eureka singing old time country songs.
They were soon on the road, spending Winter playing the streets of New Orleans. Over the years, they came home to Eureka, opening for Emmylou Harris, Odetta, and playing the long running Ozark Folk Festival. As the rhythm section for their New Orleans pal, Opal Fly, they opened for Ray Charles at The AUD.
A few years later, they returned to Jan's adopted hometown of New York City - where they met up with fiddle player Katy Cox
Despite being based in three different states,(AR, NY, TX) the three had a busy few years. In 2009, they played Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and folk festivals in the UK. They also went back to where it all began,Eureka Springs to headline at The AUD. Thousands of miles and hundreds of shows and adventures later, Jan and Melissa and Katy are staying closer to home.
Jan continues to lead the band back up in Brooklyn, playing with musicians who were part of The Maybelles along the way.
The Maybelles, led by Jan Bell are based in Brooklyn, NYC.
The Maybelles are culled from members of Jan's award winning NYC country band, The Cheap Dates; and touring members of The Maybelles. Violinist, Rima Fand (Luminescent Orchestrii)has played with Jan for ten years, and on all three of Jan's albums. Megan Palmer joined The Maybelles as a multi instrumentalist in 2009, bringing piano and vocals into the realm. Hilary Hawke (banjo) has been a Maybelle since they opened for Wanda Jackson in NYC; and joined them on The Roots and Branches Stage at The International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) in Nashville, TN. Philippa Thompson has played with Jan since 2007, and joined the Maybelles in 2009. An evocative and versatile singer and performer she brings fiddle, accordion, percussion and the saw!Tim Luntzel (upright bass) is the honorary 'May Bro' and tours with Roseanne Cash amongst other world class artists. The Maybelles began as a duo Jan Bell and Melissa Carper in the Ozarks.
Philippa, Hilary and Jan went down to one of the their favourite places on the planet in Red Hook, Brooklyn to make a 'Live at Jalopy Theater' Album called 'Hello Stranger'. Here are some winter time photos taken in Dumbo, Brooklyn to commemorate the occasion!
Since then, Philippa got married and gave birth to twins - Marianna and Roger; and Hilary returned to school, teaching, and leading her fabulous band the Flipsides. Meanwhile, Rima Fand and Megan Palmer continue to play as the Maybelles, and Jan is also embarking on a new recording project with long time friend, Jolie Holland.