February 28, 2017
There is a sticker on the front of the CD jacket that says “File Under Texas Music,” and to that I say AMEN.
Glenna Bell is a singer/songwriter who uses the blues as a foundation as she moves effortless to fuse rock, pop, and country into her sound.
She has a knack of choosing cover songs that can be transferred to her Texas orientation. Don Henley’s “Heart Of The Matter” re-emerges with a steel guitar and understated vocals.
At the heart of her music are personal songs about her life and Texas. “Poor Girl (In Blue)” and “Shiner Bock & ZZ Top” carry on her tradition of story-songs. “Tonight’s The Night” is a wonderful reflection of life’s transitions that works better with the video.
Perhaps the best song is “Christmas Is Coming,” which is a nostalgic and wistful approach to the season and received several hundred-thousand plays online las year.
Glenna Bell’s music always has a personal approach and her latest release is no exception. Music for the heart and mind-Texas style.
November 2, 2010
Glenna Bell is Texas born, bred, and educated. She grew-up in the small Texas towns of Lumberton and Pineland before receiving a master’s degree from Texas A&M University. A couple of stops in Venice, California as a theater critic and playwright and then a doctorate in creative writing from The University of Houston’s exclusive Writing Program formed the foundation for her career in music.
She is now firmly entrenched as a singer/songwriter who has just released her latest album Perfectly Legal: Songs Of Sex, Love and Murder. She possesses a classic country voice and her lyrics of anguish, loss, and the dark side of life is traditional country as well. It is her simple and stripped down arrangements that push her sound in a folk direction.
It is her theater and writing background that is important for this release. She explores the life and experiences of a woman living in the 21st century. She divides the album into four sections with each part having been recorded at different studios with different musicians which gives them their own personality.
The best songs of the first act is a barrelhouse cover of the old standard “Frankie and Johnny” which fits the title and themes of this album well and a simple version of the Sam Cooke classic “Lost and Lookin.” Act two features a tender duet on the Clint Eastwood movie theme song, “Honky Tonk Man.” The lyrics just make you ache as happiness is always just a note away. Act three presents her own “The Southern Gothic Wedding Waltz” and the title says a lot. She fills in the sound a bit with a second guitarist and some keyboards. The final track from act four is another of her compositions. “The Cougar Anthem” is an up-tempo and amusing beat driven tune that stands out as a nice counterpoint to the rest of her material.
Perfectly Legal: Songs Of Sex, Love and Murder is a gentle and thoughtful album built around eternal themes. Songs of the heart and mind explore the light and darkness of human life. A fine effort from deep in the heart of Texas.
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