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The Band's Richard Bell dies

Monday, June 18, 2007 – Keyboardist and songwriter Richard Bell, 61, who played with The Band and Janis Joplin, died June 15 after a long battle with multiple myeloma cancer, in Toronto, Canada.

Bell began his professional career in the '60s as a member of the Toronto band the Last Words. He joined rockabilly artist, Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks as a keyboardist in the mid-1960s. At a performance with Hawkins at the Fillmore East in New York City in 1969, he was approached by Albert Grossman, Janis Joplin's manager, and was recruited for her Full Tilt Boogie Band. He played on her final studio album, "Pearl," released posthumously in 1971.

Bell joined The Band in 1991 and played piano on their albums, "High on the Hog," "Jubilation" and "Jericho" for which he penned "Caves of Jericho." During his career, he played on more than 400 albums and performed with Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Joe Walsh, Paul Butterfield, The Cowboy Junkies, Bruce Cockburn, and Bonnie Raitt.

At the time of his death, Bell was a member of the country-rock group, Burrito Deluxe, performing and contributing songs to their recent CD, "Disciples Of The Truth."

Band leader Carlton Moody stated, "During the brief time I knew Richard, I found him to be a very spiritual person who lived everyday to the fullest. Musically, he always inspired those around him to achieve a higher level. Once he entered your life, you were better because of it."

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Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Henry comes out the other end a better man – Joe Henry mentioned at the outset that this show was not only the record release celebration, but also the anniversary - to the day - of when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although the songs from this fine new album do not address his illness directly, they many times touch upon the big issues of human existence (life, death and the meaning of it all).... »»»
Concert Review: What's in a name? Strings lives up to it – Billy Strings may not be his real name, but the bluegrass performer more than lives up to his adopted moniker. Bluegrass may not be the first style of music when one thinks of William Apostol's (yup, that's Billy's real name) home state of Michigan, but with more miles on the bus and shows like this outstanding, lengthy, lyrical night... »»»
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