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MP3 Chris Bells - After August

Acoustic - Singer/Songwriter

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Folky Pop



Details:
Chris Bells calls his music folk rock because no one ever taught him how to play guitar. His dad played the instrument when he was younger, and one day, the right-hander decided to pick it up and start strumming.

"I did it backwards," the lefty musician said. "I play a right-handed guitar upside down because that''s all I had."

Since that first time he plucked some strings, music was part of his life.

Bells played in The Fine Line, which released one album, "Self Titled," in 2002. When the band broke up the following year, he turned his attention to getting a communications degree from UW-Milwaukee. Bells decided music would remain simply a hobby while he pursued other interests.

That hiatus didn''t last long. While studying in London during the spring of 2005, Bells entered a talent contest held for the students in his dorm. Taking home first prize "rekindled his passion for live performance" and encouraged him to start working on a solo album.

"I always want things done yesterday, so if it''s just you, you can move faster," he said.

Returning to his acoustic roots, Bells composed music his way, using an unusual performance style in which he writes the music first and then fills in the words at a later time - if ever.

He likes to leave portions of his lyrics unwritten and fill in the blanks during concerts, drawing inspiration from what''s affecting his life at the moment or even from the emotions of the audience.

"I''ve been accused of being too vague, but I like playing to a large audience and giving people the opportunity to relate for themselves," he said.

The 28-year-old''s first solo album, "After Autumn," is being sold on his MySpace page and at the Exclusive Company on Farwell Avenue. Bells hopes to capitalize on the power of the Internet to market his album to a global audience, following the trend of unknown musicians who buck the hold traditional radio has on the market and instead promote cheaply and easily online.

The album title reflects his belief that people never think about the life they are living instead of the life they desire to live.

"We''re always waiting for the next thing to come," Bells said. "As a society, we are not content to live in the moment. This is my effort to live in the moment but also reach for the long-term goals in life." - Joe Ahlers

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