LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends

Saturday, February 4, 7:30pm
Whittier Theatre
Tickets:
Adults: $40 Students: $20 Student Rush: $5
When LeRoy Bell teamed up with legendary guitarist G.E. Smith in 2019 the combination quickly evolved into a “COVID super group. Add in Simon Kirk from Bad Company on drums and LeRoy’s longtime bassist Terry Morgan and the product known as Stony Hill was born.

The record was released in the fall of 2020 and received glowing reviews from Rolling Stone, The San Francisco Examiner and many other noted music trade magazines. Release on the BMG music label the main track “America” received critical acclaim for the striking lyrics painting a picture of the divided political climate.

Following LeRoy’s appearance on the XFactor USA and airing in 120 countries, LeRoy Bell gained millions of fans all over the world that fell in love with his soulful vocal sounds and timeless style. The public reaction to LeRoy’s XFactor performances resulted in him trending worldwide on Twitter on several occasions. Because of the exposure and promotion gained from this international exposure LeRoy Bell is now one of the most distinguished artists to evolve out of the reality TV music/entertainment world.

The past few years before the pandemic LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends could be found touring with Huey Lewis and the News or Steve Miller up and down the west coast. They have had the pleasure to perform with Van Morrison, Fitz and the Tantrums, Train, Sheryl Crow, B.B. King, Etta James, Beth Hart, Joe Cocker, Al Green, Idina Menzel, Sharon Jones & The Dap King, Paolo Nutini, India.Arie, Erykah Badu, LeAnne Rimes, Joan Osborne, Michael McDonald, Suzanne Vega, Colin Hay, Mavis Staples, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell,Charlie Musselwhite, and Los Lobos.

The Bell family legacy extended from Philly to Seattle when Thom Bell, (LeRoy's uncle) opened up the west coast offices of Mighty Three Music. As a young staff writer LeRoy teamed with Casey James and wrote songs that would be recorded by The Spinners, The O'Jays, The Temptations, Rita Marley and most notably Elton John.

“Mama Can't Buy Me Love”, from the “Thom Bell Sessions”, went to #9 pop, #36 R&B, and #1 AC in the fall of 1979, earning John a Grammy Nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. That same year Bell and James had their own million-seller with "Livin It Up (Friday Night)" on A&M Records.

In 2003 Fat Boy Slim’s re-mix of Elton's "Are You Ready For Love,” reached #1 in England and most of Europe. Released on his own label, Martez Music Group the debut EP “Spending Time,” started the new era. The 2006 release of his first full length CD “Two Sides To Every Story,” received rave reviews. Followed in 2008 with the politically charged “A Change Is Coming,” LeRoy’s most intimate music project yet “Traces,” a solo acoustic project was released in 2010. Followed by “Rock ‘N Soul “ in 2013, and “When That Fire Rolls Around” in 2016.

Zahara, South Africa’s leading young “Afrosoul” singer-songwriter was so moved by LeRoy’s voice and performance, she invited him to join her in South Africa to collaborate on her first Live DVD (‘New Beginnings’ – EMI SA) in the summer of 2013 and shipped double platinum. The DVD was confirmed to be one of the fastest selling releases in South Africa, leading LeRoy to sign to EMI South Africa.

One of South Africa’s most influential DJs, DJ Sbu, remixed one of LeRoy’s originals, A Change is Coming, and it reached #2 on the South African music charts. Zahara, LeRoy Bell & The Soweto Gospel Choir were nominated for a SAMA (South African Grammy in 2013.

“LeRoy Bell has a voice ideally suited to the flavor of bluesy pop he’s delivered…It has texture, passion and strength.” -Rambles.net
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