For those of you who have seen the Belleville Outfit perform — either at last June’s Free Friday concert, at the Folk ’N Bluegrass Festival, or at the 2008 Four Corners Folk Festival — suffice it to say that the group is returning to perform at this year’s Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival. That should be enough of an announcement in and of itself to prompt you to get your tickets.
For those who still haven’t witnessed the band’s incredibly dynamic live performance, read on and find out why you should plan to see them this June on Reservoir Hill.
The Belleville Outfit became instant legends in Pagosa Springs from the moment they stepped onto the stage last June, wowing the all-ages audience with a dynamic blend of Django-inspired dance tunes along with updated classics like “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
Probably one of the best things going for the band is their youth (the eldest member weighs in at 24 years old); at times they seem to be channeling the spirit of another era, and channeling it very well by all indications. But the Outfit isn’t doesn’t play music for your grandparents, although they would no doubt appreciate it. Wherever the band goes, teens and 20-somethings pack the dance area, and appear to be enjoying the band’s retro sound very much. Finding a band that successfully creates a multi-generational musical bridge is wonderful; finding one with that also possesses the level of musicianship displayed by the Belleville Outfit is a very rare thing indeed.
Based out of Louisiana’s finest music and arts city, the Belleville Outfit serves up a truly unique mix of gypsy swing, big band jazz, and roots Americana/Bluegrass. Both innovative in their combining of genres, and true to their musical roots, the Belleville Outfit solidified itself as a tour-de-force in the world of acoustic music, with a self-released debut album, “Wanderin’,” that topped out at No. 10 on the Americana Music Chart. Watch for their new CD to be released soon.
Band members Rob Teter, Marshall Hood and Jeff Brown toured extensively with a group based out of South Carolina called the DesChamps Band, an all acoustic swing/bluegrass group that has shared stages with such prestigious acts as The Waybacks, Junior Brown, the Del McCoury Band, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Duhks, and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, as well as released two full length records.
Now, as the Belleville Outfit, with the additional talents of Phoebe Hunt on violin, Connor Forsyth on piano, and Jonathan Konya on the drums, the group is poised to introduce their inventive sound into the ears of anyone and everyone who will listen. Belleville’s fans can catch them at this year’s Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival on Sunday, June 7 at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets to Pagosa Folk ’N Bluegrass can be purchased downtown at Moonlight Books or at ReSport in the Pagosa Lakes City Market shopping center. Tickets and additional information are available by calling (877) 472-4672 or online at www.folkwest.com.