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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: Three years late(r), wait for Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon was worth it – The album, "Solstice," coming out this Friday from Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, took "only" three years to be released by New West. The recording sessions were an outgrowth of a few friends getting together and recording music. Those friends would be folks like Birds of Chicago and Amy Helm (on the album,... »»»
Concert Review: Guthrie brings welcome vibe of sweetness – Before launching into "This Land is Your Land," Arlo Guthrie recalled how his father taught him this song when he was just eight or nine. His father, however, wasn't just any father, but the father of protest folk music, Woody Guthrie. Then when Arlo's daughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie, took the stage midway through the first half of the... »»»
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