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Three local roots artists are gaining national and international recognition for recent projects 

By HAL HOROWITZ Wednesday May 1, 2024 06:24 PM EDT


EXCERPT "Three local roots artists are gaining national and international recognition for recent projects. William Bell, Jontavious Willis, and Blackberry Smoke are all receiving wide acclaim for their Georgia music.

William Bell attained local living legend status some time ago. While not born or raised in Atlanta, he has called the city home for decades (he moved here from Memphis in 1969)… END OF EXCERPT 


2023: A Good Year for Soul Music and William Bell JEFF COCHRAN SEP 5, 2023 

EXCERPT: 1975. Not such a great year for rhythm and blues music, or soul music, as we called it in those days. Sure, Al Green was still rolling out the hits, as were the Isley Brothers and the Staple Singers. “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle hit number one on the Billboard Soul Chart in February. Produced by Allen Toussaint, “Lady Marmalade” was one of the liveliest hits to top any of the charts that year. Frenetic, but tight and reined in. Truly soulful and a relentless rocker. Still, “Lady Marmalade” was the exception that proved the rule in ‘75. Soul music was losing its edge … continue to read

Summit of the Scribes: A Gathering of Stax Legends 

by: Alex Greene / 4:00 a.m. Jun. 28, 2023

The air was charged last Friday night at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as five of Stax Records’ most valuable players gathered together to answer questions and speak their minds. The sold-out event was first and foremost a celebration of Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos, Craft Recordings’ seven-CD compilation (reviewed last week in the Memphis Flyer) featuring 140 never-before-heard recordings made in the studio’s back rooms, when songwriters made reference tapes of their compositions. Those demos would ultimately be filed away among the holdings of East/Memphis Music, the label’s publishing company, with the best serving as blueprints for full-on studio recordings by Stax artists. READ THE FULL ARTICLE 


By Alan Richard 
ATLANTA — The title song from William Bell’s forthcoming album, One Day Closer to Home, opens with a blues guitar riff that sounds at first like rock 'n roll, a slight musical departure for the soul-music legend. Then again, it’s Mr. Bell’s authentic blend of soul, country, gospel and blues influences that have made him a master of melody and turn-of-phrase — and one of the greatest R&B singers and songwriters of all time. “Out here on this highway, standing in the rain,” he sings on the new single. “It's still a long way to Memphis, but I'm one day closer to home.”... CONTINUE TO READ

STAX Museum Writes: Country Soul Blog: William Bell is Back to Bring Home Soul 

by: Tim Sampson

William Bell is one of our favorite Stax Records artists of all time. He’s also one of the Stax Museum and Stax Music Academy’s most avid supporters, with academy students opening for him in Manchester, England in 2017, performing with him in Orlando, Florida, students featured in his video for his 2020 NEA National Heritage Fellowship… Continue to read

ALBUM REVIEW: William Bell Keeps Soul Chops Sharp on ‘One Day Closer to Home’ 

Henry Carrigan POSTED ON APRIL 13, 2023

"The swampy blues of the title track chugs along with the yearning feeling of being so close to being up after having been down so long; it’s a haunting song. Bell’s raw and emotional “When I Stop Loving You,” which he co-wrote with Larry Campbell, conveys the ache of what happens the moment love dies (“my heart will beat no more”).

Every song on One Day Closer to Home is a winner, and Bell’s silky vocals define soul. Bell inhabits a song deeply and delivers it with emotional tenderness and fire. It’s a treat to have a new album from the master." READ FULL REVIEW


Soul legend William Bell sings and writes about love and relationships in a traditional way that reveals the constancy of the need for human connections.

Bruce Springsteen recently included William Bell‘s 1968 ballad “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” on the Boss’ collection of 15 soul music covers, Only the Strong Survive. Bell’s song was probably the most obscure track on the record, which featured several Motown hits and other well-known selections. This reveals two things: Springsteen’s good taste and Bell’s continued influence on contemporary music… READ FULL REVIEW

Review by Rock & Blues Muse: William Bell ‘One Day Closer To Home’ 

By Mike O’Cull
Grammy-winning soul man, songwriter, and Stax/Volt groundbreaker William Bell treats us to his world-class voice and vibe on his 15th studio record One Day Closer To Home.

Released April 14th, 2023 on Wilbe Records, the set features Bell vocalizing in front of his regular road group The Total Package Band, an outstanding crew of players able to keep up with Bell and his smooth, genre-crossing style. He easily shifts between blues, soul, R&B, country, and Americana sounds, often within the same song, and hits like a skilled, technical singer with a heart of artistic gold. The undeniable Truth of soul music is the thread that connects his songs together and is permanently installed in every note he sings. It’s also what has made Bell a legend of American music… continue to read full review

The Soul music icon returns this spring with an album that shows us that at 83 he has lost none of his brilliance. 

Read William Bell “One Day Closer To Home” 
review in French abs Magazine 
23 mai 2023 marcel “big chief” editor ABS MAG #82, Chroniques READ NOW

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Soul music legend William Bell rides his career resurgence with new album 

Read this great review by SCOTT FREEMAN·MAY 5, 2023 published by ARTSATL 

EXCERPT " It’s common enough for a classic era singer or band to enjoy a career resurgence after years away from the spotlight. But it is most uncommon for that resurgence to happen when the singer is in their 70s and 80s. Which is exactly what has happened for William Bell, the Stax Records icon who scored his first hit more than 60 years ago. “I’m a late bloomer,” Bell jokes… END OF EXCERPT READ FULL ARTICLE



Old-School Soul: Class Is Still in Session 

Old-School Soul: Class Is Still in Session
A Curmudgeon Column
By Geoffrey Himes  |  May 30, 2023 | 9:06am

Excerpt "Old-school soul music—much like swing, reggae, British Invasion rock or countless other once-popular genres—may have lost its market share, but it has not lost its musical value. Soul has entered that cultural twilight zone, where it is neither a major force nor mostly forgotten. End of Excerpt READ THIS FULL FANTASTIC REVIEW

(Photo by: Ginette Callaway)



1570 Woodmont Drive 
Tuscumbia, AL  35674
May 15 thru May 21 2023


1.  William Bell  -  One Day Closer To Home  - Let's Make Loving Great Again  -  Wilbe Records
2.  Jaye Hammer -  Be Happy  -  You’re Cheating On Me  -   Ecko
3.  Bobby Rush  -  One Monkey Can Stop A Show  -  One Monkey Can Stop A Show  -  72 Music
4.  The Delta Blues Outlaws  -  Love Nobody Else  -  Love Nobody Else -  Outlaws Reward
5.  Nestor Torres   - Thank You, Willie  -  Thank You, Willie  -  Nine PM Records
6.  Levelle  -  Only If  -  Only If  -  SRG/Virgin
7.  Val McKnight  -  Ain’t Nothing Like a Country Boy  -  Let’s Party -   Ecko
8.  Vic Allen  -  That Good Thang  -  That Good Thang  -  Vick Allen Music
9.  Lavelle  -  Only If  -  Only If  -  Lavelle/Indie
10. Wendell B  -  Slow And Easy  -  She’s The That Do It For Me  -  J.W. Music

Roadhouse Album Review William Bell’s smooth and sexy soul music... 

Roadhouse Album Review: William Bell’s smooth and sexy soul music defines this classic singer’s “One Day Closer to Home” Jim White

William Bell is one of the original soul men. One of the last standing. Still creating that sweetly satisfying soul music — and more.

On his latest and 15th album, Bell turns loose his still-smooth 83-year-old pipes on a dozen finely crafted and perfectly executed songs that stretch the boundaries of soul music into a broader picture of American music. READ FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE


Great write up in Creative Loafing Atlanta 

BLUES & BEYOND: May flowers with new music Fresh tunes from some of Atlanta’s most talented artists.

By HAL HOROWITZ Tuesday April 25, 2023 10:42 AM 
Who doesn’t love spring in Atlanta? The heat and humidity of the hellish summer has yet to hit, the foliage comes to life in vibrant colors, and outdoor concerts return in force. Adding to the seasonal excitement this year are new albums from established veterans along with one up-and-coming talent… READ ALL ABOUT IT


Interview with soul legend William Bell 

Read  the in-depth interview article by “Heikki Suosalo” for Soul Express Magazine

Every song reviewed "I WILL REMEMBER TONIGHT

EXCERPT 1: "I Will Remember Tonight is a smooth, melodic and gently flowing mid-tempo song with a bit of country to it, too. William co-wrote the song with Greg Humphries. “Greg is a wonderful musician and a session player. He has a band of his own and he resides between Nashville and New York. He was brought to me by my management, Charles Driebe from Blind Ambition. He said that here’s a young guy you should consider writing something with. Greg came to my studio in Atlanta, stayed almost a week and we came up with four really good songs and two of them I got on this CD.”

Excerpt 2: “William: “When you win a Grammy, everybody wants you. ‘Everybody loves a winner’ (laughing). I got busy. I was travelling and touring with the Take Me to the River organization. We had a movie out. It’s a wonderful organization of teaching the kids about the origin of music. We were doing the screening and touring for two years. When I finally came off the road, I had to take it a little lighter, to get rested. I wanted to really take my time to write some songs that were telling about the times that we’re living now.READ THE FULL INTERVIEW

The Rocking Magpie REVIEW of One Day Closer To Home 

The Rocking Magpie
Americana, Blues, Folk, Alt Country, Country and a Whole Lot More!

Review of "One Day Closer To Home"

EXCERPT: William Bell
One Day Closer To Home
Wilbe Records

Timeless Silky Smooth Soul Music With Sharp Edges and Effortless Cool.

The Soul Cognoscenti will always have a special place for William Bell in their hears; but sadly he’s something of a ‘forgotten man’ these days; and the timeless ‘smokey’ Soul that he’s famous for has pretty much gone out of fashion; especially among the younger generation who tend to want an ‘edge’ to their music; while William still produces silky smooth and often beautiful music.
The opening track; I Still Go to Parties is a defiant argument for ‘being old’; but not and never being ‘old people’!… READ ALL ABOUT IT CLICK HERE

William Bell Interview with BMI about the new CD and a potential 2nd Grammy 

A fantastic long interview with BMI

Catching Up with William Bell

The soul music legend aims for another GRAMMY with his latest album

Posted in News on April 17, 2023

EXCERPT: Legendary soul singer and songwriter William Bell released his 15th album, One Day Closer To Home, on April 14 via his Wilbe Records label. The album, his first since his GRAMMY-winning 2016 project This is Where I Live, explores a cross of musical genres, true to Bell’s form.

Born in Memphis in 1939, Bell started singing in church, becoming an early star in his choir. As a teenager, he played live gigs with Rufus Thomas and Phineas Newborn, getting an immersive education in the music business, and Bell paid attention at every turn. He started writing songs, having early hits with “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and blues classic “Born Under a Bad Sign,” the latter penned with Booker T. Jones. Bell became known for his poignant lyrics and soulful melodies and enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Stax Records until he relocated to Atlanta in 1969.

BMI caught up with Bell, who was working on album art in his studio in Atlanta in preparation for the vinyl release of One Day Closer to Home. Bell shared some of his most memorable moments from his long career, how his songwriting has evolved over the years, and the advice he’d share for anyone starting their career in the music industry … READ ALL ABOUT IT CLICK  HERE for full article / Interview

Glide Magazine Review for William Bell's One Day Closer To Home 

EXCERPT:  William Bell, the man who wrote so many of the great hits, including “Born Under a Bad Sign” for Albert King,  is in the midst of a career resurgence, having won at 76, his first Grammy for Best Americana Album for his 2016 This Is Where I Live (Stax/Concord Records).  One Day Closer to Home, his fifteenth album, is its follow-up with Bell bringing his touring unit, The Total Package Band, replete on some tracks with a three-piece horn section and two backup vocalists, into the studio. Some tracks add strings, even a country-styled fiddle. but Bell’s superior writing and singing are always the focus…  continue reading


CD Review for William Bell's One Day Closer To Home by popMATTERS 


EXCERT" One might think Bell’s career was over because of his slew of achievements, but the soul singer is still writing and performing. He’s just released a new album with a dozen original titles, One Day Closer to Home, on his record label (Wilbe). The 12 ballads have a timeless quality and would not be out of place on any LP he made over the past 50-plus years… continue reading

Review from NO DEPRESSION for William Bell's CD "One Day Closer To Home" 


The review of this album could be very short: William Bell is a master of soul music who can tear out your heart with one vocal phrase and soothe and comfort with the next, and One Day Closer to Home reveals a master at work.

William Bell (photo by Ginette Callaway)

Black and white photo of William Bell wearing hat and holding sunglasses


Bell’s signature 1961 song “You Don’t Miss Your Water (Until Your Well 

Runs Dry)” was one of the earliest hits on a then-new label called Stax. With Booker T. Jones, Bell wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” (1967), which Albert King turned into a hit. To our good fortune, Bell has never stopped writing and singing songs that blend gospel, blues, and soul into smooth ballads that settle deep into hearts and rollicking soul stirrers that soar on the playful wings of joy….