“Making the best possible use of the atmospheric, captivating vocals of Lizzy Ross, Durham folk duo Violet Bell puts an eerie, vaguely avant-garde twist on traditional roots music, suggesting the lovely but slightly askew early John Cale releases. Garnished with beauty but fraught with an underlying menace, tunes like “Dream the Wheel” under score the interplay between Ross and multi-instrumentalist Omar Ruiz-Lopez.” (Indy Weekly)
The live show is at the center of Violet Bell’s sound. They’ve played over 100 shows in 2017, earning fans from FL to VT with long stretches on the road. On stage, the energy between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate and intuitive. Their sound is true to the mutating nature of music as life on the road continually brings fresh inspiration into the mix.
Violet Bell keeps live performance at the core of their debut release Dream the Wheel. Ross sings and plays guitar, as Ruiz-Lopez adds violin, viola, cello, keys, guitar and vocal harmonies. The result is alchemical; emotionally evocative music that “sounds like a beautiful dream turned sudden nightmare.”(IW)
The album’s title track, “Dream the Wheel,” speaks to a fearlessly inclusive view of life’s cyclical polarities. “Sing, sing, everything/ Comes and goes and comes again/ Let it out and let it in/ Let it be your medicine,” “No such thing/ as too far/ or too deep/ or too dark.” In the modern era of rising seas and informational flooding, these lyrics are yours to interpret.
The album cover, a medicine wheel that Ruiz-Lopez and Ross crafted from local NC flora, speaks to the origins of the music. Violet Bell is rooted firmly in the natural world and the community from which they’ve grown. The September 15 release show for Dream the Wheel featured three members of the Durham Kidznotes All-Star string ensemble, whom Ruiz-Lopez has helped to teach since 2011. For Violet Bell, teaching and community connection are fundamental goals.
Prior to forming Violet Bell, Ruiz-Lopez honed his chops on the road with Jonathan Byrd and Crystal Bright, and composed original pieces for the Durham Symphony Orchestra. Ross is a two-time Kerrville New Folk finalist and winner of Floydfest’s On the Rise, a Carolina Music Award, and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council.
As Violet Bell, Ross and Ruiz-Lopez become a dynamic musical force that’s greater than either one of them alone. Violet Bell is currently touring in support of their debut Dream the Wheel and recording their second album for release in 2018.
The DuPont Brothers
«Two brothers living on the indie circuit, driving around sharing their stories through songwriting. That’s life for Sam & Zack DuPont. Based out of Burlington, VT the sibling indie-folk-rock duo has kept busy on the road since 2013. Their two studio releases, Heavy as Lead (2015) & A Riddle For You (2016) & two live albums, Live at Beehive (2016) & Live at Deepwells (2017), have taken them all over the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South and Midwest. The DuPont Brothers have made festival appearances at Grand Point North & SXSW & have supported a wide array of national acts of all shapes, sizes and genres including Kishi Bashi, Johnnyswim, The Lone Bellow, Gin Wigmore, Langhorne Slim, Joseph, Joe Pug, Livingston Taylor, Bahamas, Ben Sollee & Patrick Watson along with grammy award winning artists, Sturgill Simpson, Jerry Douglas, Blake Mills, Suzanne Vega & Pat Benatar.»
“Together the DuPont Brothers resonate at just the right frequency. There were moments that honestly gave me chills."
-Dan Bolles, Seven Days VT
“It’s the essence of what stop-you-in-your-tracks music is suppose to do, which is shake you out of your day-to-day life like an old friend who wants you know everything will be ok, in time, as long as you never forget to believe in the endless possibilities of the cosmos.”
-Garret K. Woodward, Smoky Mountain News
“The debut LP from The DuPont Brothers is so pretty it hurts.”
— Maeri Ferguson, The Horn
“With the DuPont Brothers, we take a step back, slow our pace right down and take one deep breath, heart rate sliding down the scale as our thoughts climb through the murky path into our mind’s eye and away from the shallow chatter of everyday life. ‘Heavy As Lead’ takes us on a journey, one that is directed by emotion and mood, and guided by prose. The lyrics are perhaps as flowery as the music, poetry the basis for the construction of the tracks and a story clouded in ambiguity unfolding with each step.”
— Vickye, For the Country Record