Violet Bell’s original Americana is woven from threads of folk, soul, bluegrass, psychedelic, and classical music. On stage and in the studio, the energy between Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate and intuitive. Based out of Durham, the pair have played shows from Montreal to Miami since forming in 2016, resulting in a strong onstage chemistry that’s evident in person and in videos of these live performances.
The two share a mutual love of rock, hip-hop and R&B that finds its way into their traditionally rooted music. “She’s a songwriter, I’m a composer and multi-instrumentalist, and our ability to meld those abilities and genres works well for us,” Ruiz-Lopez says. “The world of songwriting is a very interesting one as opposed to purely instrumental, ‘classical music.’ There’s more stylistic freedom. Combining those singer-songwriter qualities with orchestral technique allows us to create interesting textures around our message.”
Violet Bell’s momentum radiates from the experience of recording their debut full-length album, Honey in My Heart, set for 2019 release. The album was produce by Violet Bell and Jason Richmond (Avett Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nneena Freelon, Dom Flemons, Bombadil, Shana Tucker), and the songs were recorded live in single takes, without vocal tuning, isolation or click tracks. Full of personality, Honey in My Heart feels consistent with the duo’s true selves as opposed to hidden behind studio wizardry.
Violet Bell was an official showcasing artist at Americanafest 2018, and has been presented at venues such as WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, The Center for the Study of the American South, Rooster Walk Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Ocrafolk Festival, the Charleston Bluegrass Festival, the Festival for the Eno, the Beaufort Music Festival, the Burlington Carousel Festival, Campfire Festival, the Haw River Ballroom, Folk Alliance International, and many more. Violet Bell has worked with KidzNotes, the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra, and others to engage local communities of all ages in educational and inspiring performances and workshops.
Violet Bell was born in 2016, when singer-songwriter Ross recruited Ruiz-Lopez as a multi-instrumentalist for a live album recording show… two weeks before the show. Ruiz-Lopez slayed the performance and brought out a new dimension of beauty in the music. Violet Bell released their debut EP Dream the Wheel in 2017 and have been playing ever since.