Poetry from Texas
with Vince Bell

Born in Texas, living in Nashville,
Vince Bell shares stories of his life and music.
(Pic Susan Cane)

"Music is magic. It's ability to transform and move the listener is amazing." --- Jim Lauderdale

Poetry from Texas GrassRoots Hour

produced by
Brian 'the silver fox' (Ragamuffin Radio)
'Miscreant' Mike

Every couple of weeks we will
shoot the breeze and play acoustic roots music
for backporches and country suppers

Ragamuffin's Brian and Mike read two short extracts from Vince Bell's book One Man's Music which begins with the horrific car smash that stalled his life for many years.


Vince Bell talks about growing up in Houston and the communities of bohemians that thrived there which introduces his song The Fair from the album Texas Plates. The Fair is a graphic song about an artist returning to his roots: "We called the shots, we made the rules, spaghetti bars were our music schools"
Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold - Townes Van Zandt (Live At The Old Quarter)  "Townes Van Zandt was the most gracious man I've met in music and one of the more talented . . ." Vince chooses one of his favourite Townes songs and talks of how Townes encouraged him to produce a songbook. Live At The Old Quarter is the ace live album from Townes and his guitar recorded in the mid 1970s in Houston.

Sun, Moon and Stars - Vince Bell   (Phoenix) Vince Bell's brush with death was the subject of a play by Tom White
named after one of his gorgeous of song Sun, Moon and Stars. Check out Nanci Griffith's cover of this great song. And read Tom White's script online at the link above.

"The Sun, Moon and Stars is the old wardog, that song has drug me around America for thirty, forty years now. Great little piece."

The Beast Vince Bell  (Phoenix) A decade after his accident Vince and his partner Sarah produced a giant press pack of songs on cassette, lyrics and poetry for selected record companies, producers and agents. From this came the chance to record with Bob Neurith and the release of the first Vince Bell CD, Phoenix.

I've Had Enough - Lyle Lovett  (Step Inside This House) Lyle Lovett's beautiful tribute to his fellow Texas songwriters included Vince Bell's I've Had Enough from the Phoenix album. We follow this with one of Miscreant Mike's favourite Vince Bell songs:

Girl Who Never Saw A MountainVince Bell (Phoenix) Vince explains how the song came to be written.

Amtrak Train, Oakland Station. Mike goes some way to explaining his fascination with Girl Who Never Saw A Mountain by slipping in this snippet of tape . . .

Across the Universe - John Lennon.
We asked Vince to select some favourite music by fellow artists, first we had Townes Van Zandt's Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, then Vince picked John Lennon's Across the Universe
Willin' - Little Feat (Sailing Shoes). Vince picks another favourite song of his, Lowell George's classic Willin' from the second Little Feat album Sailing Shoes. "I've warped by the rain, driven by the snow, drunk and dirty don't you know, but I'm still willing . . ." This is the classic Little Feat lineup, Lowell George, Bill Payne, Roy Estrada and Ritchie Hayward plus Sneaky Pete guesting on pedal steel.

All The Way To The Moon - Vince Bell   (Texas Plates) ". . . and Texas Plates is a classic example, a neat little production album with an amazing little song on it, I think you'd really like called All The Way To The Moon."

Last Chance Dance - Vince Bell (Texas Plates)

"Steven Fromholz is probably my best buddy in music, he and I used to travel from edge to edge in Texas, Shreveport to El Paso . . ."

100 Miles From Mexico - Denice Franke  The gorgeous Vince Bell song from Texas Plates covered here on the latest and very fine piece of spinning silver from Denice Franke called Comfort. Check out Denice's singing with the Beacon City Band, Nanci Griffith and not forgetting her beautiful first album You Don't Know Me.

Trouble With Normal - Bruce Cockburn Another of Vince's favourite songwriters is Bruce Cockburn. Vince talks here about his work with the head injured: "Me and my head injured pals are like border collies, there's no two of us alike at least we have that in common . . ."

Say That You Will - Vince Bell  (Live In Texas)

The Other Side - Vince Bell  (Live In Texas)

Poetry, Texas - Vince Bell  Vince Bell talks about songwriting, Hemmingway and closes the programme "collar to the wind, future in the breeze"

Live in Texas, Lyle Lovett and Vince Bell, Austin City Limits. (Pic Dave Roth)

Special thanks to Vince and Sarah for all their help
and also our friends for providing photographs and music:
Capricorn Kate (Sierra Nevadas); Susan Cane (Bristol);  Our Americana in pAris pAl Herve