The Bellrays to Rock Costa Mesa: Rock & soul band the Bellrays have been a force of nature since forming in the early ‘90s. Indeed, it was no surprise when singer Lisa Kekaula ended up fronting a version of the MC5 for a while there. Still thrilling, still exciting, catch them here. Graves and the Bad Weather also play. 

Their last album, Punk Funk Rock Soul Volume 2 came out in 2018. At the time, Kekaula said in a statement, “We take our ear where our heart lives in simple song writing, making ourselves and hopefully all who hear it feel good. We are proud of its simplicity and love how the new songs sound like old friends. This release is a collection of songs that illustrates why we do what we do. We are not 20 year olds and that’s okay.  We are proud of our mileage and journey and PUNK FUNK ROCK SOUL validates our comfort in what music means to us. Viability, trend and meaning are up to the eye of the beholder…we like to rock.”

According to the press release, “With each song, The BellRays play with the formula. The dynamics shift and change from straight ahead rockers like “Bad Reaction” “Junior High” and “Never Let a Woman” to more rock/pop songs like “I Can’t Hide” and “Brand New Day”.  “Man Enough” features tornado drumming and Caravanesque guitar solos. How do you make the dark sound light? Listen to “Perfect”, which is heavy while singing about finding that rhythm together. “Now” spreads out with a simple melody and message of being in the moment.  “Every Chance I Get” gets to the blues with its plaintive resolution to use time as wisely as possible. “Love and Hard Times” closes the album with an easy, R&B tinged lyric reminiscent of Levon Helm and The Band. Throughout PUNK FUNK ROCK SOUL, The BellRays slide from song to song, changing the dynamics but not the dynamism. In the studio or on stage, the BellRays equals energy.  E=BR(P+F+R+S).”

Check them out at the Wayfarer.

The Bellrays to Rock Costa Mesa: The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at the Wayfarer.

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