Album Release Date 3/26/16
“Change Your Life,” the new Bella’s Bartok album to be release on March 26th, will excite fans as the first album that truly reflects the band’s pop gold klezmer punk sound. Says guitarist/accordion and mandolin player Jesse Putnam, this album “contains the songs and sounds as they are meant to be heard; the tunes refined to reflect their individual intentions.” A compilation of fan favorites, “Change Your Life” invites you to share in the spectacle of the Bella’s Experience, whether while driving, sitting at home, or maybe doing some carefree improvisational dancing and jumping when (you think) nobody’s watching.
From circuses and smoky soirees, Lovecraftian affairs and the nocturnal gatherings of society’s undesirables, the songs on “Change Your Life” reflect the hectic and eclectic minds that compose the group. “Social justice, classic horror, or old friends long gone” all influence Lead Singer Asher Putnam’s emotional state and lyrical content. “There is always a theme and an element of the horror/fantastic in every song I write, as well as a sense of loss.” These themes live and dance in this album, full of fan favorites from the live Bella’s set.
The single Ramona (Track 14) is about love and loss, exuberance and remembrance, play and passion, and, above and beyond all else, a little grey cat. Songs such as The Fiddler and the Devil and The Strigoi Waltz borrow from Jewish folklore and supernatural tales. Others tend toward the more personal or emotional, as in Mother, a dance ballad written as a paean to mothers and a plea to forgive their children. Science puts on display a love for Nikola Tesla and his scientific contributions and psychological quirks. The brisk, Django-esque romp, Zora, jangles ironically over its themes of civil rights and the hypocritical violence of Zionist ideology. Creepster uses its relentlessly upbeat country vibe to unveil the inherent creepiness in coveting someone from afar, and Party Song mocks the exhausting absurdities in privileged party culture. Produced and engineered by guitarist Chris Kerrigan, “Change Your Life” was recorded at Amity House Productions and is the first full length album with the band’s current line-up.
To understand Bella’s Bartok, imagine what you would get if Salvador Dali and Toulouse Lautrec were fronting the Moulin Rouge's house band, and you have the exuberant spectacle that is Bella's Bartok. Described as "about as much fun as you can have with your pants on" (Dan Wolovick, Two Way Monologues), this 6-piece powerhouse melds Bohemian Klezmer Punk with pop sensibilities into an eminently danceable party. The diversity of musicians that make up Bella's Bartok, combined with their boundless energy on stage, not only compels you to dance, but has been known to break a dancefloor, or two (or three, but who's counting?).
Often referred to as a modern-pop klezmer, Bella’s Bartok’s sound moves way beyond that label, pushing the envelope towards the more eclectic side of the Eastern European style and forging a new pop sound as heard through the filter of 20th century fantasy and sci fi. Every show is filled with the exuberant joy of wildly energetic dancing. It's contagious. You simply cannot avoid it. When the circusy-inspired sound of Bella's Bartok hits your ears, you are no longer in control. Their music makes everyone dance, regardless. From living rooms to concert halls, alleyways to weddings, the band's energy makes getting up and moving irresistible. Without fail, someone from the audience comes up after every single show and says the same thing: "I couldn't help it."
Bella's Bartok line-up includes: Asher Putnam (Vocals and all-around entertainer), Jesse Putnam (Accordion, Mandolin, Guitar, Trumpet and Vocals), Chris "Fancy" Kerrigan (Guitar, Clarinet, Vocals), Dan Niederhauser (Bass and Vocals), Amory Drennan (Trombone/Banjo and Vocals), and Crisco (Drums/Percussion). The band has shared the stage with musicians and acts such as Rubblebucket, The Indigo Girls, Larry & His Flask, The Suitcase Junket, And the Kids, Kanye, Rough Francis, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan, West End Blend, Adam Ezra Group, Meat Puppets, World Inferno/Friendship Society, Rupa & the April Fishes, Arc Iris, and many more.
With multiple awards under their belts, including The Valley Advocate's Best Band in the Valley 2014 and The Deli Magazine's Best of New England (twice!), this eclectic group of guys have carefully crafted a sound that is part strange and creepy, part pop gold. With an aura of theatricality, Bella's Bartok shows not only entertain, but they invite you to partake in the wild party they are having on stage, to involve yourself in the spectacle. Quite simply put- this is the band you should never miss, ever.