Glenna Bell is a Texas treasure; it’s official. The singer/songwriter, who dabbles in country, blues and folk, has been honored by the State of Texas in a House Resolution that recognizes her musical contribution, a fitting tribute to a woman who has fearlessly raised her voice for years, self-releasing a series of albums which chronicle the many facets of her experience as a woman, an artist, a worker, a traveler and “a stubborn free spirit who refuses to fail.” Lone Star, set for an April 15th release, is the latest in the series, a follow-up to 2010’s Perfectly Legal: Songs of Sex, Love and Murder. For the latest album she stays true to her Texas roots, calling upon veterans of the music scene, including piano/guitar player Johnny Nicholas from Asleep at the Wheel, George Reiff, Joe Walsh’s bassist and drummer Rick Richards, from Ray Wylie Hubbard fame.
Today, Bell is premiering the video for “Tonight’s The Night (We Graduate),” a song set on the eve of a high school graduation that weaves a tender and bittersweet story about grabbing one final chance at hometown, teen love. Bell shares the story behind the video and its important setting and homegrown stars, noting, “[it] is very special, because it features scenes from my beloved neighborhood at the edge of downtown Houston, which is an historic area–one of the oldest Wards in Houston–that is sadly being gentrified. It also features these beautiful, amazing teens from the Houston acting school, HITS.”
Director Natali Leduc creates a spontaneous, DIY feel to video, which, in tandem with the earnest young actors and Bell’s deep, emotive warble is guaranteed to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia for those spring days past. Of the album, Bell has written, “As life accelerates and the world becomes increasingly more complicated, I wanted to take a step back, slow down and spend time alone at home writing this collection of songs that are meant to be heard in private spaces and enjoyed from the perspective of a listener.” This song exemplifies that spirit, slowing down to capture a small, intimate moment in life- and in this case, youth- so that it can be held on to forever.
Fellow Houstonites can catch Bell on April 19th at Third Tuesdays at the Historic La Carafe, and the rest of us can keep up with her on her website.