A true rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story, “Professor” Doug Bell formed Bellevue Cadillac in 1991 out of the ashes of his shattered multi-million dollar real estate empire, reconnecting with the music of his youth and in the process becoming one of the least-likely stars of the mid-90s Boston music scene. Informed by jazz, blues, gospel, soul R&B and a healthy dose of pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll, Bellevue Cadillac first gained national notoriety when they turned down an invitation to play at John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s secret wedding in 1996 in order to honor a previous wedding gig commitment (“No one bride on that day is more important than any other bride,” says Bell). Good timing then found the band throes of the neo-swing revival of the mid-90s, discussed in the same breath as scene heavies like Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Brian Setzer Orchestra in rave write-ups across the nation. After a series of line-up changes, including one that found Bell assuming lead singing duties, the band outlived the scene, touring the world and even earning 7 Grammy nominations for their 2007 release, Love Allways. The band’s most recent album, 2011’s Once In A Blue Moon, was recorded live at the Halfnote Jazz Club in Athens, Greece. Bell, either as a solo performer or fronting the eight-piece Bellevue Cadillac, regularly plays throughout New England, a party always on the verge of breaking out.
(by Stephen Haag)
Published on August 6, 2013