Bella White : Just Like Leaving Review
Bella White is releasing her debut album born from the roots of Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. Now, at just twenty years of age and based in Nashville, White makes her debut with Just Like Leaving. The album delivers nine tracks and is an impressive debut. White says, “I want people my age to hear my music and think; actually, Bluegrass is kind of cool.” Produced by fiddle player Patrick M’Gonigle (The Lonely Heartstring Band), Just Like Leaving was recorded and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Dave Sinko at Gilford Sound Studios in Vermont. White’s frequent collaborators include Reed Stutz (Mandolin, harmony vocals), Julian Pinnelli (Fiddle, harmony vocals), and Alan Mackie (Bass). White sights The Stanley Brothers as one of her biggest vocal influences, and her love of harmony singing is on full display throughout the album.
“Gutted” is the opening song and our first taste of White’s no-nonsense singing style. Her tone rings of the bluegrass past with her tinge and emotive accent. The piece develops for a little over four minutes. Stutz’s mandolin playing and Pinnelli’s fiddlin’ brings the bluegrass sound into focus. White’s songwriting is well-constructed, and the ensemble has a magical sound both instrumentally and in their vocal harmonies.
“Just Like Leaving” is an emotional moment of stunning lyrics sung with a consistent style and color. The violin and mandolin add hues, energy, and bluegrass flavor. The vocal harmonies accent the melody’s poignant moments with an overall melding of folk, country, and bluegrass in the melody’s shape and delivery, which is charming.
Bella White has a strong debut album with Just Like Leaving. The music is beautifully recorded and mixed, giving us a chance to get to know the singer and players. White’s songwriting will engage you, and the playing will entertain you. This is a must for bluegrass fans and hopefully the start of a long catalog for White.
Just Like Leaving
April 16, 2021