b. Dallas, Texas, USA. A professional country musician since the early 70s, it is only recently that Bell has begun to earn deserved recognition. As a child he spent time in South America, where his father worked in oil production. He returned to Houston when he was of school age, playing cornet in high school, having already taken piano lessons from his mother, but later switching to guitar and forming the Tradewinds. After high school he secured opening spots at famed Houston venue the Sand House Coffee House. Building his profile was to prove a laborious process, but eventually he began to secure regular slots around the Texas circuit, often leading a four-piece band. In 1980, he co-composed music for a production of The Bermuda Triangle in Houston for Space Dance Theatre. He also performed the music alongside jazz rock band Passenger (who four years later recorded Hi-Res with Joe Ely). Bell’s career stalled on December 21 1982, however, when his car was hit by a drunk driver after he left the studio where he was preparing his debut album (alongside collaborators Steve Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson). He suffered major head injuries, trauma, broken ribs and horrific damage to his right arm. Typically, Bell chose to occupy his recovery time constructively and studied a graphic design degree at Austin’s Community College. He also promoted shows at the college, and mounted a two-act play, The Sun And Moon And Stars, featuring 18 of his unrecorded songs. An album of the same title followed in 1989, before Bell returned to Houston to work in his father’s business. In 1991, Nanci Griffith included ‘Sun & Moon & Stars’ on her Late Night Grande Hotel album. Her subsequent, Grammy Award-winning Other Voices, Other Rooms featured Bell’s ‘Woman Of The Phoenix’. Bell’s second album, Phoenix, was released by Texas independent Watermelon, prior to European touring engagements with the Jayhawks. Texas Plates, which was originally sold by Bell over the Internet alongside his autobiography One Man’s Music, saw him revisit a song entitled ‘All Through My Days’. He had been recording it for his aborted debut album on the night of his near fatal car crash. Arguably the most charming track, however, was the country waltz, ‘Last Dance At The Last Chance’.