Belle Plaine

Belle Plaine is a singer/songwriter raised on the Canadian prairies near the hamlet of Fosston, Saskatchewan. Her brand of roots music combines vintage blues and swing tones of the 1940s with country styles made popular in the heyday of the Grand Ole Opry. Honest lyrics are her constant as she weaves together genres, and though it might not seem to work on paper, when you hear it you’ll know why she reveres artists who defy categorization.

An AM radio – a device her parents enslaved to the local country music station – coaxed Belle’s vocals into existence. Twangy early influences soon had to compete with a dozen years of classical voice training, and after high-school she turned old-school formality on its head by studying contemporary music in college. When Belle started performing full-time, she paired her voice with instinctive songwriting and a tinder-dry wit, and that provided all the fuel required to make hearts smoulder.

The prairie songstress’s most recent release, The Unrequited Love (2016), is a live concert recording. It introduces unseasoned listeners to Belle’s musical versatility and onstage charm, as well as the revolving cast of talented friends who tastefully embellish her ideas with backup vocals, keyboards, upright bass, drums, electric guitar, brass and accordion. The album mixes her original songs with a little Bessie Smith, a little Tom Waits, and some Kristofferson for good measure. Belle's greatest joy is performing for an audience, and she's made that joy audible on The Unrequited Love.

Belle’s chameleon abilities have become a catalyst for an impressive array of collaborations. In 2016 she was asked to perform her work with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 she appeared as a guest vocalist on Colter Wall’s breakthrough debut album, Imaginary Appalachia. In 2017 her co-writing and harmony-singing chops will be featured on Blake Berglund’s yet-to-be-released album, Realms.

With a “one fan at a time” approach Belle Plaine has built a loyal following that continues to flourish. She has been rewarded with festival spots at Small Halls on Prince Edward Island and Regina Folk Festival in Saskatchewan, and appearances at industry events like Folk Alliance International and JUNOfest. Evidenced by the long-standing support of industry stalwarts like CKUA Alberta, to recent cheerleaders like CBC’s q with Tom Powers, Belle is proving her entrepreneurial spirit with multiple releases and cross-country tours under her belt – making it clear that she is a career musician who relishes sharing her voice, and her songs, with the world.

 

 
If Patsy Cline and Blossom Dearie had a love child she would sing like Belle Plaine. Belle’s voice is old timey and jazzy. It has twang, crystal bells and swing. You listen to this voice, and all of a sudden your cheatin’ heart has a very dry martini in hand, and you’re hearing something both timeless and brand new.
— Kelley Jo Burke, CBC