Steve Bell - Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey

Published Thursday 9th February 2017
Steve Bell - Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey
Steve Bell - Burning Ember: The Steve Bell Journey

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Refuge31 Films 001
FORMAT: DVD Music video

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

This well-produced documentary about singer/songwriter and guitarist Steve Bell - dubbed Canada's best kept musical secret - covers the seasoned troubadour's struggles to break into the US market and achieve the recognition that his faithful fan base quite rightly feels he deserves. Very much a road movie, this film follows Bell as he performs in a wide variety of places from small churches to Hollywood sound stages with occasional half empty solo gigs and packed out appearances with symphony orchestras all thrown in to show the breadth and depth of Bell's performance schedule. When interviewed, Bell comes across as humble and approachable and, alongside contributions from his long-serving manager Dave Zeglinski and a whole host of others, it's clear that he is a man of principle with a deep spirituality that influences his work. Whilst there's nothing sensational to report, Bell's physical, financial and emotional struggles aren't brushed under the carpet and the man's perseverance - especially after the financial crash of 2008 which devastated his career - is nothing short of inspiring. What comes across most clearly is the sad fact that success in the American Christian music business generally has to be bought and, through his integrity and without the necessary funding, Bell is forced to skirt around the edges of the US CCM scene - sometimes succeeding and sometimes not, but never selling out. A number of short additional interviews, a music video and a bonus CD are included as extras. If you're a fan of Steve's beautifully crafted music you may well want to investigate Burning Ember.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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