While traditional bluegrass is usually associated with the American South, the genre has surely found a safe and loving Canadian home in the form of Calgary-born singer/songwriter Bella White. Armed with a piercing voice, edged with teardrops, White’s debut album Just Like Leaving, rings out as a coming of age anthem. The twenty year-old singer/songwriter and instrumentalist shys away from modern and fussy arrangements, and instead brings a traditional style of music into the contemporary moment by personalizing it to her own experiences. “I want people my age to hear my music, and think, actually Bluegrass is kind of cool”, she says. Throughout Just Like Leaving, White finds her strength in leaving home for the first time, with songs of heartbreak and loneliness that demonstrate both an old soul and a young heart.
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 Reed Stutz (Mandolin, harmony vocals), Julian Pinnelli (Fiddle, harmony vocals), and Alan Mackie (Bass) create a weaving, textured landscape from which White’s no-nonsense voice takes off. White sights The Stanley Brother’s as one of her biggest vocal influences, and her love of harmony singing is on full display throughout the album. On Just Like Leaving, White has shown herself to be a star student of the bluegrass genre, with something new to bring to the table. Her ability to translate modern experience to an old sound is seamless and compelling, and permeates the boundaries of a regional genre with authentic singing and songwriting.