LeRoy Bell back to perform rockin’ soul on Whidbey Island

LeRoy Bell back to perform rockin’ soul on Whidbey Island

The Seattle singer-songwriter made it to the eighth spot on the first season of “The X Factor.”

LeRoy Bell is back on Whidbey Island.

The rockin’ singer-songwriter from Seattle, who had people dancing among hay stacks and in the streets at two Whidbey festivals last year, will perform at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts on Jan. 19.

Bell is an energetic, charismatic performer who seems to rain joy down from the stage.

At the July Bluesberry Festival in Freeland, Bell popped down from the stage and serenaded listeners seated on rows of haystacks. At the Oak Harbor Music Festival over Labor Day, his rousing sets got the crowd clapping and stomping.

He also had a following when he played gigs at Mukilteo Coffee.

“For me, I was excited to book LeRoy based on pure merit,” said Deana Duncan, WICA artistic director. “The Whidbey Island connection was just a bonus.”

Bringing in “an American singer songwriter of such talent,” she said, augments WICA’s well-known World Music Series.

At some shows, Bell plays with his band known as “his only friends.”

Bell is also an accomplished songwriter of soul, R&B and pop.

With friend Casey James, the duo composed songs that were hits for other artists — most notably two charting hit singles for Elton John. The O’Jays, The Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass and Rita Marley also have performed Bell’s songs.

He’s also shared the stage with the likes of B.B. King, Etta James, Van Morrison, Erykah Badu, Keb’ Mo’ and Carlos Santana.

Bell has several albums to his name, including his debut solo EP “Spending Time” (on his own label Martez Music Group) followed by “Two Sides to Every Story” in 2006, “A Change Is Coming” in 2008 and “Traces” in 2010.

He finished eighth overall in the inaugural season of “The X Factor” in 2011.

If you go

Seattle singer-songwriter LeRoy Bell performs 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $18 for youth. The Zech Hall Piano Bar opens an hour before the performance. Call 360-221-8262 or go to www.wicaonline.org for more information.

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