Josie Bello – Have Purpose Live Long

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins

Josie Bello is a NYC born and raised, Long Island resident singer songwriter and Have Purpose Live Long is her second album.  The title reads like a Country take on the Vulcan’s greeting, but I guess as Gene Roddenbery envisaged a galactic or celestial Western that’s about right.  Either way it’s a fine line to live by.  Bello has a fine voice, with the warmth and gravitas of Mary Gauthier on tracks like the opening title track.  “Magic Of The Music” has a touch of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s confident twang, with fine guitar from Mike Nugent and some lush backing vocals.  “Not The America Of My Dreams” is the powerful tale of a migrant family’s journey to the Southern American border, mixing dream and reality.  Again Josie’s vocals are echoed by some Eagles like chorus vocals, sweeting the bitter end of the dream.  

What connects us all is explored in the heartfelt “I Bleed Human” a warm uplifting Country Blues, a song that is surely going to be well covered. Lyrically and sonically this is, the stand out track for me, languidly delivered, heartfelt without any preaching it has the sincerity and punch of an anthem.  “All It Takes Is Time” and “There’s A Hole In My Life” are confidently delivered Country ballads with Josie’s layered vocals carrying you, sweetening emotional lyrics.  This is warm music tinged with experience, emotion and melancholia, beautifully sung and played with messages that resonate for now.