Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

When Life Gives You Empty Seats . . . 

Touring folk rocker turns tales from the lonely road into new tunes.

Singer-guitarist Christopher Bell is used to snoozing in his car or pigging out on gas-station and rest-stop cuisine while crisscrossing the country on tour. It's not a glorious life, and it's even more of a bummer when Bell shows up at a coffee shop or house party to find a lukewarm audience. But his tour diaries have become a gold mine of ideas for his debut album, I'll Be Home. There's "With the Show," about surviving onstage in front of a bored audience. And on the title track, Bell grows homesick for his native Jamestown, New York. "It took over a year to record. So there's a good period of writing and living in between," says Bell, who'll perform in Lakewood tonight with a truckload of instruments like mandolin, harmonica, and drums.While most of his material is autobiographical, Bell has also written songs about his favorite TV shows. "Being in college and having no life, I used to watch a lot of M*A*S*H," he says. "It came to me, while watching the final episode, that there was a good song in it. So I took out my banjo and started writing." Bell takes the mic at 9 tonight at Bela Dubby, 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Admission is free. Call 216-221-4479 or visit
Sat., Feb. 2, 9 p.m., 2008

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Highlights

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation