After releasing their latest album last fall, Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers didn’t waste any time recording another disc.
“We have a lot of material. It was too good not to record,” Katie Trupiano, lead singer and guitarist for the roots-Americana band, said Monday from Rax Trax Studios, Chicago, where the five-piece band is making a new record that will include 10 or 11 songs.
Group members include Trupiano; “Duffelbag Joe” Trupiano (Katie’s husband), banjo and vocals; Ty Terrones, guitar, vocals; John Nicoli, bass; and Dick Verucchi, drums, percussion. All reside in Ottawa except Verucchi, a Peru resident.
When making “After the Flames,” Katie and the Belle Rangers knew they had to keep going. In the last few months, newer songs were rehearsed and polished before they were ready for the recording studio.
“We did a lot of work to prepare. We didn’t have unlimited studio time. We tried to get it right,” Katie Trupiano said.
Last weekend, the group spent three days at Rax Trax recording rhythm tracks, guitar and banjo music. Overdubs, vocals, harmonies and guest recordings will come later. The band hopes to finish it by midsummer.
How will it compare to “After the Flames"?
“It’s going to be a little grittier, bluesier. But there will be some beautiful ballads on it,” Trupiano said. “We’ve developed our sound. All of our influences are jelling on a really cool sound and we couldn’t wait to record it.”
The new disc’s working title is “Blood Moon Sessions,” since recording sessions took place during the recent Super Blood Wolf Moon.
Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers, Trupiano said, continue to improve the more the band performs live.
"As a band, we’ve taken a step up. People are starting to know who we are,” she said. “It’s been really good. We’ve played a ton of shows since we’ve prepared for recording.”
“Send Me Your Song,” a locally filmed video of an “After the Flames” cut, can be viewed on YouTube. Featuring drone footage, it was filmed and edited by Katie and Joe's son, Joey Trupiano, who is a 2018 Ottawa High School graduate as well as an Illinois Valley Community College student, and Jack Ainsworth, an Ottawa High graduate and Loyola University student.
A September release party for “After the Flames” at the Uptown Grill’s Playlist Theater went well enough that Uptown personnel asked the Rangers to perform again. They will do so Friday, Jan. 25, in an event titled “Belle’s Ball.”
“We wanted to evoke a sense of a party more than a show. We’re going to have a ball,” Trupiano said.
Chicago violinist Monica Boubou will play with the band Friday. In turn, the Rangers will play with Boubou and her husband, Bobby Conn, on Saturday, Feb. 2, in Chicago.
The band will use all money it makes from the show toward “Blood Moon Sessions.”
“If we can sell out this show, it will pay for the rest of the recording. It’s kind of a fundraiser for us,” Trupiano said.
• Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers will perform 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Uptown Grill’s Playlist Theater, 601 First St., La Salle. Admission will be $20. Visit uptowngrill.com/concerts to learn more.
• Carl Nelson, host of the WNIJ (89.5 FM National Public Radio DeKalb) “Sessions From Studio A” show, will record the concert and podcast it later. The show is at 7 p.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m. Sundays. Visit northernpublicradio.org for more information.
• For more information on Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers, visit katiebellemusic.com and Katie Belle Music on Facebook and Instagram.