Sandra Bell by Hayley Theyers

Sandra Bell – photo by Hayley Theyers

Day 24 of NZ Music Month is a song by Sandra Bell, performing as The Maitlands with her son Florian and regular drummer Diane Civil, called “Sweetest May”

“Sweetest May” is from an LP of Robbie Burns songs interpreted by Dunedin* musicians. It’s available on LP, released late 2015 on Zelle Records.

The compilation also features interpretations of Burns’ songs by David Mitchell (3Ds), Bill Direen, Bob Scott and David & Hamish Kilgour among many others.

Sandra Bell’s first recordings were in the mid 1980s. A version of “Industrial Night” she recorded in 1990 with Peter Jefferies on drums, David Mitchell on guitar, and Kathy Bull on bass was released on the compilation Killing Capitalism With Kindness and was followed by the Xpressway  album Dreams of Falling.

There’s a detailed overview of Sandra Bell’s history as performance poet and musician on the excellent NZ music history website Audioculture.

(* It’s a pretty broad definition of “Dunedin Musician” too, including those like Sandra who no longer live there but spent a significant part of their creative life in the City)