McHENRY – It started in 2010 with seven musicians, a sound guy, a pickup truck and a trailer. What sounds like the lyrics to a country song actually was the beginning of country cover band Bella Cain.
Today, the band consists of 26 members, tour buses, roadies, semi-trucks, sponsorships and licensed merchandise.
Bella Cain plays to crowds in the thousands, a far cry from the small bar scene they started in.
“It’s so funny when I think back to when we were playing to bars for 100 people at best. Now we’re playing at some of the largest festivals in the country and traveling all over the place,” said Bella Cain founder, bandleader and drummer Rob Harvey.
Harvey’s mission when forming the group was to assemble a country band, with a twist, able to perform about 70 percent country and 30 percent “other stuff,” as he put it, to leave the door open for that little something extra.
“We don’t use tracks,” Harvey said. “Everything comes from us. We have large instrumentation – banjo, triple fiddle, steel guitars. We pride ourselves in that what you see and hear is all Bella Cain.”
Harvey said Bella Cain ensures they incorporate their audience in every performance through live video and photo feeds as well as bringing attendees up on stage.
“We try to make the crowd the focal point. It’s all about the crowd,” Harvey said. “When we perform we try to incorporate our fans into our live show. We take photos before and during the show, we take video during the show; we add them into our performance during the night. We want to be completely in touch with our fan base. It’s about them, not us.”
It’s not only about engaging the crowd, it’s about keeping them guessing.
“It’s non-stop,” Harvey said. “For three-and-a-half hours we’re running around, jumping around, entertaining not only on an audible level but also a visible level. “Just when they think they’ve seen everything we’ve got, we try to throw them something else. It’s constantly changing throughout the night. It’s fun and exciting and the crowd can’t anticipate what comes next.”
Bella Cain will perform at the sixth annual #ShutDownCancer Music Festival on Sept. 22 in support of the Team Carone Foundation. The Team Carone Foundation was formed for Cary resident Rick Carone, who lost his battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer on June 29, 2017.
Fogline and Benton Blount also will perform. The festival takes place from 3 p.m. to midnight at Wegener Ranch in McHenry.
The festival will include live and silent auctions, a helicopter ball drop, an all-you-can-eat buffet and an open bar. Proceeds will benefit Financial Gifts of Love, an organization that supports local families stricken by cancer, the University of Chicago Medicine cancer research and 5-Tool Scholarships for District 155 athletes.
“For those that are struggling with or have been affected by cancer, if Bella Cain can give them 15 seconds, 45 seconds, a minute-and-a-half of normalcy, of fun, to forget their struggles and put a smile on their face, that’s when we’re doing our job,” Harvey said. “To us, that’s important.”
For festival tickets, visit www.teamcaronefoundation.org.