Category Archives: News

Soul Music, Heavy Metal, Guthrie Govan and Paul Gilbert!


Lloyd Wade’s Soul Town and Beat Street by Viva Productions:
Not long after I had started my Freddie Tribute contract for Viva Productions I got a call from them asking if I could hop on tour with two new productions as they had a guitarist drop out last minute. Of course I say yes! Viva Productions consists of a highly talented cast of 14 dancers and musicians, this particular tour has two shows, Beat Street, which is a high energy dance/drum/percussion based show with lots of different styles of music from RnB, Rock, Swing Jazz and Pure Pop, however this is all set to intense Latin and Hip Hop inspired rhythms and complex arrangements. The other act is Soul Town with Lloyd Wade, which features the same amazing cast however with the host being the incredibly talented Lloyd Wade. He knows a thing or two about soul music and it was an absolute honour to provide backing guitars for his set. You can catch him here singing with Take That at the O2 Arena:

I am fortunate enough to have been asked back for more dates on these tours in between my other work with the Freddie Tribute. I really enjoy playing as a sideman in different styles of music, I also really enjoy the choreography of stage performances like this, its awesome being part of it all. I hope to do lots more of this!
Mask of Judas Shows with Galactic Empire/Sithu Aye:
Mask of Judas-40(Photo Credit Michael Berkeley Photography)
Before I went on tour with Viva, Mask of Judas had two shows with the amazing Star Wars metal band ‘Galactic Empire’ and the Anime inspired band Sithu Aye. We supported then at the Joiners in Southampton and Patterns in Brighton, we had a great show playing to sold out audiences. It makes me excited about our upcoming album release! Here is some footage from my GoPro at the Joiners:

NEW Premier Guitar Feature on Guthrie Govans ‘Erotic Cakes’ Album:
Premier Guitar called me up last month to make a feature on the amazing Guthrie Govan’s landmark guitar instrumental album ‘Erotic Cakes’. I had such fun creating the examples and writing the text for this feature, I break down his composition approach, gear, inspirations and technical  aspects of this amazing album. I am proud of it, please check it out here: 


Paul Gilbert is coming to town

Paul is coming to the UK in March to do some guitar clinics, I have tickets to the Guildford and Bristol ones. I always feel inspired after watching Paul play and hearing him talk. One day I would love to jam on stage with him, just have fun playing phrases back and forth and cranking those Marshall’s past 5!

Recording/Solo Album? and Upcoming Mask of Judas Shows

Recording with The Sirens of Titan.

I have been in the studio over the weekend recording an ‘improvised’ album with some very talented local musician friends of mine who go by the name ‘The Sirens of Titan’. We headed to a local studio called ‘The Old Chapel Studio’ which looked amazing and had such great hosts. We only had one rule whilst we were recording ‘If it takes more than one take, its not going in’…so we had to be on our A-Game! We improvised 9 long jams and then picked the best ones. After this we had one more time to pass over all of the tracks with extras like vocals and synth pads. It was an honour to work with such great musicians and I am proud of what we created. We are going in for a mixing session in early February so watch this space!

chapel studios

The music we created was very spontaneous but everyone flourished at their full potential, the sounds direct at the source are amazing and it was sounding good right out of the desk. I have to say Mike Fry and I were blown away with the tone of our Eternal Guitar’s S and T types. I have found I really love the sound of my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with Celestion Greenback (G12M?) speakers, I didn’t use much gain or over drive for the session. Just a light crunch with a bit of reverb and delay. I had my Providence Analogue Chorus Pedal and Mini Wah to play with during the take we did. Keith provided some wicked bass tones and some warm lush Analogue synth sounds with his original synths he brought along. The kit and percussion sounded amazing. Duncan Burgess and Steve Cubit provided all kinds of rhythmic sound spaces that really are the life and soul of the music we created. There is a bit of a 70s vibe to the sound as its all very real and honest, and I love that element of creating and production. Watch this space for more info on this project soon! Guitarists will love it I am sure!

mike and i



And in other news…last week I had a small surge of creative energy I now have 6 tracks towards a solo album. These are just demos, I have no idea how I am going to afford to record this all properly…and I mean properly, I don’t want to do a solo album with amp plug ins and ez drummer, as great they are as creative tools and for certain productions. I recently posted about my thoughts on being a solo artist…I still feel that way, I feel like more of a side-man than an artist…but lets see where these tracks go, if I can get another two tracks on the go then I might think about heading into a studio at some point. We shall see! Until then keep an eye out on the LickLibrary and Guitar Interactive YouTube and Facebook pages for an exclusive live performance play through of the tune ‘Carry You’. Its real, its raw and it’s me.





I have just posted another news post on this website about two shows I have coming up with Mask of Judas supporting  Sithu Aye and Galactic Empire which you can view here for tickets, dates and more info:

Mask of Judas playing with Sithu Aye in February UK


Mask of Judas have two shows coming up in February in the UK supporting the Star Wars themed metal band ‘Galactic Empire’ and the awesome Sithu Aye.

You can purchase tickets from these links:

Southampton Talking Heads Thursday 2nd Feb

Brighton Patterns Saturday 4th Feb

Whats new for 2017?

Last year proved to be an exciting year for me after completing over 140 shows, releasing 2 DVDs, finishing the Mask of Judas album recording and of course meeting and jamming with tons of really cool people. It was a blast! Now 2017 is here, I hope to share some things I am currently working on:

Mask of Judas have a couple of shows coming up in the UK (2nd/4th February in Brighton/Southampton) supporting Galactic Empire and Sithu Aye. The album has been mixed and it sounds amazing! I can’t wait for people to hear it, it features 10 tracks of what I feel is my best 7/8 string metal writing, I think its pretty different and I hope that it goes down well. More official news on this soon.

I have recently finished a new column series for Guitar Interactive Magazine on ‘The Bluffers Guide to being in a Covers Band’ which will be out in the next issue of the online magazine. I have also just finished a really cool feature on Guthrie Govans Erotic Cakes album for Premier Guitar Magazine. Watch this space!

My main task this month aside from regular teaching, Mask of Judas rehearsals and of course trying to write music for my solo album whenever I find a moment is learning Queen songs. I was recently asked to play lead guitar role in a Freddie Mercury/Queen Tribute act that is going to be exclusively playing at Butlins over the next year, I have at least 30 gigs already booked with this, and I am looking forward to playing some of Brian Mays classic solos and guitar moments on stage! There are lots of notes to learn and memorise and I find the challenge of memorising complex material really fun and rewarding!

In other breaking news, I trimmed my hair significantly…not sure why, but I need some change in my life, change can inspire new things.

I am still here, very much so!

Its been a long time since I last updated this website news section, I have been so busy recently that its been hard to find time to do it myself! I am here now however and I shall give you a summary of what I have been up to and what I have planned.

First of all what I have been up to…

Mask of Judas  are currently wrapping up the debut album, its taken some time however I really do believe that the wait has been well worth it. Some of these songs may be almost 4/5 years old and feel a lot like old friends to me however Jacob Hansen is currently in the process of mixing and mastering them to his incredibly high standard. I am so happy with how things are sounding and I can’t wait to unleash this album to you. The whole band has done an astounding job of bringing these songs into the fourth dimension! Jof’s drums are linking all the divides with crazy poly-rhythms and intense grooves. Jo’s vocal work is incredible from her signature pitched screams to low guttural growls she has as also contributed LOTS of amazing melodic and soulful vocal hooks that complete the songs. George is pummeling away on bass, I have no idea how he does what he does on that 6 string bass, but its amazing. And of course Reece Fullwood has contributed two songs to the album and some epic solo work! Once we have some extra stuff done (Artwork, PR and Tour Plans) I will be able to impart some more information. One thing I can say however is there may be an exclusive play through of one of the tracks coming soon to Focusrite Academy. I recently headed up to their HQ to film some educational clips on extended range songwriting. Watch this space!


In other news I have just finished a 6 month contract with an amazing show band at Butlins. We played 5/6 shows a week and performed from an absolutely huge stage every night to big audiences. I was able to play everything from Rock, Pop, RnB, Soul and Funk. This band was named ‘The Southcoast Showband’ for the Butlins contract, however we are continuing as a high quality professional function act in the UK. The band features some incredible musicians, featuring Mitch Glover on Drums, Ash Stork/Samer Shawawi sharing bass duties and Rachel Hawker and Alex Turney on dual vocal duties, keys and extra guitars. They have all inspired me to push my own musicianship to the next level and hopefully with more gigs, far beyond! I have never met such hardworking musicians before, I really enjoy playing with these people! Here is a photo of me making a strange face, credit to Danny Inwood Photography (he was on his holidays at Butlins and took this snap!)


You may notice I am playing a lovely surf green s-type guitar, this guitar is hand built by a local guitar builder under the name of ‘Eternal Guitars’. They have made guitars for many amazing session musicians and artists. Jess Lewis has had a signature model in the past and even Guthrie Govan has used some of these guitars on his JamTrackCentral releases. Dave at Eternal kindly spent time working and building  a custom guitar for me, this is my signature guitar ‘Arista’…more information coming soon…all I can say is it plays amazingly and of course looks incredible. Eternal Guitars really make some magical instruments.


Talking of Guthrie Govan, I managed to meet him at a recent guitar masterclass he did in Horsham last month. I think this photo will put a lot of LickLibrary YouTube comments about me ‘looking like Guthrie’ to rest… He played amazing of course, one day I would love to jam with him…


I had the absolute pleasure of jamming with and interviewing British Blues Legend Robin Trower for Guitar Interactive Magazine a few months back. His tone was stunning and he was kind enough to impart some very wise words of wisdom. You can check it out in the back issues of the free online guitar magazine ‘Guitar Interactive’.


And on another note, I saw Paul Gilbert in Brighton recently, he played an amazing show for his 50th Birthday. I managed to find a spot right at the front, directly in front of his 4×12 speaker…it was only a few moments before he came on that I realised I had forgotten a very important accessory that all musicians should carry with ear plugs…it was LOUD and my ears are still ringing (Look after your ears seriously) but I managed to fully experience all the notes and aggression that Paul plays with, it was amazing.  A friend and follower of mine attended a Paul Gilbert VIP lesson. He kindly printed a photo of me when I met Paul last year at a meet and greet to have signed it for me by PG. Apparently when my friend asked Paul ‘ If he could sign it to his friend Sam’ Paul looked at the picture and replied saying ‘Ah Sam Bell right? Terrific guitarist’. It feels surreal. Thank you friend who did this, you know who you are! I’m not going to look too much into this but I am thankful it happened!


There are probably some other things I have forgotten to mention…I have lots of projects on the go at the moment, I have already mentioned Mask of Judas of course. The Session/Function work makes me very happy and of course I am working away for Guitar Interactive Magazine, Lick Library and Premier Guitar magazine regularly…I have a new column for Guitar Interactive coming soon on Modern Advanced Guitar Technique and there will be some new DVD’s coming out next year…I did manage whilst being busy with all the rest to release a new Jacketrock tune, you can watch a play through here:
On top of this I am actually taking Nick Johnstons advice from the last time I met him to ‘get out there and release an instrumental album’ very seriously…and I am working on something…not sure whats going to happen with it or what direction its going, but I am enjoying the process so far!

One last thing I should mention is that I have started teaching at a local music school in Chichester by the name of Chichester Music Academy. I currently have some slots available there so get in touch with them for more information (Click the picture below!) I already have some fantastic students who are thoroughly enjoying the learning experience.


Regarding my regular postings you can get all the updates on my Instagram (click picture below), so give me a follow for exclusive up to date clips and news 🙂


Sam Bell Solo E.P feedback from Tom Quayle

I sent UK fusion giant Tom Quayle my new E.P ‘The Earth Completes Another Rotation’. I woke up today to an awesome message from him. I enjoy playing and writing music. But sometimes its moments like these which are special as well, thanks Tom!

Tom Quayle on Sam Bells instrumental EP

If you haven’t heard the EP yet you can download it from here:

Or stream it here whilst watching the world rotate 🙂 

Solo Instrumental E.P OUT NOW

Hi All!

I have been very busy lately on various projects. One of them was a project I nicknamed ‘Jacketrock’, it started as a bit of a joke but it spurred me on to finish a small melodic instrumental guitar EP.

You can listen to it on Soundcloud here:

And you can buy it for a very small price here:

I would love anyone who passes here to check it out, it features a different side to my guitar playing which doesn’t come out often in the commercial work I do. I will be releasing more E.Ps in the future. Enjoy!