I am not going to lie to you; it wasn’t until last week I actually heard a song by Maura Rogers. I have heard and seen her band name “Maura Rogers and The Bellows” around Cleveland…. But I am embarrassed to say I never truly took notice. That was until I was assigned to write this Spotlight. Not knowing where to start…I naturally decided to use Google to help prepare questions to ask during my interview with her. Sitting at a bar, waiting for my car to be done at the service garage… I was glued to the tiny text on my phone. I didn’t even touch the food I had ordered. Her story of the obstacles she has faced in life and her strength to carry on and overcome the hand she has been dealt is truly inspirational. I mean I got goose bumps…and yes, a little teary eyed, after reading an article in Good Housekeeping. I then started listening to her songs…and it all came together. Her voice is captivating and the sound from her band helps carry her words. I felt like I knew her already, like I could relate with how she was feeling…like she was a friend spilling her heart out to me over a glass a wine. It may sound silly…but it’s true. Needless to say, I was excited to speak with her.
Maura comes from a musical family. Her mother studied theater and played the violin and her father was a signer. Always around music, the defining moment when Maura knew she wanted to be a musician was when she was 4. While riding the RTA bus with her mother and without a care in the world, Maura started singing You Are My Sunshine. She remembers an intoxicated man went over to her mother to have her stop singing. And just as he said that, her mother leaned down and whispered to Maura… never stop singing, keep singing. Although she was only 4 years old, Maura said that memory is very meaningful. She takes it as a lesson from her mother to never give up, keep on going, ignore the negative, and to do what you love.
Maura Rogers and The Bellows newest album is titled ‘In Light’ … which are lyrics from a track called Blooming, a song Maura says speaks of the “essential human component to keep moving on and search for the good.” The alternative folk sound of her group is refreshing, unique, and uplifting. The stories are heart felt and the music behind the voice brings the stories to life.
After receiving a kidney from her bandmate, Meredith Pangrace, Maura Rogers is taking the Cleveland music scene by storm. Maura Rogers and The Bellows is one of the four bands chosen to participate in the Rock Solid Fellowship that brings together Northeast Shores Development Corporation, Waterloo-based non-profit Cleveland Rocks: Past Present and Future and Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) Recording Arts and Technology (RAT) program to reinvigorate the music and recording arts industry of Cleveland through hands-on learning with local musicians and industry experts. Maura said due to the Rock Solid Fellowship, she has learned the importance of having a presence of social media. She stated how over the last 6 months how instrumental Cindy Barber has been in the journey of making their new record.
When I asked Maura if there was one thing a person can take away from her music, what would she want it to be… she replied “Hope. Nothing is impossible. Holding onto hope gets you through. No matter what comes your way you can get through it.” And Maura is living proof.
Interested in catching a show? Maura Rogers and The Bellows will be performing at the Waterloo Arts Fest on June 27th, Tri-C Jazz Fest on July 11th and Euclid Beach Blast on August 1st. For a full schedule of their next shows, check out their website at:http://www.maurarogers.com.