Since graduating from the University of the Arts four years ago, Ross Bellenoit has made a living exclusively with his 1988 American Standard Fender Telecaster. That’s no small feat for a twentysomething rocker.
As a go-to lead guitarist on the Philly scene, Bellenoit has toured with Amos Lee and the Sweetback Sisters, and even opened for two of his heroes, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan, on their 2007 combo tour. But he has long yearned to test his own songwriting chops, and in 2012 he’s stepping out with panache, playing all of the instruments on his new self-release, “Home Songs Volume One,” the first act of a three-part release.
On Saturday, he’s hosting a “Home Songs” release celebration at World Cafe Live.
“For a long time, I just wanted to develop my guitar technique. I didn’t want to be just another singer-songwriter,” he says. “But now I’m looking for a way to somehow combine guitar wizardry and lyrical wizardry. I love both those things deeply, but it’s just a real challenge to bring them together.”
Working in short bursts between touring gigs, “Home Songs” was, fittingly, created almost entirely in Bellenoit’s South Philly apartment.
“I’ve been traveling so much for the last couple of years, and this was really my creative release when I had down time at home,” he explains. “It was all about what I was listening to at the time. I wanted to challenge myself to try to write a song that Susan Vega, or Ron Sexsmith, or Ryan Adams would sing. So I was pushing myself as hard as I could.”