Paula and Harold Vega Vondenstein are Bible Belt Blues, award winning Gospel Blues musicians whose music is reminiscent of early Mississippi Bentonia blues with its gritty guitar picking and its hauntingly beautiful minor chords. Best known for their repentance and church revival songs, Bible Belt Blues has received numerous accolades including the 2019 Josie Music Award for Gospel/ Christian Duo, the 2020 Josie Music Award Finalist Nomination for Duo of the Year, and Finalist Award for Best Gospel/ Contemporary Christian-America in the InterContinental Music Awards. They are currently working on their third album. For more information about Bible Belt Blues, please visit their website.(www.BibleBeltBlues.org)
What got you into music?
I have always loved music; the way it could move me emotionally; lift my spirits; or bring me back to a particular place and time. But it is the lyrics that make a song really powerful; bold, raw lyrics that could tug at your heart. The very first one that did that for me was Glen Campbell’s ‘Wichita Lineman’ “I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time.” Wow! That was powerful- clarifying the difference between “need” and “want.” I longed to do that for Christian music; to capture deep theological truths in a song where the listener actually “gets” it; a “sermon in a song.”
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
I would have to say the lyric writing. When crafting Christian lyrics I put my focus on what is lacking: repentance songs and songs for church revivals. The lyrics must be bold and biblically sound. Then my husband, Harold, crafts our Bentonia Mississippi blues inspired music around the lyrics after we first pray to the Holy Spirit of God for inspiration.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
Harold and I have our own home recording studio so we can record at any hour of the day or night. As my husband’s producer and vocal coach, I have an excellent feel for what works in song and what does not. Harold is the vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and does all the recording, mixing and mastering. We recently updated our equipment so we can take our mixing and mastering to a new level.
As a songwriter or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?
The major obstacle for all musicians today is getting your music heard. As the marketing director for BibleBeltBlues, I put my focus on securing radio airplay, getting excellent song reviews, and securing media coverage to build our name.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
I would have to say Lauren Daigle. I saw her perform several years ago with Big Daddy Weave. She was virtually unknown then. I remember ordering a CD from her since her CDs weren’t ready yet. I always knew there was something really special about her. She has succeeded in captivating the entire world with her song, “You Say” which has since become the biggest Christian song of all time.
To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?
That’s a hard question since I love all of our songs. “The Only Way to Heaven” is our most “powerful” song since it tackles the false belief system that we can somehow earn our way into Heaven. It took me numerous attempts over a seven month period to finally capture this lyric into a song. Harold’s performance of this song is simply flawless.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
I am excited to share that I recently submitted two of our newest releases, “Can’t Take It With You” and “Can’t Take Away My Joy” for consideration for the 2021 Blues Music Awards for Contemporary Blues Song of the Year. In the midst of this pandemic we have already released five new songs this year. We are also part of a newly released Christian album with various artists, “Consecration Revival Vol. 1” by Bongo Boy Records which was submitted for consideration for this year’s GRAMMYs®. (Visit our Music Store )
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Visit our website