“’I’ve been around the likes of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks,” says her husband, Brandon Findlay, “and she is the most fearless performer I’ve ever seen.” The band’s lead guitarist and a bit of a philosopher at heart, Findlay tosses out metaphors like a batter knocking out fly balls. “It’s like a firefighter running into a burning building—you have to have the attitude that you’re going to go in and bring people out alive. Or it’s a surgeon who looks you in the eye and says, ‘This surgery’s serious, but I’ve got you.’”


His wife smiles. “John Bush gave me a really nice compliment once,” she says, referring to the former Iowan and Triple Espresso star. “He said, ‘When people go to shows, they don’t want to worry. And when you’re onstage, nobody worries, because you’re in charge.”


Prolific performers who’ve ranked among Iowa’s top blues artists and opened for Eddie Money and Johnny Rivers, the Findlays are known for their creativity and musical depth. They follow a number of local and national acts, publishing selected findings in a daily music newsletter and incorporating elements of multiple genres into their sound—a high-powered fusion of blues, rock, funk, soul, gospel and jazz “with some jam band sensibility.”


Their Little BIG Fest setlist will honor jam band legends the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and the Meters—“at least two of the three,” says Findlay. Wherever they land with that, you can count on tidbits of history, strong improvisation and possibly some jazz-style scat.


In the end,” says Findlay, “I want people to leave our show realizing we are all in it together. We look at our lives and our band and our fans as one tribe. I want people to walk out being part of that tribe.”


Hear bella soul:
Nov. 18 at Little BIG Fest
Hotel Fort Des Moines
Doors: 5:30 pm
Bands begin: 6 pm
bella soul performance: 7:30 pm


bella soul is:
Tina Haase Findlay: vocals
Brandon Findlay: guitar
…and often includes:
David Larson: keys/bass
Kyle Gowin: saxophone
Josh Strother: drums
The band is known for inviting other local artists to share the stage; watch for guest performances.


As a Drake University student, Tina once won the “I Wanna Be Stevie Nicks” award. “My essence has always resonated with her essence,” she says.