21 February 2007

Ben Clarke

Ben Clarke (also from Chicago) is another musician to keep your eyes and ears on, especially if you're a fan of slightly psychedelic folk influences in your rock music. He got in touch with me via MySpace and it couldn't have come at a better time. I'd just finished listening to quite a few bands with a sound not quite in line with my tastes when I got to Ben's profile and couldn't believe my ears. Here, thankfully, was an artist with a sense of honesty in his songs and a grasp of musical influence from the past as well as the present. The first song I heard of his ("Tell Me", posted below) reminded me of so many things I love about music all at once. Great vocals, adventurous production and a wide open sound - it's a song that sounds like it could've come from a current British band that's enamored with American music and is the song of Ben's that best sums up everything his music seems to be about.

To put it simply, you're going to want to give a listen to Ben Clarke if you've ever fallen in love with a Wilco record, or if you like your musicians to draw influence from legends such as Neil Young and Pink Floyd (give a listen to "Chump" on his MySpace page for a bit of the Floyd mixed with Tom Petty circa "Last Dance of Mary Jane") while always keeping in mind their own artistic intent. Especially, most importantly, you'll want to listen to his songs if you're a fan of '70s era Rolling Stones. Be sure to keep an eye out for live dates if you're in the Chicago area.

"Tell Me"

See Ben Clarke live.