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Legendary American folk singer/songwriter ERIC ANDERSEN joins the influential and compelling Irishman BEN REEL for the night to provide a memorable musical journey through folk, RnB and Americana.
BEN REEL - Singer/Songwriter/Performer/Musician/Producer
Irish singer/songwriter Ben Reel released his 6th studio album on the 22nd April 2013 entitled “Darkness & The Light”. It includes 11 brand new songs. This will be the first record that he has recorded & produced in his own home studio in Co. Armagh. There will also be a special limited edition of the album available only on the benreel.com website, which will include 5 bonus tracks.
Since his debut back in 1999, each album has gone from strength to strength, touching on different styles of music from rock,soul,blues, Alt Folk/Americana & with the occasional injection of reggae. This was highlighted on his 2012, 18 song best of album (Ben Reel 1999-2009 Compilation 10) released only as a limited edition for loyal fans to buy at gigs, also available on iTunes worldwide.
Ben’s music has evolved into an honest earthy sound that has matured like a fine wine and he has very much his own sound today. This can be heard on this new album. Darkness & The Light is a powerful soulful album with deep meaningful lyrics and memorable epic anthemic songs, with strong melodies combined with imaginitive expansive arrangements. Recorded digitally but with an analog feeling of warmth. The songs deal with the fall out since the global economic crash. Also probing for spiritual meaning and balance between the Yin and the Yang, trying to find light, hope and healing in these troubled times. Serious songs from a serious artist in a serious moment in time.
In the last 10 years he has had numerous high profile TV & Radio appearances and airplay under his belt including Bob Harris BBC Radio 2 and has supported names like Jools Holland, Alabama 3, The Cranberries and appeared as a special guest at one of Hal Ketchum's shows in Dublin. He has performed his radio hit ‘U People’ with the late great Ian Dury’s legendary ‘Blockheads’ and has recorded the song with award winning saxophonist Gilad Atzmon.
Over the last 5 years Ben has enjoyed successful tours in Europe, receiving rave reviews and attracting a growing fan base. His band includes amongst the finest musicians in Ireland, his brother in law Michael Black on Drums, Ronnie O’Flynn on bass and Mick McCarney on guitar. With this line up they have built up a loyal underground following. Ben is often described as an ‘artist lying beneath the radar for way too long’.
In 2011 Ben played showcase gigs in Nashville & Memphis (Folk Alliance) where he colloborated with some of Nashville's finest, David Olney & Sergio Webb, co wrote "Heart Just Won't Heal" with Irene Kelley which was a radio hit in several countries with the help Airplaydirect.com which he has been number 1 for the last 4 months on their radio download rock chart.
In February 2013 Ben toured with Tommy Womack in the UK & Holland and in Sept 2013 Ben teamed up with Tommy once again for a U.S tour that took in cities New York, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Lexington, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Louisville & Hippie Jacks festival in Crawford TN. On his return there was further dates in Holland, Germany, Norway and of course his home country Ireland before Christmas comes around.
“Andersen is the most elegant of singers." (Rolling Stone)
“A singer and songwriter of the first rank.” (The New York Times)
“Eric Andersen is a great ballad singer.” (Bob Dylan on stage at the Oslo Spektrum)
"Eric Andersen is one of our finest singers and songwriters, in the most literal sense of that tradition." David Fricke, (Rolling Stone Magazine)
Eric Andersen first came to prominence as a performer in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s and immediately became part of the Village folk and songwriter scene along with Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk, and Bob Dylan, and became one of the founders of the singer songwriter movement. He’s co-written songs with Bob Weir, Townes Van Zandt, Rick Danko, and Lou Reed. His songs have been covered by many artists including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Judy Collins, Fairport Convention, Linda Ronstadt, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Blues Project, Gillian Welch and Linda Thompson.
Over the past 45 years, Eric has released over 25 CDs of original music. His first live album Blue Rain (released in 2007 on Appleseed Recordings) was recorded at a concert in Oslo with members of the blues band, Spoonful of Blues.
In the early 1990s Andersen recorded 2 trio-harmony albums with The Band’s Rick Danko and Norwegian singer Jonas Fjeld. He’s featured in the Joni Mitchell documentary, the Wildflower Festival DVD with Judy Collins, Tom Rush, and Arlo Guthrie, and in the rock film Festival Express.
In 2003 Eric won the Premio Tenco award with Patti Smith in San Remo, Italy. It is an award given to outstanding songwriters. Previous awards have gone to Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Lou Reed.
The Eric Andersen and Friends Webcast was launched 6/8/11 by Nevessa Production Woodstock. The webcast concert subscription included viewing of the video on demand for a month. The webcast originated from an intimate soundstage near Woodstock NY and included Special Guests Happy Traum, John Sebastian, Joe Flood and Inge Andersen. Eric featured songs from his CD The Cologne Concert (The live CD features Eric’s wife Inge Andersen on harmonies and he is accompanied on violin by Michele Gazich.) Due to outstanding reviews of this webcast we are considering making the webcast available in DVD form in the future.
Eric has finished recording a new CD with newly written material and other great songs that are a continuation of his Great American Song Series The Street Was Always There and Waves.
Bob Dylan’s version of Eric’s song “Thirsty Boots” was released as a single on Record Store Day and also appears on the recently released Dylan CD Another Self Portrait.
Eric Andersen’s poetical songs have entertained and captivated audiences worldwide. He plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and piano/keyboard in concert and performs songs which span all his albums including his early classics “Thirsty Boots” and “Violets Of Dawn” as well as new songs.