Introducing Ben Jordan

I have been aware of Ben Jordan’s music for a while now, after he recommended that I check him out. I checked out his music on his Reverbnation site (click HERE) and I was impressed with his folk/americana sound as well as his vocal ability. This combination has a sound that is hard to resist.

Ben’s journey with his music has had its ups and down but I am glad that things are looking good. In 2010 he released his critically acclaimed ‘Ghosts Breathing through our Strings’ which resulted in a huge tour around America which then brought him across the pond to Ireland. Due to a series of miscommunication’s, Ben found himself stranded in the UK, with no gigs, no money and nowhere to live. He is now settled in Cornwall where he rebuilt his life and his music. Even though life has been tough for him, his music has an upbeat and positive outlook to it which is capturing people’s attention. Now he his performing to great reviews which are all well deserved.

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I wanted to learn more about this talented musician so I thought I would ask Ben a few questions. We talked about his musical influences, his new album and more. This is what he had to say.

What was your inspiration for getting into music and which musicians have influenced your sound?

I have always loved music, it has been the one constant in my life. I was adopted at a young age and had a bit of an odd childhood because of that. Music gave me a world where I was always home, never displaced or the weird kid. I’m still a total music geek too, I love learning new instruments and finding new bands. I tend to fixate on music that I love until I’ve absorbed all of it or its absorbed all of me. As far as influences EVERYTHING, literally, every single note of music I’ve ever heard in my life just makes me want to keep playing and growing and searching. I guess if you’re looking for specific influences, Miles Davis,Charlie Mingus, Joni Mitchell, Kelly Joe Phelps, Ted Hawkins, Otis Redding, The Smiths, Generation X, Dylan, Hank Williams sr, Gillian Welch, Professor Longhair and my all time favorites, The Replacements who have just reunited in the last year and they’re coming here and I am SO SO SO psyched about that!!!

As far as getting into music partly there was an itch that needed scratching and still does, partly I wanted to give back what has been given to me through music and partly trying to find a deeper and more pure way of communicating the unspeakable poetry of life to other people with other musicians.

What were your goals when you began working on your album and how did it feel when you heard the final version in full?

Well, I wanted to capture something live in the studio and hopefully there would be residual magic in the recordings that people would hear and feel and resonate with. So we recorded everything live with all the musicians in the same room and we didn’t auto-tune or punch in or any of that stuff. What you’re hearing is a group of friends creating music together.

I am very proud of what we did in the short time we had to make this record. My friend Ryan Kalkman, who was the engineer, was heading to Australia for the winter and Sam, Joe and Matt had just gotten back from touring in France. We put in a total of about 8-10 hours of recording time and everyone just rose to the occasion. I think the tunes mutated a bit due to the other musician’s input, which is good, I didn’t want what we did to be about me. I wanted it to be about what WE could do together musically and I think it came out sounding great and there’s a lot of vibe to it as well.

Talking about your album, which is your favourite song from it and why?

Hmmmm from an emotional standpoint I’d say Breathing Fire just because of where I was and what was going on in my life when I wrote it and how the album version came out. From the standpoint of the amount of fun we had recording, I’d say Gravel & Gold, after the second half of the second verse you can hear me laughing because we’d come up with this amusing arrangement on the fly, we tried it once and everyone just nailed it! It came out sounding like that’s the way the tune was supposed to go all along. It was SO much fun and Jaz’s piano line is just so funky and has such great humor in it at the same time. I am definitely a fan of everyone who played on this record!

Do you have any musical related goals that you want to accomplish?

Survive. Keep growing and creating. Keep touring and making records. Play in theatres. Learn to play pedal steel guitar.

Now your album is launched, what do you have planned next?

I’m slowly but surely gathering together musicians for a band, but, I’m not rushing it. I want to find people who are committed but also people who all get along and have an advanced sense of fun and adventure. Obviously there will be touring and all but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I want to enjoy where I am now instead of projecting myself away into some unknowable place and missing out on what the present has to offer. As a dear friend of mine used to say, chop wood, carry water.

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Ben has recently released his new album ‘Dream Invisible’ which has such a great sound to it. Every time I listen to this album it makes me sit back and fall into his music then drift away with each song. I think this is primarily thanks to the subtle layers of music on each song which lets Ben’s vocal and guitar talents to steal the spotlight throughout the album. These elements blend together to deliver a sound that I would expect from Jack Johnson but with a better lyrical content. I comment about his lyrical style is he has used his musical influences to develop an impressive story telling ability. Check out the stand out tracks ‘Grace in the Gutter’ and ‘Gravel & Gold’ which showcases this ability.

I have to admit, the reason that Ben’s music is such a hit with me is because of his vocal talent. He delivers a soul bearing tone which adds so much to each song that gives the listener something special. This can be heard on my favourite song ‘Three Bells’. I love the honest stripped down feel of this song that not only shows off Ben’s outstanding tender vocals but an impressive use of musical arrangement to add that little extra to this great song.

Overall, this is an album that is subtle in the way that it grabs you due to its captivating sound as well as Ben’s vocals. I could write more to explain why you must listen to this album but I will let the music speak for itself. Check out the songs on this posts or on his Reverbnation site (click HERE). When you appropriate the music of Ben Jordan as much as I do then do yourself a favour and grab of copy of ‘Invisible Dreams’ today (available from Amazon and ITunes).

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There is that something about Ben’s music that has captured my attention and I can’t wait to hear more. I understand that he wants to get everything right when it comes to his music but I hope we don’t have to wait too long to see him touring and more new music. As I follow him on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter I will know when these will happen. Fingers crossed, I might get to hear his music live by catching one of his shows. As always, remember to support the music that matter to you by telling the world all about it. Hopefully this will now include the music from Ben Jordan!