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Home arrow Podcast arrow Ben Smith on songwriting and music
Ben Smith on songwriting and music PDF Print E-mail
Release Date:
13 December 2006
Ben Smith Interview
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Ben Smith and salty Dog InterviewBen Smith is a fabulous singer/songwriter turning heads in the Australian music scene. Ben held recording contracts in the UK in his teens, before returning to Australia to win the Australian Music Award's best songwriter and other awards in 2004. His new band (Ben Smith Band) is cookin up a storm in the Melbourne live scene. Don't miss this exclusive interview with Salty, recorded 18th November and released online 13th December 2006.

Web: www.bensmith-music.com
Shop: www.play4me.com.au

Heard of Ben Smith? If you haven't yet, you soon will.

Originally from Scotland, Ben was working with some of the best musicians in London at the age of eighteen. But the overproduced studio scene ultimately wasn't for him and he headed to Australia.

After a couple of years chilling out, Ben re-emerged in Melbourne and has been building his reputation by doing what he does best: playing live. He's been known to play four shows a day. That's on Sunday. The Day of Rest.

Recently, Dust Devil Music asked Ben to take a few days off and spend time in the studio with producer Jimi Maroudas. The resulting EP, Whiskey Sunset, was released on October 16th.

Ben and his band have come up with a brilliant debut. Five songs of blues-based music that will break your heart. It’s been described as Jack Johnson without the surfwax or Ray Lamontagne without the bleak landscapes.

“Ben’s songs show great observation and understanding of life’s little trials and his strong voice and playing allowed him to present his material confidently and effectively” – Tony Walker, Manager ABC dig.

The Ben Smith Band is a collaboration between singer/songwriter Ben Smith, and musicians Tim O’Connor and Pat Kearney. The Trio use their music to build a wild ride of emotive acoustic songs that swing and breathe. The journey takes the listener through the peaks and valleys of life.

The band came together with songwriter Ben Smith, to create a new level for Ben’s writing. The Maton/ABC 2004 Songwriter of the Year with the collaboration of the band, is able to build, heighten, and energise the emotion of his songs.

Born in Scotland, Ben spent his childhood in Australia and at 19, Ben headed off to London. During his time in London, he recorded with top producers, performed on ‘Top of the Pops’ and wrote the song ‘What About You?’ which was recorded by Kevin Kennedy and went Gold in New Zealand. Returning to Australia, he went back to the heart of what he loves about music – playing live gigs. He performed in Queensland before re-locating to Melbourne in 2002.

He achieved the “first ever clean sweep” at the 2004 Australian Music Week (AMW), winning both the acoustic category and best song overall in the AMW Maton Song Contest plus taking out the ABC/DIG Radio Showcase Prize.

Seasoned drummer Tim O’Connor has performed for original acts for 17 years, his sense of groove coming as a family trait. He joined Ben in 2004 to begin work on band material for an Album. Versatile musician Pat Kearney joined on bass 6 months later. Pat came from a background of rhythm and blues, and has been writing songs himself since his teens. As feel players they work to support the content of Ben’s songs, laying down a rhythmic pulse as a bed for Ben’s words and stories.

“I feel that I have matured as an artist”, he says, “The band allows my songs to build with energy and dynamics”

Ben’s debut album, a self-titled solo acoustic effort, received rave reviews and lots of airplay. It will be followed up soon by an album from the band. Previews from the album have been featured on compilations including ‘Sounds of St. Kilda’ (Mushroom), ‘L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Week 2005’ (Mushroom), and the 2006 Compilation for the VB Alive series. The Ben Smith Band also performed live at Federation Square as part of opening celebrations for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Tracks from the band’s work have been included in soundtracks for the short films ‘Jackpot’ and ‘No.2’.

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