Ben Bedford’s latest release Portraits features the best songs from his critically acclaimed first three albums; Lincoln’s Man (2007), Land of the Shadows (2009) and What We Lost (2012), none of which were officially released in Europe.
Welcome, listener! This is a specially curated retrospective collection of songs from my first three albums: Lincoln’s Man, Land of the Shadows, What We Lost. It spans material written between 2005 and 2012. I’m calling this collection simply, Portraits, as each of these tracks is, in one way or the other, a kind of portrait. Some are people. Some are places. Some are events. Some are memories. Much as William Least Heat-Moon* imbues his writing with a sense of landscape and time, I have attempted to do something similar with these songs, crafting vignettes that engage the senses. With a small dose of the suspension of disbelief, I want to take you on a journey with each of these songs, these portraits. In short, I hope you can feel the very breeze through your hair.
I hope this retrospective proves to be an enjoyable introduction for the uninitiate, as well as a satisfying listening experience for the long-time fan.
See you out there!
*William Least Heat-Moon is an American travel writer and historian. He is the author of several books which chronicle unusual journeys through the United States, including cross-country trips by boat (River Horse, 1999) and, in his best known work (1982’s Blue Highways), about his journey in a 1975 Ford Econoline van.
Since Ben Bedford released his debut album, Lincoln’s Man, to the unsuspecting folk music world, acclamation came fast, friendly and fortunately. On the strength of radio airplay, each of his first three records have scored extremely well on folk-based, singer-songwriter, roots-related charts, including the Folk DJ and Roots Rock listings in the U.S. and the Euro-Americana chart in Europe.
Ben Bedford delivers intriguing sketches of America, its individuals, their victories and their struggles. Poignant, but never sentimental, Bedford’s portrait-like songs capture the vitality of his characters and draw the listener deep into the narratives.
Ben Bedford has established himself as a songwriter in the tradition of musical icons ranging from Bill Morrissey to Woody Guthrie, casting individual people in the theatre of the American landscape. A true son of the heartland, Bedford dips into the deep inkwell of classic American literature and writes with the ‘old soul’ quality of his literary idols, such as John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison.
Rich Warren, a long-time folk DJ in Chicago and perennial force in the folk world, named Ben one of the “50 most significant Folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years”. That list also included Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Anaïs Mitchell, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and John Prine.
In May 2018 Bedford was named one of the winners of the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition. Thus joining the ranks of Robert Earl Keen, James McMurtry, Diana Jones, Anaïs Mitchell, Danny Schmidt, Jonathan Byrd, John Gorka and Pierce Pettis.
Artist’s website: www.benbedford.com
‘Land Of The Shadows’ – official video:
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