Ben Holland came over to Music-News.com HQ in North London to tell us about his new album and give us a sample of his glorious music.
'Your Gods Won't Tell You'
'If I Ever Get Sober (Annalise)'
'Death Of A Heart'
Ben was born in Carlisle, North England in April 1984. Interested in music and song writing from early childhood, Ben's first instrument was a small portable Casio Tonebank keyboard. It was little more than a toy, but Ben played the thing non stop driving his family crazy. They told him tactfully that real musicians practice alone and make recordings alone where no one can hear them. Ben took the advice and locked himself away to practice.
As a teenager, Ben left school at 16 to get a job to pay his way in his household. Carlisle has several factories and these were Ben's first working experience. During this period, Ben discovered the songs of Bob Dylan. Instantly taken with his music, Ben spent long shifts at the factory line, with smuggled in ear phones he pretended were ear plugs, listening and studying Dylan's giant songbook. Evenings were spent learning these songs on an old acoustic guitar he borrowed from his uncle.
Soon Ben knew a couple hundred of Dylan's songs, along with many early blues and folk standards. Now better equipped for the task, Ben began writing his own songs again.He was surprised, but glad, to find people didn’t mind listening now he had a bit of practice and a few years under his belt.
Ready and more willing to practice in public, Ben then moved to South London to live, record, and play in venues in the evenings and busk during the days. He writes and performs songs with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. A range of material from topical songs highlighting injustice, to the age old injustice of a broken heart.
One lucky day busking in Waterloo station, Joan Armatrading happened to be passing by and asked Ben to join her on her upcoming tour. Ben jumped at the chance and over the past few years has supported Joan across major venues in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the UK and Ireland. He also regularly plays with the 'Ben Holland Band'- usually marathon several hour sets that are becoming well known must-see fixtures on the London circuit.