Baby Copperhead

Baby Copperhead


"In Baby Copperhead's hands, the banjo sounds otherworldly, like an instrument from a science-fiction movie. After a couple tracks, you'll forget all about the riff from Deliverance and wake up to the possibilities that Baby Copperhead has just begun to harness. " - Paul Constant, The Stranger


"The banjo has a bigger reach than just nostalgia, and its spidery sound hasn't fully been explored. Enter Baby Copperhead, who pairs the banjo with synthesizer and weird vocal tricks to create a haunted atmosphere..." - The Stranger

New York City-based performer and composer, Baby Copperhead (a.k.a. Benjamin B. Lee), was transplanted as a youth from Europe to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he grew up playing cello and guitar. Having been immersed in Chapel Hill's respected and independent music scene gave him a strong backbone in all kinds of music. There he was drawn into the sound of the banjo and its profound influence in American roots music. After playing the banjo for several years he went on to study with banjo wizard, Tony Trischka, who was one of Bela Fleck's mentors. Baby Copperhead's fascination with electronics such as circuit bending, synthesizers, and samplers has also added an electro-sonic component to his dissonant banjo compositions. He has had the opportunity to tour throughout the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

People have compared Baby Copperhead's music to the Silver Apples, and early David Bowie. He does not deny their influence but adds to it, synth-pioneers Wendy Carlos, and Isao Tomita, banjo hero Gus Cannon, new wave innovators Devo, free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and composers Erik Satie, Dimitri Shostakovich, and Morton Feldman.

Baby Copperhead has worked with Eugene Chadbourne, Balts Nill (Stiller Has), Dead Brothers, Brent Arnold(Modest Mouse/Sleater-Kinney/Built to Spill), Chris Taylor(Grizzly Bear), Emily Manzo (Christy& Emily), Anthony Johnson(STOMP and Bonnie Pink), Mike Pride(Anthony Braxton/MDC), and shared the stage with T.V. on the Radio, Grizzly Bear, Christy & Emily, Karl Blau, William Parker, Stumblebum Brass Band and many other fantastic musicians.

His previous bands include A.C. Unit (experimental jazz trio) and Big Cream (chamber folk group)with whom he has toured with extensively throughout the U.S. He also composes music for film, dance, theater, and interactive visual art. Some notable works include the art installation, Vanishing Ridges by Brian Zegeer, for the City Sol Festival in NYC, and Four Short Plays by Steve Martin (New Actors Workshop), and Off-Broadway Rock Opera, The New Hopeville Comics by Nate Weida. In February of 2010, Baby Copperhead had a weekly residency at Pete's Candy Store; one of Brooklyn's most revered and intimate venues.

Baby Copperhead just returned from his European tour and continues to perform in the New York City area.


A Sphinx Winks

Written By: Baby Copperhead

Before our time
there was this structure
it had one eye
could read your thoughts
no one knew
where it came from

there it stood the eye of bliss
brings me down on to my knees
called me number 36



New Baby Copperhead EP(2010)--expected for release in early 2010

Baby Copperhead (Self-Titled debut 2009)--featured on WXYC, KEXP, WNYC.ORG, WUAG

New Hopeville Comics: Rock Opera(2009)

Big Cream: Four-Legged Fingers(2007)

A.C. Unit: Sensual Polyphony(2005)

Paul Duncan: Be Careful What You Call Home(2004)

Eugene Chadbourne: And his Evil Minions(2004)

The Scarf(2004)

A.C. Unit: Lost Property(2003)

Andrew Hendryx: Sill Life and Mandolin(2002)
Benjamin B. Lee: Frozen Madness(2001)

Set List

1. A Sphinx Winks
2. Oceanic Stillsuit
3. Mary Had a Black Sheep
4. Squatter's Lament
5. Matter of Science
6. They Are Swans
7. Captain Noel
8. Dune Theme by Brian Eno

approximately 40-45 minutes, and may vary depending on the venue and performance