Ben Carroll

Ben Carroll

 New York City, New York, USA
BandFolkSoul

Ben Carroll's soulful, powerful voice lives somewhere at the crossroads of Stevie Wonder and James Taylor--he's captivating, distinctive, mesmerizing.

Biography

Ben Carroll's soulful, powerful voice lives somewhere at the crossroads of Stevie Wonder and James Taylor--he's captivating, distinctive, mesmerizing. With the help of his accomplished acoustic guitar playing, Carroll moves his audiences with his plaintive songwriting, written from the heart and with a thoughtful, keen eye, while exploring the endless themes of love, of a search for a place and meaning in the world. A soul and folk artist at once, Carroll has steadily toured North America and Europe as a solo act since 2004. He released his debut solo album Lover Undercover in 2005 and his followup Real Thing in 2007 (on UK label Blue Cloud Records), which was #1 for five weeks on AAA FM Radio in Ohio and was played on over fifty radio stations in the US and Europe. His songs have also been featured in television and film, most recently in Pier's End Productions' 2008 release "Wake", which premiered at the Tribeca Cinema in New York City (home of the Tribeca Film Festival). Amore Magazine's reader poll voted Carroll a top solo artist, and his songwriting and performances have been celebrated by the New York Songwriters Circle and BMI New York.

Coming from a musical family as the son of Grammy-winning Starland Vocal Band members ("Afternoon Delight", 1976), Carroll enjoyed a rich musical exposure in his childhood, chiefly in the veins of harmony-laden folk and pop of the 70s, and the R&B/Soul/Roots sounds of the deep south. These influences have been naturally integrated into his music, lustrously evoked by his poetic delivery and his voice of startling honesty and beauty.

Highlights

• Spent several years before 2005 as a member of pop/rock/soul band The Minors, based in New York City, and of world folk band Baraka, out of Philadelphia; these collaborations produced one full-length album and two EPs, while keeping an international touring schedule

• Released second solo studio release "Real Thing" in 2007 on British indie label Blue Cloud Records; went #1 for five weeks on AAA FM Radio in Ohio and was played on over fifty radio stations in the US and Europe

• Released first solo studio release “Lover Undercover” on US indie Luckytone Records in 2005; was described as "bare and revealing...Carroll's lyrics are poetic yet tangible, and his vocals are reminiscent of James Taylor and John Legend."

• Performed live on American FM radio stations WXPN (Philadelphia), WVIA (another NPR station, in Pittston, PA), WRNR (Annapolis/Baltimore) and WAMC (Albany)

• Songs have been used in numerous programs on MTV, Country Music Television and other television programs internationally

• Composed and performed original music for the New York Off-Broadway production of "The Good Thief", by Irish playwright Conor McPherson

• Wrote and performed original music for the soundtrack of the short film "Jason's Song", by writer/director Shane Tilston, in which he also appeared on-screen

• Selected artist to participate in the New York Songwriters Circle showcases in 2008, at the Bitter End

• Invited by BMI to participate in their 2007 and 2008 Contemporary Professional/Advanced Songwriting Workshops

• Lyrics to original song "Dola Rosa" were selected for publication in American Songwriter Magazine (Nashville) as part of their August, 2005 edition

• Voted a top male solo artist of 2005 in Amore Magazine's Readers' Poll (Portland, ME)

• Invited to sit as a panel judge for Mountain Stage's NewSong Contest (NE Regional Round), a national singer-songwriter competition of high esteem

© 2010 Ben Carroll. All Rights Reserved

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Lyrics

My Darling True

Written By: Ben Carroll

I had a dream I could make you
With a dropper and some ice
And some steam from a lighter
On a beaker tilted nice
Every time I get a little closer
It's like wine flooding in the cellar
Could you be my darling true?
Could you be my darling true?

I'm well known--I have colleagues
And students standing by
What I don't show is you rule me
And fool me every night
Just last night I caught you in the mirror
Just in time to ask a little clearer:
Could you be my darling true?
Could you be my darling true?

Yes it seems I am flying
Above my offices below
It seems I am seeing
The one and only thing I need to know

I had a dream we were dancing
To something very soft
Was it really you crying
When sunshine cast you off?
Give it time--I'll work a little harder
We will find the mystery for the larder
Could you be my darling true?
Could you be my darling true?

Real Thing

Written By: Ben Carroll


I have two hands, not one
I commit missteps and I get the job done
Sometimes my sight is strong
Sometimes I stumble when the night is too long

But I'm gonna tell you
Baby I'm the real thing

I did not break her heart
I just had tickets to her cinema art
Her wardrobe blew my mind
But it was my kisses that brought up the lights

And she told me
Baby you're the real thing

And on the road I drive 65 and I don't swerve
And the more I go, the more I know
That everything is gonna work out fine, fine, fine

I'll keep your place real warm
I'll be your lighthouse for your endless storm
Don't stay away too long
Cause you know it's lonesome when my heart is so strong

And I'm gonna tell you
Baby we got the real thing

Heart Is A River

Written By: Ben Carroll


I was not born
In a coal mining town
My father was not strong
My mother was not proud

But I've got a case of
The down and dirty blues
So when I come to see you
You know I am for you

My heart is a river

O my glory
The gathering clouds
Are sinking slowly
To swallow the town

And I've got a case of
The down and dirty blues
My blue eyed darling
You know my heart is true

My heart is a river

Step right up
Take a little sip from
This here my broken cup

Gonna tell you a little story
From a man I knew
Before he went above

He said one's to blow your cover
Two is for the show
Three's to get ready
Four's to blow the door

Five is for your lover
Six is for your pride
Seven's for the heaven
You won't see before you die

My heart is a river
My love is delivered

Books And Movies

Written By: Ben Carroll

Lately I don't feel anymore
Jump start my heart from the floor
There's got to be something worth feeling
Darling please help me to stand
How I am only one man
Living here among the billions
We've got legs and arms
Brains and silly charms
If there's more than books and movies
Please come and tell me

You are like an angel
You are like an angel
Yes you are
You sing out like a star

Christians with backpacks and books
Listen but don't really look
At the ones whose hand they're shaking
And then there's brave ones laughing at God
Desperate but proud that they're not
Sugarcoating all around them
What's it mean out there
I want so bad to care
If there's more than books and movies
Please come and tell me

You are like an angel
You are like an angel
Yes you are
You sing out like a star

Trusting is harder to do
After what faith put me through
It's a wonder I'm still breathing
So I leave my keys under your
Front door, there'll be no encore
Love was here and life defeated
What else can I confess
Here's to loneliness
Now I've boxed my books and movies
Can someone tell me

You are like an angel
You are like an angel
Yes you are
You sing out like a star
Yes yes you are
You sing out like a star

This Love Inside Me

Written By: Ben Carroll

I keep an empty bible
I keep a glass with sand
But with this love inside me
I can still hold your hand

I'm keeping crazy hours
I have a voice to fight
But with this love inside me
I keep you close at night

Because you tease my weakness
Because you quicken the dead
Because you act like a fire
Keeping me warm in my head

Because you sleep like a baby
Because you feel what I hide
Because you lead like lady
I have this love inside

For every moment of freedom
You have a mass of pain
But if you're gonna lead 'em
You're gonna dance in the rain

For every inch of longing
I have a moment of pride
And as the truth is dawning
I have this love inside

A Simple Kind

Written By: Ben Carroll

Clouds above take a distant southern spot
It's a love that we got
You don't think and I don't have to think at all
It smells like coffee in the hall

It's a simple kind of thing that we do
It's not complicated by me or you
I love you

Cold rain takes a nasty toll on baby's health
You leave the train and you don't call nobody else

I'm a simple kind of man for you
Whatever you want I will do
I'll drive you

It's not fair
I'm nowhere
But in love I am someone
In love I wrap in take one

It's a simple kind of thing that we do
It's not complicated by me or you
I love you

Angel's Arms

Written By: Ben Carroll

If I work too hard
And I play too hard
Will my heart pump out gas
Am I a toxic man
With atomic hands
And breath that freezes fas

I have never been
The one that I want
You have never been
Myself at all
O lover, take me in your angel's arms

And the longest seas
Like infinities
Are fed by many parts
So the largest love
Is made up of
Every little heart

Some are going home
Long though they have roamed
None of them alone
The telephone is ringing
Take me in your angel's arms

I have never been
The one that I want
You have never been
Myself at all
O lover, take me in your angel's arms

O Sarah

Written By: Ben Carroll

How can it be that I'm leaving now
Bags by the door
How can it be that this is how
I reach for more

All of the times that I bummed around
Found me at ease
But now the wandering has me broke
Down on my knees

Chorus
O Sarah, I love you too much to let you go
O Sarah, I'm still in love with the road
But I love you, I love you

I had a dream we were side by side
On a bridge with a view
When I awoke you told me that
You dreamed it too

Chorus

If I were to say to you
What we have was never true
Would you take the final bow
Would you stop your crying now

You're looking for cabs on a winter's night
Chilled to your bones
Here I am lost in the countryside
Can't find a phone

Chorus
I love you, I love you
I love you, yes I do

Precious Precious

Written By: Jackie Moore, Dave Crawford

Precious precious
Precious precious
Precious baby of mine

If you don’t love me I’m used to that
If you don’t need me baby I can adjust to that
If you don’t want me honey that’s alright
If you ain’t willin baby that sure won’t be no fight

Cause I’m still satisfied in loving you
And I’ll be waitin round when you get through

You’re precious honey
You’re so precious
Precious baby of mine

You’ve been in and out of my life
And oo baby that hurts
Baby that hurts yeah
You been with every guy in this town
You been dealin in dirt
Just wallowin in dirt, yes you have

But I look at love as a two way street
You get the good with the bad
You take the bitter with the sweet

You’re precious honey
You’re so precious baby
Precious baby of mine

Oo, na na na na
Yeah baby
Oo, na na na na
Yeah baby

What people say about you sure ain’t no fun
But what they don’t know about you
You’re like two girls wrapped in one
We got our life so let’s make it
It’s our chance so come on baby let’s take it

You’re precious baby
You’re so precious
Precious baby of mine
You’re so precious honey
You’re so precious baby
Precious baby of mine
You’re precious baby
You’re so precious, yes you are
Precious baby of mine
You’re precious honey
You’re precious baby
Precious baby of mine

Discography

Real Thing - 2007 Blue Cloud Records
Lover Undercover - 2005 Luckytone Records

Set List

Ben knows hours of material to perform. The majority of the songs in any concert are originals, but a variety of covers also get their play.

Originals (Partial List):

From "Real Thing", 2007:
Real Thing
O Sister
Find A Job
Charlene
Dead Love Town
Old Bowling Alley
Are We Still Friends
Faithless Man's World
My Darling True
Heart Is A River
Heart Alone

From "Lover Undercover", 2005:
A Simple Kind
Mother's Maiden Name
Three In One
Acting Like Boys
Dola Rosa
Lover Undercover
Fire & Ice
Luv U So
If I Wasn't Sleeping
This Love Inside Me
Angel's Arms