Benn Ross
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Benn Ross

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of Le Nose (Benn's 2008 release)"

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Reviews:: Benn Ross Le Nose

I had a few acts slated ahead of Benn Ross (Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers, The Hylozoists and Ceti Alpha) but I’ve been completely sucked into the collection of songs and styles the Halifax artist delivers on Le Nose. Those familiar with Benn, will know he’s a seasoned percussionist, but also an eclectic artist that’s been putting out EPs for a long, long time.

Le Nose is a perfect canvas for Benn to showcase his skills and considering the diverse collection of guests he gathered, it's quite shocking how well he's able to hold the record together and still offer something for almost everyone. It comes to life (literally you can hear the subtlest heartbeats that Ross uses to jump starts the song) with the terrific lo-fi electro folk duet,Truest Heart. Erin Costello's subdued, laid back vocals help restrain the staccato beat, which always seems on the verge of exploding out of the gate and the contrast really adds intensity to the song.

Not surprisingly, over the next 8 songs Ross refuses to stay in the pocket, experimenting with any and every texture, element or emotion that appeals to him. You might assume this leads to a disjointed listen, but Ross’ arrangements feed off each other nicely. The electro drone he uses on the reworking of William Blake’s poem, The Fly is spiked by a static current and trombone that darts through it and flows perfectly into the beat poet delivery and jazzy, hip hop drums of Another Waiting. Even on the spiritual Down the River, the energy he creates with his drums and Don Brownrigg’s accordion add enough to Catherine MacLellan’s vocals to help the listener come down smoothly from the more uptempo start to the record.

Over the course of the 9 songs, Ross shows a remarkable ability to write songs that work perfectly with the voice he adds to the mix. Even on Skip the Tide - a track that features the vocals of Jenn Grant, Tyler Messick and Tanya Davis - Ross instrumentation isn't overshadowed. The eerie vibe he creates haunts you and the talented singers act more like the final instrument needed to complete the mood. It's just as impressive how Benn gives a a classic singer songwriter like Don Brownrigg the freedom to weave around the simple drum line and guitar flourishes on We Listen. Even when Benn chooses to take center stage, like he does on Pitches And Time he understands exactly how to play to the strengths of a voice.

Personally, I think the album stand out is the the Dosh-esque IDM masterpiece, Peach. He works Joyce Saunders' voice into the lush electro composition, but manages to give the whole track a very organic feel and you almost wish he extended the track much past the 2:46 mark. But the beauty of this record is you could ask 9 people to pick their favorite song and you might get 9 different answers. Any way you look at it, Ross has created a terrific collection of songs. Sure, the record might not get a lot of attention from anyone outside of our city, but that doesn't mean the songs don't deserve your attention.
- HeroHill

"Review of benn ross IIII"

Ben Ross IIII

I think it’s safe to say Halifax’s Ben Ross is obsessed with drums, percussion and banging on any/all surfaces. It was only after I enjoyed listening to his new song “More Now Than Then” that I learned what a terrific drummer he is (multiple awards, arts grants and nominations to his credit). But the song is a vehicle as much for his singing and idiosyncratic songwriting as it is for his drumming (although all the cool percussive effects are a thrill).

This is the fourth and last in a series of eps that Ben Ross was working on. Now he’s doing a soundtrack to a film and has started working on his full length debut due winter `07.

- songs: illinois

"Review of Hivernation (Benn's 2011 release)"

Benn Ross
Hivernation (Gooseberry)
by Doug Taylor

The Halifax indie scene would be missing a few beats over the last 20 years if not for Benn Ross, a veritable Zelig of the skins. Every few years, he’ll call in some favours and set loose his own muse. With its refrain�Come out from the shadows now,� “Hiding Heart� describes shyness and the struggle to conquer it. The instrumentals, like the suspenseful “The Door,� are ripe for soundtrack use, generating visual images on their own. A whirl at Radiohead melodics and an Al Tuck cover wrap up this satisfying, if brief, reveal of the drummer with the gentle voice. - The Coast

"Review of Le Nose (Benn's 2008 release)"

Benn Ross
Le Nose, (Gooseberry Records)
by Sue Carter Flinn

Gooseberry Records owns this spring season with local must-get releases from The Lodge, Doug Mason, killer tribute albums for Eric's Trip and The Super Friendz, and now Benn Ross' haunting Le Nose. A talented percussionist who has quietly put out several EPs of his own over the years, Ross' new album should draw more attention---initially for the list of guest vocalists, but the colourful electro-folk arrangements and songwriting can't be ignored.

Ross composes layered songs that draw out beauty and unexpected dimension from various vocalists (including his own contributions). A duet with Erin Costelo, "Truest Heart," envelopes as if you're listening from inside a human body, thanks to Ross's heart-beating drums and Costelo's deeply relaxed voice. With an eruption of thunder, "Skip the Tide" conjures a foggy day and soul with Jenn Grant, Tanya Davis and Tyler Messick sharing vocal duties atop Ross' percussion, which holds steady like a lighthouse lamp. More watery images emerge on "Down The River," with Catherine MacLellan's pretty vocals carried by Don Brownrigg's accordian. Brownrigg appears again on "We Listen," backing folk singer Joyce Saunders, whose voice and words, especially on "Peach," creates a soulful mood like Beth Gibbons of Portishead. A wonderful find.

- The Coast

"Drummer Boy ('The Arts' section feature)"

see 'press' section of Benn's main website, - The Coast (Halifax weekly entertainment and information newspaper)

"Cool, lo-fi nuggets ('Music' section feature)"

See 'press' section of Benn's main website, - HFX/The Daily News (HFX is an arts and entertainment weekly insert for 'The Daily News' in Halifax))

"Benn Ross - III (review of 'benn ross III')"

see 'press' section of benn's main website,

For video footage of the band:

For additional audio samples: and - Stage Whispers 2 (online indie music zine based in Ontario, Canada)


All Benn's music and graphics are available for download at and/or

2011 - Hivernation (8 song L.P)

2008 - Le Nose (8 song L.P)

The Polaroid Series (4 EPs - 2005/06):
2006 - 'benn ross IIII'
2005 - 'benn ross III'
2005 - 'benn ross II'
2005 - 'benn ross I'

1997 - 'me me me'

As a session musician, Benn has added drums and percussion to countless recordings by Halifax-based Rock, Folk, Jazz, and Pop artists over the past 15 years.

For additional audio samples of BennRoss:



Benn Ross's favourite thing in the world is to be playing music. He is a well-respected Halifax drummer who plays in many live bands, works as a drum instructor, session drummer, and producer of his own music.
Influenced primarily by Pop, Jazz and Folk music of various types and eras from around the globe, Benn's own creations hint at a wide variety of styles mixed together to create a unique look at what makes a song.

Band Members