Ben Ratliff

Ben Ratliff


Spare, singular, low-register Americana songwriter in the storytelling tradition. Tom Waits' and Lucinda Williams' bastard love-child.


Ben was born in Austin, Texas and eventually ended up in Brooklyn, NY by way of San Francisco. Ben was influenced at an early stage by the eclectic 80s Austin scene, listening to everything from the punk of the Big Boys to the rock of the True Believers to Willie Nelson.

In 2000, Ben joined with songwriter Emily Zuzik to form the band Sexfresh, which received critical acclaim from South by Southwest and Performing Songwriter magazine for its highly nuanced arrangements, moody overtones and unique instrumentation. Ben (performing under the pseudonym "Bunko") wrote and sang half the material in Sexfresh, as well as playing guitar, accordion and banjo. Sexfresh released two albums: "The Fainting Room" and "Vacancy".

Ben now lives and performs in the New York area, playing both acoustically and with a band. He recently showcased at the 2003 CMJ Music Marathon and will touring the east coast and midwest this fall. In 2003, he released a 5-song EP with full band entitled "Misplaced Desire." He also released a full-length experimental roots-electronica album entitled "Songs for the New Depression."


Sexfresh, "The Fainting Room," 2000
Sexfresh, "Vacancy," 2003
Ben Ratliff, "Misplaced Desire", (EP) 2003
Ben Ratliff, "Songs for the New Depression," 2004

Set List

Bucket of Love
Permanent Midnight
Road Sign
My Daze
You Never Miss
Time Slips Away
Love Ration
Heart on Fire
"Tango 'Til They're Sore" (Tom Waits)
"Folsom Prison Blues" (Johnny Cash)