Ben Richter Band
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Ben Richter Band

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"Ben Richter Band - Inside Out"

Another intriguing Texas worship band. Is it something in the water down there? Ben Richter Band's "Inside Out" will make you stand up, take notice, and beg for more.

As lush rocker “Consuming” opens, it is easy for your mind to turn to other strong worship bands;David Crowder, Robbie Seay, even Chris Tomlin comes to mind. But slowly the rich lyrics filter through, Richter’s thick passion rises to the surface, and you realize there is more here than meets the ear immediately. As Rusty Thomas’ spoken words quiver quietly beneath the throbbing opening of “The Lord Reigns,” an evocative edge begins to build through the layered guitars. There’s a raw feel to the production, and it only adds to the music’s intrinsic majesty. The aptly-titled “Rain Down” opens softly, an honest declaration of need, its electric noodling as soothing as, well, a soft rain.

A few less moody rockers follow, the Richter Band’s rhythm section pinning it all down tight, before the organic groove of “All I Have to Give” starts its bouncy percolations. I’d be lying if I said it wasn't deeply Crowder-reminiscent, but it's still easily enjoyable. Richter’s heart for worship comes across beautifully in the fervent depths of “Unrivalled.” He flirts at times with the slightest tinge of vocal dissonance, at times even falling over the edge (“So Amazing” and the free-flowing worship track, closer “Holy, Perfect Lord”), but I enjoy his high-wire vocal act; it adds another layer of authenticity. Sean Meagher’s warm sax heats things up throughout, playing into the Dave Matthews party vibe, fitting nicely against Richter’s gritty vocals. Kelly Hern’s guest vocals gild the lily beautifully on the intense, moving “Come Ye Sinners,” a powerfully arranged standout track. The whole team, including Hern, moves seamlessly into the organic tones of “You Are,” the worship building to a redolent crescendo of adoration by track’s end. Very well done, and deeply moving. Ben Richter offers up an engaging album of worship songs, some a bit derivative, but certainly not without their own genuine charm and ardor. The Ben Richter Band is one to watch closely, and I’m already looking forward to their next offering.
- Kevan Breitinger - Christian Music Suite 101 (Jan 16, 2007)

""Inside Out" Review"

Music: 8
Lyrics: 8
Production: 9
Overall Performance: 8
Overall Score: 8.25
Standout Tracks: Inside Out, All I Have To Give, Unrivalled

Ben Richter Band's Inside Out has everything going for it - superb songwriting, excellent musicianship, and stellar production. I'm actually surprised that a band of this caliber would bother sending a demo to an upstart review site like mine. Only a few worship albums that have been released this year have caught my ear, and this offering from BRB is one of them.

Richter's vocals are a mix between Dave Matthews and a more engaging version of Robbie Seay; lots of grit and passion emerge from his delivery. The rhythm section is spot on for the entire recording, and the guitars are what you'd expect in a worship setting - mellow and unobtrusive. The standout instrument on the album is easily Sean Meagher's saxophone, which croons over six of the record's tracks. Richter employs a slew of guest vocalists and musicians, even allowing singer Kelly Hern to take over on lead vocals for "Come Ye Sinners."

Songs like "Unrivalled" and the "Inside Out" allow for the band's musical influences to show through. There is an obvious Dave Matthews Band vibe present in many of the songs, but not so much as to be a distraction from the originality of the songwriting. Being a worship band originally from Texas invites the stigma of being compared to that of David Crowder or Chris Tomlin; Robbie Seay has already been cited, and fortunately for Mr. Richter, his songs hold up well against such standards.

So far this review has read more like the band paid me to speak highly of their album, which would be nice if it were true, but it's not. The pros outweighs the cons, but for the sake of the band and skeptics alike, I'll try my best to point out major criticisms. First and foremost, the album takes a while to settle into a flow. While "Consuming" works well as an opener, it seems fairly par-for-the-course for worship music. The first few tracks have short intros and bits of programming that do little to add to the songs themselves; they seem to accomplish the exact opposite of what they were probably intended for, which is to create some semblance of atmosphere. Once the title track is played, the rest of the album follows in a much more natural and worshipful direction.

Ben Richter Band's Inside Out is far more than what one would expect from an "unsigned" worship band's first effort. For what it's worth, I've been listening to this CD more than the new Chris Tomlin album.

- Mike
- Mike Harvat - Independent Christian Music Reviews (Dec 20, 2006)

"Blessed to Worship"

Ben Richter: Blessed to Worship
© Kevan Breitinger

Mar 8, 2007
Ben Richter Interview - Photo Credit: Christian worship Inside Out
Fronting the Ben Richter Band brings fulfillment to prayers lifted up for Ben Richter back on the day of his birth.

"Inside Out," the Ben Richter Band CD reviewed earlier by Suite, gives every indication that the prayers were not in vain.

Suite: Thanks, Ben, for the great sounds. I love the raw feel to your music, and it has me wondering about your musical backstory. How long have you been playing? When did you first know you wanted to sing for the Lord?

Ben: I wouldn’t stop beating on things as a kid, so my parents did the natural thing… bought me a snare drum. That quickly turned into a drum kit and I fell in love. I picked up a guitar at 13 and felt right at home. I didn’t really see the joy of using that for the Lord until I was thrust onto a stage leading worship at the age of 15. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, but God always seems to have a way of using our weakness for his glory. My dad tells me the day I came home from the hospital after being born he prayed over me that I would be a worshipper. I’m blessed that through the power of prayer I get to use the gifts God’s given me to worship him every day!

Suite: I know worship music is your forte, but I wonder if the party vibe of your sound opens other doors for you as well? Where do you most enjoying playing?

Ben: My heart is certainly in leading people to worship, but I’ve recently had many more doors opening in concert settings as well. I never have seen myself as a “performer” but I’m growing to love that type of ministry more and more. I really began to have more of a passion in that area through doing mission concerts in Wales and England this past summer. I just try to genuinely let the joy of Christ spill out through music and it’s amazing to see that touch the souls of people. I look at every opportunity to step on a stage as a chance to point people to Christ, so I guess it's all worship…

Suite: What songwriter would you love to co-write with?

Ben: Wow… tough question – After spending a few years in the thriving metropolis of Waco, TX – I’d have to say David Crowder. He has a way of producing such depth and clarity in his lyrics while his sound is always evolving and never fits into a narrow mold. His creativity is inspiring.

Suite: What is the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced as an indie Christian artist? What’s been the toughest?

Ben: I always tell people the joy is in the journey. I love the journey God’s taken me on in crafting me to be a lead worshiper. He’s given me some great opportunities and relationships and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I believe the CCM industry is a great, God-honoring thing. There are many great labels and companies with visions I hugely resonate with, but I’m enjoying the freedom of being an independent artist. I love just getting to make music and dream big without some of the pressures that can coincide with the business and industry. The biggest challenge would have to be the ability to effectively spread and promote music. I’ve never been the biggest fan of self-promotion, so it can be challenging not having someone full-time doing it for you either. But ultimately I believe as God gives me songs he’ll have a way of getting them to those he wants to hear them.

Suite: An easy closer: You can’t make it through the day without… what?

Ben: Lately I’d have to say a good cup of hot tea… there’s something about it that just makes life greater. Sadly that “Lipton Orange Passionfruit & Jasmine” green tea just seems to give my day an extra layer of joy. I’m also highly addicted to Burts Bees, it’s quite the problem – I can’t seem to go 3 hours without it! - Kevan Breitinger

"Ten Great Salvation Songs"

Ten Great Salvation Songs
February '07
© Kevan Breitinger

Feb 14, 2007
Ten Great Salvation Songs

These are songs that present the gospel message winsomely. Whether through explicit lyrics or musical inference, these outstanding songs point powerfully to Christ.

Suite salutes the artists who wrote and performed songs that so well express the essence of our mission, and our lives for that matter. Click on the link to view the complete review of the album containing the songs listed.

Just a Man - Jonny Lang

Benediction - Jimmy Needham

Forgive Yourself - downhere

Thank You - Sanctus Real

Come See - Michael W Smith

Only You - Kevin Lawson

The Least I Can Do - Mark Roach

The Salvation Poem - Matt & Sherry McPherson

Come Ye Sinners - Ben Richter Band

Forgiven - Relient K - Christian Music


Released EP "All I Have to Give" in October 2004

First Full Length Album "Inside Out" released March 2006.
*Come Ye Sinners named in top 10 salvation songs of 2006!

Sophomore album to be released January 2008 with producer Jason Hoard (Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill, John Waller, Matt Papa)

Here’s just a few of things Ben Richter Band has done / will do in 2007...

-Lead worship for weekly Student Worship Service “LIVE” @ New Hope Baptist Church – Fayetteville, GA.

-Lead worship for weekly Community-Wide worship service “Encounter” involving over 20 churches in Fayette County, GA.

-Doing concerts and worshipping alongside artists such as John Waller, The Afters, Matt Papa, Addison Road and others…

-Performing over a dozen mission concerts in England/Wales July 2007.

-Ministering alongside churches, venues and organizations such as…

-Castle Hills First Baptist Church :: San Antonio, TX
-Dogwood Church :: Peachtree City, GA
-North Pointe Strategic Partners:
- Catalyst Church :: Greenville, SC
- Southside Church :: Peachtree City, GA
-FBC Lake Jackson :: Lake Jackson, TX
-The X-Change ::Salem, AL
-The Door :: Dallas, TX
-FBC Fredericksburg :: Fredericksburg, TX
-Orchard Hills BC :: Newnan, GA
-Community Bible Church :: San Antonio, TX
-FBC Sealy :: Houston, TX
-Piedmont Church :: Marietta, GA
-Baylor University :: Waco, TX
-Coker United Methodist Church :: San Antonio, TX
-Hiwassee College :: Madisonville, TN
-Holland Road Baptist Church :: Brighton, England
-United Ministries :: Ponty Pridd, Wales

-Dozens of other churches and ministries across the US & UK.



In March of 2006 I got in my car and drove 1003 miles from San Antonio, TX and found myself moving into a house in South Atlanta. A week later guitarist Geoff Ashcraft (formerly of the jungle) moved from Waco, TX and it's wonder alone that his old jeep made it. A week after that we met drummer (and janitor) Josh Kirk. We played together for the first time on March 28, 2006 and the rest is history...

Around November of that year Dan Snyder left Tennessee (where he picked up space shuttle debree, drove an armored truck, and talked about conspiracy theories on the radio) and moved him and his lovely wife Katie to Atlanta. Dan joined us on keys and instead of spending his time on conspiracy theories, now hones his skills on the accordion and banjo. In May of ‘07 we found the missing link... Peter Jerifus Culbreth. Peter runs sound and makes things look cool, and he also knows the answer to 97.3% of life’s questions. Peter was a nominee for Top Ten Beards in America for Summer 2007.

We're blessed with a great church home (New Hope Church) and community. God's placed it on our hearts to spend our lives IMPACTING our local community, and INFLUENCING a generation. We're grateful that music is a platform for us to live out our calling of reaching people for Jesus.

Since the start of 2007 we've had opportunities to lead worship throughout Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, and even into England and Wales... God has blessed us and grown us every step along the way. As we've begun to dream big together, God is paving the way for a new album coming early 2008. We began working with the highly respected producer (and unicorn breeder) JASON HOARD (Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill, John Waller...). We can't wait to see what comes out of it!

God has given us a passion to reach the broken, the lost, the weary, the bitter, and the ones that just don't care. I pray this album speaks to them... that God would turn from an idea to identity... that we would be inspired to the realization that unconditional love can change our generation and our world...

May God be glorified in all of it...

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Col. 1:17)