Ben Wilson
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Ben Wilson

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Ben Wilson to celebrate new songs with CD release party, concert at Alter Gallery

By STACY SMITH SEGOVIA
The Leaf-Chronicle


Ben Wilson's goofball intellectual humor is a salve for the masses numbed by mindless music. Call his songs crazy, nutty, silly, even stupid, but you'll also have to call them quirky, catchy, bizarro and oh-so-much-fun.

On Saturday you can get your mitts on 11 new gems from the mind of a master. Wilson invites all to join him in celebration of the release of his new CD, "Songs for Naked People."

The Ben Wilson CD Release Party starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Alter Gallery. Opening for Wilson are Shane Miller, John Winters, Chris Robertson and Chris Hall.

Ben begins performing at 8:30 p.m. If you like to try before you buy, this is the perfect event for you, because Wilson will play every one of the songs on the new CD.

Songs include "Bob Ross Indefinitely," "Baghdad is for Lovers," "Hula Girl," "Clothing Optional," "Scenes from a Hibachi Grill," and, the last song on the CD, a tribute to one of Wilson's own family members, "Bosco the Wonderdog."

Friend and fellow songwriter Chris Robertson says his favorite of the songs is one a little mellower, and with more heart — a love song called "Marion."

"It's a simple little song," Robertson says. "A relationship, or the way somebody feels about somebody — I don't think it could be said any better."

Wilson says the "naked" people for whom he wrote the CD don't have to be au naturel. Those who attend Saturday's party are encouraged to wear clothes.

"It's about people that don't wear labels and should not be stereotyped," Wilson says.

Along with the new CD for $12, Wilson will have stickers, buttons, hats and magnets for sale. Instrument from Wilson's collection will be sold silent-auction-style. Refreshments — food, wine and Blackhorse beer — will be served free of charge.

Wilson says politics and religion play heavily into his lyrics, but he also proclaims himself a sushi lover and sings songs about raw fish. Asked if there's any relationship between sushi and his music, Wilson says, "The album is specifically recorded raw — old Bob Dylan style, old Neil Young style."

Robertson says Wilson has a way with music, especially in crafting creative, unexpected melodies. The two songwriters share mutual admiration, but their friendship often veers into jealousy and one-upmanship, Wilson jokes. Despite any efforts the two have to out-write each other, Robertson is generous with his praise.

"He can come up with a melody that will stick in your head like a Paul McCartney song — you have no idea why it's there, but it's there," Robertson says.

Melody is of utmost importance, but Robertson is also into Wilson's lyrics.

"It's music to be listened to, not shouted over," Robertson says.

Wilson wishes more people felt that way. For now, he performs as often as possible at art galleries, coffee houses and other small venues where people are likely to be attentive to the stories his songs tell.

"If lyrics aren't the most important thing in a song," Wilson says, "you should be doing instrumentals."

Stacy Smith Segovia

- The Leaf-Chronicle


Discography

Ben puts out new crap all the time. Right now, CD's are only available at live shows....

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Ahh, Ben Wilson….a Folk/Rock/Americana singin’, beer-brewin’, animal lovin’, sushi eatin’, Bigfoot viewin’, Simpsons watchin’, art appreciatin’, political advocatin’, Scrabble winnin’, coffee drinkin’, ukelele playin’, bicycle ridin’, National Geographic readin’ kinda guy. Take these activities and throw in three or four simple chords, and da tada da! (trumpet fanfare) The songwriting genius of Ben Wilson.

Ben Wilson was born John Lennon McCartney Dylan Jagger Cash Jr. but changed his name to differentiate himself in the music biz. “I wanted my name to stand by itself instead of being labeled as a knock-off. But if people confuse me with Brian Wilson, that’s okay. I don’t know how to surf anyway.” But seriously…Growing up in the town of Elkton, KY (pop.2000) made for a perfect environment for songwriting. Living out in a tree-smitten area of small-town-America proved to evoke great emotional desire for bigger things without forgetting the simple things in life. Ben moved to Clarksville, TN and hit the local music scene receiving kudos for his nightly performances. Showcasing his award-winning originals as well as Dylan, Neil Young, and Beatles tunes keep the crowds coming back. Between Ben’s 200 plus originals and thousands of covers, folks never have to get bored listening to the same old songs night after night. “My songs are quirky at best. I try to make fun of all religions, political parties, sexual deviations, and rednecks without offending anyone and with everybody having a good time.” Quirky, yes. Commercial, no. Ben writes about zombies, hibachi grills, the Loch Ness Monster, pornographers, Hula girls, zebra herds, etc. Not your everyday average topics and definitely not over-produced-sounds-like-everybody-else drivel.

Goals? Ahh, yes, goals. A record deal with a major label with Ben having 100% creative control. Yeah, who doesn’t want that? Reality: To tour throughout the country at notable Folk music venues/ famed coffeehouses/ historic bars, to have his music available in all 50 states (even Mississippi) and radio airplay across America; to make enough to get by and share his musical contributions with his peers and to have respect from fellow musicians.