Ben Young
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Ben Young

Band Folk Acoustic


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This One's For Mom
Full-length, January 2006
-The Ascension
-The River
-Dream in Perspective
-Parial Unity
-McGavern Suite No. 2
-They Were the First


Feeling a bit camera shy


"When I stepped out on stage, time stopped and I wasn't aware of anything that was going on. It was like a transition between what was and what was going to be, as far as my art was concerned." So it went for Ben Young as the hour came when he would make his presence felt at the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. Having labored for the 4 weeks he had been there on a piece he was about to debut, Young had largely been focused on his work and not mindful of what the reaction to it would be. But judging from that quote, it's apparent that he knew that things would forever change from that moment on. Young had arrived as a guitarist, having 8 years' experience already in rock, jazz, blues, and metal, but he would leave a total musician.

The all-encompassing assault that is McGavern Suite No. 2 - the piece Young had worked so furiously on, developed his technique for - was most definitely a turning point for Young as an artist. After his pyrotechnic yet intensely musical performance, it was apparent that the future of guitar playing had emerged. What most didn't know was that Young also had been crafting a unique lyrical and songwriting style, one that would fuse his incendiary guitar skills to a singer-songwriter sensibility. But that would soon become apparent as well.

"After that, it was clear that I had to create my music as a solo artist. I had all the tools, and I had been affirmed by others. The next step was to make my songs heard, both live and on tape."

The songs were heard indeed. Having the opportunity to play at an outdoor festival, Young took full advantage, showing others that not only did he know how to play the guitar, he also knew how to craft immaculate pop hooks and dazzling lyrical wordplay - the total package.

"The lyrical appeal of my songs is based in a sense of hopeful melancholy - similar to a lot of the Goo Goo Dolls' work. At the same time, I was really into the stories and imagery that people like Radiohead and Jeff Buckley were creating. So it was clear that I needed to craft tunes that were catchy and easy to listen to, yet have a lot of depth that the listener could lose themselves in. I think we succeeded in capturing that aesthetic on This One's For Mom."

Of course, everyone's biggest fan is probably their mom, and in honor of his own mother, Young titled his debut record This One's For Mom. However, since Young's mother wasn't like most - encouraging him to play guitar rather than get a job - it follows that the record isn't typical by any stretch, either.

Recorded at CAB Studios in Ephrata in January 2006 with John Wagoner at the helm producing and engineering, This One's For Mom is an ample display of Young's musical vision. There are stories of optimism in failure on "The Ascension", figurative struggles on "The River", and a haunting narrative on "Epistrophe", as well as the enigmatic "McGavern Suite No. 2". What's amazing about the album is how Young is able to create a full, richly satifsying aural soundscape with his voice and a single acoustic guitar, with additional electric shadings in spots.

So what's next for Ben Young? Bringing his music to the people is, of course, the priority. And as audiences are increasingly finding out, he is an artist of few words, largely because his songs say everything he needs to say. And until everyone has heard his guitar, felt the weight of his songcraft, and become inspired after hearing his music, Young will not cease to spread his aural assault to the masses. It's an experience that divides everything that was, from everything that will be.