BEN REEL - Singer/Songwriter/Performer/Musician/Producer
BEN REEL – (press release)
Since his debut album `This Is the Movie’ back in 1999, Ben has reinvented himself from album to album, influenced by different styles of music over the years. As one critic said, " He's not afraid to throw in some in folk, soul, reggae vibes, which in turn call to mind John Hiatt at his best". Another describes him as “somewhere in the middle ground between rock and jazz or a sound that is sometimes reminiscent of Dylan and the Band”.
Ben Reel released Live @JJ Smyths Dublin on the 1st Nov 2021. Featured on the recordings are the long standing, outstanding members of the Ben Reel Band - Ben's wife Julieanne Black Reel on backing vocals & percussion, Michael Black on Drums, Ronnie O'Flynn on bass, Mick McCarney on Electric guitar & John McCullough on piano & organ. This same band lineup also features on the new album release Locked In & Live which came out on the 15th September 2022 which captures Ben's work during this last 2 years during lockdown. Ben also occasionally plays with his Dutch band The Haarlem Boys while touring in Europe featuring Ronald De Jong on double bass, Paul Van Schaik on drums and electric guitar virtuoso Glenn Schwarzer.
This follows on the heels of ‘The Nashville Calling` the title of the 9th studio album which was released at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Produced by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack and featuring Garry W Tallent on bass from the legendary E Street Band. Recorded in Nashville the album was done and dusted in just 3 days with all live takes with a rootsy rock, live band feel.
In a solo career which now spans over 20 years, Ben has received worldwide critical acclaim with numerous high profile TV/Radio appearances like BBC, RTE and Dutch NPO Radio. Supporting the likes of Jools Holland, & The Cranberries and he has collaborated musically with such names as Hal Ketchum & The Blockheads. He has co written and performed live with his fellow countryman Tony McLoughlin and some of Nashville's finest such as David Olney, Nanci Griffiths & Irene Kelley.
In the past Ben was selected to play an official showcase at Folk Alliance in Memphis TN and has toured as double bill with Tommy Womack (Nashville) in the U.S & UK and also with legendary American folk singer/songwriter Eric Andersen in the UK & NL. While in Nashville he was invited to play the famous Bluebird cafe on a number of occasions.
Recently he was asked to perform at the opening of the Patrick Kavanagh centre Inishkeen where he performed "On Raglan Road" and then was invited back to sing it again along with one of his own songs "Our Fathers Sins" for the hit American TV show "Ireland with Michael" that screens in January 2023 to 80% of American homes.
In the past years Ben has enjoyed successful tours in Ireland, UK, Europe & U.S.A, receiving rave reviews and attracting a growing loyal fan base. He has graced big festivals such as Jamming@Hippie Jacks (USA), Musiktan festival in Bilbao,(ESP). Haarlem Jazz & Huntenpop (NL), Robin Hood folk festival (UK), Kilkenny rhythm & roots, Cork jazz & Electric Picnic (EIRE).
Latest News: New album released on the 15th September 2022 on all platforms titled "Locked in & Live". The album features 18 songs - 8 live songs recorded during lockdown in The Iontas theatre Castleblayney. It will also feature 7 studio recorded songs that Ben worked on during lockdown & 3 live acoustic songs that featured on his Facebook live streamed concerts in the 1st year of the covid pandemic. Two of these are cover versions of Bob Dylan's - Oh Sister and Bruce Springsteen's - Drive All Night which features Ben on the piano. Out of the 7 studio tracks there is tribute songs to 2 great friends who sadly passed away in the last year: The late Rainbow George Weiss whom Ben co wrote 'U People & Scoring Goals' which features voice overs by Rainbow George & his good friend Ian Jury. The song 'U Look to Me' was co wrote with the late great Irish songwriter Tony McLoughlin.