Friday, June 10, 2016


Time just seems to go by so quickly these days; I can't believe that summer is already here! I've again been neglectful about keeping up with my blog posts. My apologies to my loyal readers, but I'm back now and I've got some news for you all.

You will have two opportunities to come check out the band this month, both of them coming up very soon! On THURSDAY JUNE 16th we will be returning to THE RIVERWALK CAFE in NASHUA, NH. This will be our second time at this venue and I couldn't be more pleased or excited. It's a great place to hear live music in the Nashua area, with great sound, super-cool people and good food and drink. If you're in the area you should absolutely come by!

Performing live at Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH on January 14, 2016. Photo by Lawrence Jasper.

 The Riverwalk show will also feature some very special and talented guest performers. First and foremost, my old good buddy from New Hampshire ANDY JASPER will be sitting in on guitar. Andy and I go way back, having played together in various projects since we were both in high school. He's a great guy and a great player and he really brings a lot to the table. Also adding some flavor to the mix will be saxophonist PAT LOOMIS. Fans of my album THE FRIDAY NIGHT CONSORTIUM will recognize Pat's smoking-hot alto sound from songs like "Beautiful Stranger," "Where And When" and "It's Too Easy," and we are always blessed to have Pat come down and sit in on our live sets.

Of course ZEKE MARTIN will be on drums, and ERIC VINCENT will be holding it down on guitar. We will also have a new addition to my "Royal Family" of players joining us: JOE SUMRELL will be filling in on bass with us while my buddy COWBOY is off on the west coast handling some business. Joe plays with Zeke's band The Oracle and lays down a seriously funky groove, so we are very glad to have him on board with us!

Guitarist Andy Jasper will be joining Big Ben and the band on Thursday June 16th at Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH. Photo by Lawrence Jasper.

The second opportunity you will have to catch the band will be happening the very next night on FRIDAY JUNE 17th, this time at a new venue for us: TERRY O'REILLY'S PUB in NEWTON CENTRE, MA. This venue is known for bringing some of the best talent from the area, including a regular blues jam every Sunday. This will be a TRIO SHOW for us, as ZEKE MARTIN will be joining me on drums and JOE SUMRELL on bass. We still plan to fill the place up with FUNKY sounds, so if you are in the area please come on down and show your support.

In other news, I am currently working on a new single which I hope to get released before the end of the summer. I am particularly excited about this song as it is my first official co-write with my good friend ANDY MASCOLA. Andy is a talented songwriter, journalist and novelist who I have also known and worked with on various projects since we were high school students, but this will be the first official project of ours to be released to the public. More info to come about that soon.

Click here for more info about writer Andy Mascola and to order copies of his novels.

To quickly recap: check us out LIVE at RIVERWALK CAFE in NASHUA, NH on THURSDAY JUNE 16th at 8pm, and at TERRY O'REILLY'S PUB in NEWTON CENTRE, MA on FRIDAY JUNE 17th also at 8pm, and keep an eye out for my new single coming soon! As I always I thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you out on the dancefloor this summer!

Friday, January 15, 2016

KICKING off 2016 the RIGHT WAY

Hey there, funk fans! Happy New Year!! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are feeling as optimistic about 2016 as I am. The band and I have been enjoying a bit of downtime, but last night we had a chance to jump back into the swing of things with a live gig at a brand new venue: The Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH.

It had been about a decade since the last time I'd played up in New Hampshire with my band, so it was really fun to go back and see so many good friends and old familiar faces, as well as some new ones!

Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH on Thursday January 14, 2016. l-r: Pat Loomis on sax, Andy Jasper on guitar and Big Ben Hillman on keyboards and vocals. (Photo by Larry Jasper)

We had a couple of special guests sitting in with us. My good buddy Pat Loomis was on saxophone. If you've listened to my album The Friday Night Consortium then you are familiar with the fiery sounds of Pat's alto playing! We also had a very dear friend of mine on guitar: Andy Jasper. Andy and I go way back, all the way back to our high school days when we used to play in a band called Erotica (yeah I know, cheesy name - but we thought we were the shit! lol) Andy is a great guy and a rocking guitarist, and it was really fun to play together again.

In addition to having a great band and awesome turn out, we also were fortunate that Andy's Uncle Larry happens to be a talented photographer and took some really awesome pictures to document the event. Thanks, Uncle Larry!

Big Ben Hillman at Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH on Thursday January 14, 2016. (Photo by Larry Jasper)

In other news: we got another stellar review for the album in The Noise, a Boston area music magazine. Listen to a bit of what they had to say about my latest album The Friday Night Consortium:

Big Ben Hillman is quite the smooth retro funkster.... The production is excellent on all levels, keeping the listener in a comfortable, easy-flowing harmonic place. Ben never falters – his compositions and production show signs of a master at work enjoying his craft. I’m just going to think of Big Ben Hillman as the new Barry White on the opposite end of the vocal spectrum.

- T Max, The Noise

You can read the full review, along with other news and info about local music happenings by clicking on this link:

You'll be able to catch the band at In A Pig's Eye in Salem, MA on February 4th. I've been working on writing some new tunes, so hopefully we can get some of them ready for the upcoming gigs. Keep it locked right here, boys and girls, for all the latest funky information about where we are going to be and what we've got going on. Take care and be well, my friends, and as always thank you for supporting your local funk!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015: an END of the YEAR RECAP

This certainly was an exciting year for me, both personally and professionally. 2015 saw the release of my first full length album called The Friday Night Consortium. If you haven't picked it up by now you definitely need to get on board and check it out! I am so pleased by the feedback and reactions we've been getting from people about the music.

Pick up a copy of THE FRIDAY NIGHT CONSORTIUM today at
Not one to rest on my laurels, I have already started going back to the studio to begin recording some new tracks. I am hoping to get at least a new single out by the spring - check back here frequently, as you can be sure that I will post details about that as they develop.

The band and I have also gotten to play some pretty cool shows this year. I tell you couldn't be happier about the relationship we have developed with Toad in Cambridge. It's such a cool spot with a super-awesome staff, and just an all around great place to check out fresh music. We don't have any upcoming dates there as of yet but I am hoping that is something which will be quickly rectified.

We've also played a couple of shows in my old hometown of Lowell, MA at The Backpage. I love playing there and it is by far my favorite spot to play in The Mill City. We'll be back up in there on March 4th of 2016. Be sure to stop in and say hello.

Big Ben getting down with his bad self at The Backpage in Lowell, MA.

A couple new spots we will be hitting up in the new year: on Thursday January, 14th we will be performing at The Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH. This is going to be an exciting night for several reasons: First of all, this is the first time I will have performed a show with my original band in the state of New Hampshire in nearly a decade. Those who know me well know that I actually cut my funky teeth on the scene in Nashua, NH back in the day, performing as a teen at the now defunct Blind Willy's Cafe.

It's also going to be exciting because we will have several special guests performing with us. Pat Loomis will be playing some sax and Lydia Harrell will be singing with me. Both Pat and Lydia contributed to my album and I am very excited to have the both of them on stage with me. Also helping out that night will be an old friend of mine from the Granite State: Mr Andrew Jasper. Andy and I have known each other since we were mere schoolboys, and he has always been a true beast on the guitar. It's been a long time since we played together, and I am really looking forward to reuniting with him.

Click here for more information about that show:

The last show we played in 2015 was at a small Cape Verdean restaurant in Boston called Restaurant Laura. I have played a Sunday Jazz brunch set there several times, but this was the first time we played there on an evening and with the full band. We had a small but very appreciative crowd attending, we ate some delicious food and had a really good time. It was a perfect way to close a very fun and successful year.

Big Ben and the band playing their last gig of 2015 at Restaurant Laura on December 18th. l-r: Big Ben Hillman on keyboards and vocals, Eric Vincent on guitar, "Cowboy" Ben Alman on bass, Zeke Martin on drums.

I want to wish each and every one of you out there a very Happy Holiday Season and a very Merry New Year. Hope to see you all out a show in 2016! Stay funky, y'all!

Friday, November 13, 2015

METRONOME Magazine Cover and MORE!

Happy November, everyone! Hope you are all doing well and getting ready to have a nice Thanksgiving Holiday with all of your closest friends and family. Of course, there is never a dull moment over here in Big Ben's world of FUNK - so I have lots of cool stuff to tell you all about!

First and foremost, I was very excited to see my face on the cover of METRONOME MAGAZINE this month. For those who don't know, Metronome is a long standing publication here in the New England area that celebrates local and national music. In fact, this year marks the 30th ANNIVERSARY of the publication!

Big Ben Hillman appearing on the cover of Metronome Magazine's November issue.

I was very flattered that Brian and the good folks over at Metronome not only decided to give my new CD The Friday Night Consortium a very positive review in the October issue, but to also interview me and publish a really nice cover story in the November issue. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, you can pick up a copy at most Boston area music stores and select music venues, or you can subscribe to the paper by calling them at (978) 957-0925.

We had a great Halloween show at Toad this year, and I want to thank all of the good folks who came out and partied with us. We appreciate your love and support! We will be booking another event over at Toad soon. In the meantime be sure to come check us out at THE BACK PAGE in LOWELL on FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20th!

We always have lots of fun at THE BACK PAGE, and I hope you all will join us that night. We will have some special guests performing with us as well, so don't miss out!

In anticipation of our Lowell event, I will be making a stop in at my old stomping grounds on the campus of U MASS Lowell to visit my good buddy Mike Flynn on ALMOST ACOUSTIC on WUML 91.5 FM. I'll be going on the air around 12:30 pm and spinning some tunes from the new album, so if you live in the Lowell area be sure to tune in. If you're not in the Lowell area you can still listen on line. The link is here:


I hope you all have a good weekend! If you're looking for something to do, I will be sitting in with my friend Pat Loomis at Sonny Walker's tonight, and on Sunday I will be playing some blues with my good buddy Paul Fudin at Glen's in Newburyport (and Pat will be playing sax that night too!) Hope to see you all  soon!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Release Parties and MORE

Our big release event two weeks ago at Toad in Cambridge was a big success! We had a great turnout, sold lots of CDs and tee shirts, and everyone seemed to have a really good time! I am very grateful to my girlfriend Barbra and my sister Meredith, as well as my parents and my friend Jodi for helping out at the merch table. I'm also really grateful to all of the great musicians who came down to lend their talent. Ben, Zeke and Eric were holding down the rhythm section as usual, plus Pat Loomis came down to blow some sax and singers Alex Jones and Lydia Harrell lent their vocal talents to the night. All in all it was a real blast, and of course I am grateful to Toad for allowing us to have it there.

Big Ben and the band getting down at Toad for the CD release party for The Friday Night Consortium on Friday September 18, 2015. l-r: Cowboy Ben Alman on bass, Eric Vincent on guitar, Zeke Martin on drums and Big Ben on keyboards and lead vocals

A week later we were off to New York City to do a release event at Club Groove NYC. It was good to be back there, as I hadn't played there in over a year. We had a good turn out there as well, made some new friends and had a really good time.

The New York release event on Friday September 25, 2015 at Club Groove NYC. l-r: Eric Vincent on guitar, Zeke Martin on drums, Big Ben on keyboards, Cowboy Ben Alman on bass.

I have been struggling to keep the CDs in stock as they have been moving very quickly! I am very pleased by all of the positive feedback I have been getting all around from folks about the new music. It is very encouraging indeed! If you haven't have a chance to check out the album yet, you can listen to clips and purchase CDs and downloads on CD Baby:

You can catch us playing at In A Pig's Eye in Salem, MA on October 15th, and Halloween weekend we will be having big fun at both Sonny Walker's and Toad. It's going to be an AWESOME OCTOBER!! Look forward to seeing you all out on the dance floor.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Well this is it, tomorrow is the release of my new album The Friday Night Consortium. We're having a big release party over at Toad in Cambridge at 10pm, and there will be CDs and t-shirts for sale. I hope that if you are in the greater Boston area and you are able to make it out to the show that you will come by, but more than anything I just really hope that all of you will pick up a copy of this album I've worked so hard on, that you will tell your friends about it, and that above all you will enjoy it!

Box of CDs just waiting to get bought up by loving funk fans!

I was just talking to some friends of mine about the process of creating this album, about how surreal it was to watch as these raw ideas and rough demos grew into completed works and seemed to take on a life of their own. Three years ago when I was making the transition from working in Philadelphia and New York to going overseas to China, and eventually finding my way back to Boston, I had no idea that the notes I had been scribbling on planes and in hotel rooms would turn into a new album. I thought at the time that I was just going to go back to the studio and work on the same stuff I had started on before I left, but fate has a way of leading us in surprising new directions we never knew existed - and now here we are.

I am truly very satisfied with how this record came out. I always knew I wanted to make an album like this, one that had something for everyone. All of you who love funky and soulful grooves should find something on this record for you. It's the type of album you can listen to from start to finish on repeat and still always find something fresh about it. I think it's the kind of record you could put on for any occasion, whether you're cruising around by yourself in the car, if you're having a party with some friends or a family barbecue, or even just a romantic evening at home with someone you love - this music is for you!

Some people are still somewhat perplexed by the name. What does The Friday Night Consortium really mean? Well, if you pick up a hard copy of the CD you will be able to read my explanation in the liner notes - but I will tell you here anyway: The Friday Night Consortium is the gang of us who all get together on a Friday night - musicians and music lovers alike - to relax, unwind and get down to the funky grooves that my band plays. That's what we do, and I wouldn't be able to do what I do and to make the music that I love if I didn't have you all to listen and to get down with me - so in a sense, this record really is dedicated to all of you!

The big CD release event will be happening tomorrow night, Friday September 18th at Toad in Cambridge, MA

Of course I will have links to purchase the album right here at You will be able to pick up a hard copy of the disc or a digital download from CD and you will be able to download it from iTunes as well. Eventually the album will be available to listen to on Spotify as well (funny, I didn't even realize until just last week that my I'm Sorry EP was already on Spotify!) As always I thank you for you for supporting me and for supporting local and independent music, and above all I am just really excited to share this music with you all and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy at as much as I loved making it!

Thanks for reading, and I will see you folks tomorrow night at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave in Cambridge, MA at 10pm. Peace! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Before the SUMMER ENDS.

I've been a bad boy and haven't posted a blog since June - tisk, tisk! Sorry about that, y'all, but you know I have been hard at work in the studio getting my new album The Friday Night Consortium together. It's been a real challenge and a very intense learning experience these last few months as I've watched these dozen or so songs take shape from rough demos to final products, but I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished and I am really excited to share what we've created with all of you!

This is roughly what the album cover for The Friday Night Consortium will look like. The photo was taken by Caroline Alden at Toad in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday July 1, 2015.

In the midst of all this wonderful creativity going on, I still have to take on the very real task of promoting the release event and the album itself. Back in mid July I put out a little four-song EP called The Friday Night EP containing the pre-release singles from the album plus one more song and have started sending out to some DJs, radio stations and music reviewers in the hopes that they might latch on to what I'm doing and give me a little shine before the big day comes (which by the way if you don't know by now: the CD RELEASE PARTY is FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18th at TOAD in CAMBRIDGE, MA.) If you or anyone you know works in radio or at a publication that reviews music, please by all means reach out to me and I'll get you what you need to see what my new project is all about.

As part of the promotional campaign, I have also put together a new EPK (that's an electronic press kit for those not hip to the business lingo.) You can check that out here:

I was quite fortunate to get a very talented photographer to take photos for the album art. Her name is Caroline Alden, and she has photographed pretty much everyone who is anyone in the Boston music scene. After a lot of deliberation of where we were going to do the shoot, in the end we just ended up doing it at a gig I had (a last minute gig, at that) over at Toad. It really couldn't have been more perfect, and the photos came out great. I will be posting some of the shots we did on a gallery here on my web site, and of course you can see some them when you buy my CD. If you want to check out more of what Caroline has done please visit her web site:

The summer is quickly coming to a close, but it ain't over yet! There's still time to get out and see us live. We've already done a couple hits this month at The Back Page and Sonny Walkers, but we've got another show coming up at Brodie's Seaport Cafe in Salem, MA on Friday August 21st. Hope to see you all there - and I most definitely will need your support and energy at the release party on Friday September 18th at Toad. Thank you as always for taking the time to check out what I do. Be blessed and stay funky!!