Thursday, October 24, 2013

NEW GIG DATES ADDED at www.bigbenhillman.com!!

So as is so often the case with me in my career thus far, activity comes and goes in spurts, and right now is one of those active times. I'm happy to announce that I've got a bunch of cool shows coming up in both the Boston and New York City areas, and I'm looking forward to booking more shows very soon!


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My band and I played a rather impromptu and last minute show at Toad in Porter Square, Cambridge to a small but attentive crowd. The fact that it was game 1 of the Red Sox in the World Series didn't interfere with the band putting on a kick ass show and everyone having a good time, and of course once the Sox won the game the mood became quite celebratory.

Big Ben and the band at Toad in Cambridge (l-r: Ben Alman, Noah Maltsberger, Big Ben, Zeke Martin)

It was a pleasure to have my good buddy "Cowboy" Ben Alman back on bass with me, as well as a couple of new additions to the "extended family:" Noah Maltsberger on guitar and Zeke Martin on drums. We'll be back to Toad again on Friday November 29th and Friday December 20th.

I recently played at Groove down in NYC two weeks in a row, which meant a lot of driving around for me considering I had a number of engagement in New England I had to return home for and wasn't able to just "chill" in the city all week (as much as I might have liked to do so.) Both gigs were a lot of fun, and I was happy to be able to play with my New York crew again!

Of course there have been some changes in personnel; we had to say goodbye to long time friend and fellow funkateer, bassist Ben Loy as he and his beautiful new family moved out to the west coast. We wish Ben all the best out there, and hopefully one day in the not to distant future we'll be able to get out to Cali and lay down some of that good 'ol west coast funk!

Ben Loy at The Shrine in Harlem, NYC

Back east of course we've had the opportunity to play with some fantastic new players. Of course my good friends drummer Dameyun Henry and percussionist/vocalist Paula Green have been holding steady with me (Paula having recently returned from a touring music production.) We've also had a very talented guitarist named Kyle Christian sitting in and working with us, bringing a touch Prince-inspired rock/funk into the mix as well as some blues (his rendition of Red House made for a nice addition to our sets at Groove.) We've also had bassists Dave Smith and a man who simply goes by Red Bass holding down the low end for us (the latter of whom I came to find out actually penned one of my favorite SOS Band tunes from back in the day called "I'm In Love." If you were a Soul Power listener you would have heard me spin this tune on the air quite often!)

We'll be coming back to New York City on Friday December 13th at The Shrine up in Harlem. This will be our first time doing an extended set at The Shrine, as we will be starting at 10pm and performing until midnight. For all of you New Englanders, be sure to catch the band and I at our next gig coming up at The Back Page in Lowell on Saturday November 16th.

I sincerely hope to see all or most of you out at any of these shows that are in your local area, and as I said before I am working hard to book more shows for the band, so you will have any opportunity to catch us live soon! As always, you can check in to our schedule on the "Tour Dates" page here at www.bigbenhillman.com.

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