Sunday, March 30, 2014

BIG FUN at JOE SENT ME

This past Friday the band and I had a gig scheduled at Toad, one of our favorite spots to play at in Cambridge. We were all set to go that afternoon when my girlfriend Barbra got a call from one of her friends saying that there was another band listed on the website as being the headliners that night. Long story short, we had been double-booked by the agent and we were out of a gig.

Having been in this situation before, my mind quickly started running through my options. Then I remembered that just a couple of weeks ago we had played at a place in Waltham called Joe Sent Me, and that they also had a location in Cambridge not far from Porter Square. So Barbra and I took a ride down there, talked to the owners real quick - who are super cool by the way - and lo and behold we had a new gig!

Big Ben at Joe Sent Me Cambridge on March 28, 2014. l-r: Jeff Buckridge on guitar, 'Cowboy' Ben Alman on bass, Big Ben Hillman on keys and Zeke Martin on drums. 

It took a bit of organizing to get the band and all of our friends and fans to come out to a new location, but we managed to make it all come together and it ended up being a really great night. Of course I am grateful to the guys in the band who always throw down the funk, and I'm really grateful to all of the good people who came and hung out with us. It was really great to be able to meet some new folks and get some new sets of feet dancing to our beat - above all we really want to thank the good folks at Joe Sent Me for being so cool and letting us come in there and do our thing at the last minute! They treated us really well over there, and if you haven't been there yet you really ought to stop in and pay them a visit sometime soon.


We were really happy to have our buddy Jeff Buckridge on guitar with us, as this was the first time he really did a full night with my band. Jeff, who says that he has yet to play a gig at Toad in all his years of musicianship, I'm afraid will have to wait just a bit longer to end that streak - but hopefully not much longer!

The band is slated to be back at Toad on Friday April 11th. This time we're on the web site - so mark your calendars and come get down with us!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Art of FUNK


A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting an artist based out of Boston named Carol Barenberg, an extraordinary painter whose colorful and vibrant work has been featured in galleries all over the world. Several months ago she told me she wanted to start working on a new piece based around the music I make with my band, as she had come to several of my performances in the area and apparently liked what she heard.

As I sat and posed for her in her studio with my keyboard in front of me, we listened to a copy of my soon to be released single Friday Night for a dose of funky-inspiration. It was quite interesting to see and feel the effect that one of my compositions could have on a visual artist.

Miss Barenberg often makes time-lapsed videos of herself while she is working and later sets them to music and posts them on YouTube. I was really happy that not only did she want to feature me in one of her paintings, but that she also wanted to feature my song in the video of her work on the initial study sketch. You can see and hear it in the video linked here:



The drawing is now finished and she has now begun doing the actual painting on canvas. I am already loving the way it is coming out and am very excited to see the finished product!

Check out some of Carol’s other videos on YouTube and visit her web site at www.barenberg.com to learn more about the work that she does. And as always keep checking in here at www.bigbenhillman.com for all of my funky updates!