Wednesday, August 27, 2014

QUICK & DIRTY UPDATE

If you haven't figured it out by now, my band and I will no longer be affiliated with the jam session at The Safe. It's disappointing because I was looking forward to having a weekly residency at a local club, but upon further reflection I decided to give it up.

The main reason is that I am choosing to spend more of my time and energy right now on writing and recording. It's been a very busy and active summer, and the band and I have gotten to play some really cool shows. In the upcoming months we will still play, but not as often. So if you get a chance to come check us out live you should definitely jump on it, as it might be a while before you will be able to see us again.

I have been very fortunate to meet a really talented young engineer named Tim Phillips who has been helping me to record and mix the absolutely massive backlog of material I have composed over the last few years. It's hard to believe that it's nearly seven years since I put out something new; I think there was a time when I kind of fell off and had to find my voice again artistically. Now I am back and better than ever with a new sound and a fresh voice and I cannot wait to share my music with the world!

Not wanting to give too much away too soon, I will say that my next single release I have planned will be a duet with a very talented singer from the Boston area named Lydia Harrell. I have known Lydia for years, ever since the old Royal Family used to shows with her former band Hiptonic at places like the old Sky Bar in Somerville (gosh, do you remember that place?) However it is only very recently that Lydia and I have had the opportunity to actually work together on anything, having carved out a regular night at In A Pig's Eye in Salem, MA on the third Thursday of each month. Along with another old friend of mine and Royal Fam alum Yahuba Garcia, "LH3" as we are known throws down a funky mix or jazz, blues and random pop tunes.

Lydia Harrell and I at the studio.
Please keep your gaze focused here to bigbenhillman.com for updates on all my shows, recordings and releases - some very exciting stuff soon to come! As for the jam session at The Safe, I have been told that the torch has been passed down to some very talented young lions - you should go check them out and show your support if you get a chance.

You can check out my band at Toad in Porter Square Cambridge on Friday September 19th. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Last night's JAM at THE SAFE

We were very pleased to see how many people came out on what may have been the RAINIEST night of the year to hang out and JAM OUT with us at THE SAFE in LOWELL, MA last night. Everyone really had a good time and there were definitely a few memorable musical moments.

Jam Session at The Safe in Lowell, MA on August 13, 2014 (photo by Barbra DesLauriers.)
I want to personally thank everyone who came out to show support, and I especially want to thank my friend D-TENSION for inviting us to perform at this really cool new venue.

As previously stated, there will be no jam session next week August 20th as old school HIP HOP legend KURTIS BLOW will be performing. We will resume the jam session on WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27th. Again I want to encourage all musicians to come on down and bring their instruments and help make this the HOTTEST JAM SESSION ever to hit the Bay State!

Before I go, one last reminder that you can check out the band THIS FRIDAY up in SALEM MA at BRODIE'S SEAPORT CAFE at 9 PM. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FUNK PAINTING [BIG BEN REDUX]

So you all might remember back in March I made a blog post about a drawing that my friend Carol Barenberg was working on that was inspired by my tune "Friday Night." Carol likes to make time-lapsed videos that chronicle the creative process she goes through in making her artwork, often setting them to music.

Well she has posted another video, this time its for a painting she has created, and she chose to feature an "oldie" of mine from back in 2007 - the song "Look At Me" featuring my old buddy Meyer Statham.



Check it out, enjoy, leave a comment and pass it on to your friends.

Before I go, just a quick reminder that you can check out THE FUNK/JAZZ JAM SESSION tonight at THE SAFE in LOWELL MA, and you can also see us play at BRODIE'S SEAPORT CAFE in SALEM MA on FRIDAY the 15th. Stay FUNKY, people!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

JAM SESSION at THE SAFE in LOWELL

Hey all! Just a quick and dirty blog post to let you all know about something I'm very excited about: the band and I have ourselves a weekly residency at a new/old venue in Lowell called The Last Safe and Deposit.

Anyone who was involved in the Lowell music scene back in the late 1980s and early 90s will remember "The Safe" as it was called by loyal patrons as being a hot spot for live music. Local legendary hip hop artist and producer D-TENSION has worked hard to bring back The Safe, and he asked lil ol ME to host a weekly JAZZ/FUNK JAM SESSION on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, beginning THIS WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13th at 8 PM.



For the first hour, my TRIO ("COWBOY" BEN ALMAN on BASS, and "SUPERFREAK" ZEKE MARTIN on DRUMS) will jam out and do our thing, then after that we will have musicians sign up and take to the stage with us to throw down on your favorite funkified jazz standards.

I would like to cordially invite each and every one of you to come down and hang with us, wether you want to bring your axe and sit in or just chill and check out the grooves. Either way its sure to be a funky good time for all!