Friday, June 10, 2016

SUMMER KICK-OFF: TWO SHOWS in JUNE

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!