Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ben Kweller goes Country

"People are asking me, 'why did you wake up and decide to make a country album?' To them I say, 'I didn't. It's been in me the whole time, I just never put it on tape.' Friends heard me talkin' about Changing Horses for years. They know how much country music means to me - when Alan Jackson comes on the radio, somethin' happens inside. Brings me back to the trees, back to pushin' cars out of the mud. Reminds me of my hometown."

-Ben Kweller on his upcoming album

I have to tell you that before throwing Ben Kweller's new album on, I hadn't read a single thing about it, and consequently I was thrown six steps backwards upon hearing it. It's titled Changing Horses, and for good reason; it's more country than anything I've listened to in a long while! I'm talking love child of Dolly Parton meets Kenny Rogers.

I wouldn't even go so far as to call it alt-country. It's country. Period. And somehow, Ben's voice fits it perfect. Really, although it's absolutely nothing that I'd expect from him, he sounds like he was born to twang here. I'm still somewhat in shock listening to it, bit it isn't as off-putting as it was when it first hit me. There were a few tracks that I've enjoyed since the first listen (near the middle of the album - maybe it took me that long to get over my astonishment), and a few more that have grown on me since.

It comes out February 3rd, but if you pre-order it before then from the album link below you'll get the album, an autographed poster, and a chance to win 5 prizes (Grand prize: Dinner with Ben). Order the vinyl and it comes with the CD, too.

Visit his website, his label ATO Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Upcoming Tour Dates


16 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
17 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
18 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
21 - Cleveland, OH - Case Western Reserve U
22 - Toronto, ONT - The Mod Club Theatre
24 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theatre
25 - New York, NY - Town Hall
26 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
27 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
28 - Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel


01 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
03 - Lousiville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
04 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
05 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
06 - Birmingham, AL - Workplay Theater

1 comment:

Jane said...

So I FINALLY got around to listening to the Kweller, and I do like it. I think Hurtin' You and On Her Own are my favorites, but Sawdust Man intrigues me. I just heard everything in that track ... it wowed me.

I agree, his voice fits perfectly here. It reminds me of Gram Parsons's vocals ... not "pretty" but compelling. I've only listened once so far, but I'm enjoying it.