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MP3 Ben Carroll - Lover Undercover

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MP3 Ben Carroll - Lover
Download MP3 Ben Carroll - Lover Undercover
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Summoning flashes of Stevie Wonder, Amos Lee and Patty Griffin, Carroll touts the fire of a blues performer, the wits of a fine songwriter, and a maturity beyond his years.

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Blues, URBAN/R&B: Soul



Details:
Born in Washington, D.C., Ben Carroll is the only child of two musicians, Margot Chapman and Jon Carroll. They first met each other when Bill and Taffy Danoff, co-authors of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" asked them to form a band in the mid-70's; a partnership that would eventually become the Grammy-Award-winning Starland Vocal Band (Best New Artist, 1976; Best Arrangement for Voices, 1976). The band's biggest hit "Afternoon Delight" helped define a generation, and placed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Coming from such a rich musical heritage, Ben began his songwriting career early, composing and performing his own original songs with renowned performers while still a teenager. His father specifically was responsible for introducing Ben to the great soul and blues artists of the Stax/Volt era.

Ben has performed live as far away as Switzerland and Ireland, at such notable national venues as Merriweather Post Pavilion, The Barns at Wolf Trap, the Mercury Lounge, the Living Room, Club Helsinki, and at such universities/colleges as Catholic University (D.C.), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY), Mills College (CA), and others. He has shared the stage with Grammy-winner Shawn Colvin, drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Paul McCartney), Nettwerk recording artist Amy Correia, Signature Sounds recording artists The Mammals, and many others.

From 2002-2005, Carroll was the front man and principal songwriter of the popular New York City Pop/Rock/Soul band The Ben Carroll Band, later changed to The Minors. He also regularly performs with father Jon Carroll, writer of the hit R&B song "Get Closer" recorded by Linda Ronstadt, and longtime keyboardist with Mary Chapin Carpenter. The father-son team is currently cutting a record of their original material, in addition to Ben's plans for the next solo album.

Ben lives in New York City.

*****

LOVER UNDERCOVER reveals Ben Carroll as he truly is: raw and soulful. Summoning flashes of Stevie Wonder, Amos Lee and Patty Griffin, Carroll touts the fire of a blues performer, the wits of a fine songwriter, and a maturity beyond his years. Sung with a honeyed voice that is at once angelic and bawdy, subtle and savage, beguiling yet deeply expressive, the eleven original tracks on this album are the distillation of Carroll's art. Several years in the making, LOVER UNDERCOVER is his first fully realized solo release, a thoroughly modern album that still harkens back to the boozy, smoke-filled juke joints where the Blues first got its legs.

Carroll recorded and mixed the album in Brooklyn, New York with his close friend Gabriel Judet-Weinshel. "Gabe is a talented filmmaker and musician in his own right," Carroll says, "but he also knows his home recording studio inside and out. I just had to show up and do my thing, which was very important for me. I wanted to be free of any technical concerns so I could really just focus on the performances and do justice to the material, which I think I achieved. Gabe is also a great motivator; he would jump up from the controls during playbacks and do a little impromptu run on the piano." Laughing, Carroll continues, "No, we didn't track any piano, but we were tempted! My point is that we actually enjoyed making this record, which doesn't happen as often in the cold, padded environment of your typical recording studio, where everyone is watching the clock and adding up the cost."

It is the moody honesty of LOVER UNDERCOVER that strikes the listener first. When listening further, one also hears that Carroll delivers all the irony and joy, exhilaration and sadness, wild energy and longing of the human experience. With only an acoustic guitar in hand, Carroll's spare, rhythmic arrangements have the uncanny power to at once chill the bone and warm the soul. Like the best of albums of this genre, it's as if he is singing directly to you in a close setting. He channels the restless passion of human emotion, while giving voice to moments of intimacy and loneliness, whose complexity--the listener can hear--he understands.

The songs are as bold and powerful as they are quietly beautiful. The final track on the album, Angel's Arms, is a mournful hymn to losing yourself in the chaos of life and then finding your way back. Luv U So blends sympathy with biting satire as it tells the story of an abusive boyfriend's confused affection for his lover, while the mournful ballad Dola Rosa captures a ravaged heart bitterly revisiting a lost love. Acting Like Boys, the fourth song on the record, expresses the embattled feelings of mourning and contempt that arise after a close friend overdoses. A poetic meditation on surviving your own demons, Fire and Ice is an evocative testament to resilience and rebirth. And Mother's Maiden Name openly admires the enduring--but often underplayed--strength of womanhood.

LOVER UNDERCOVER is a heartfelt and sophisticated first record that firmly places Carroll among the most gifted and innovative songwriters of his generation. A few songs, which fans will recognize as staples, were previously recorded by producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, The Jayhawks and a host of others), while more recent tunes were cut for the first time.

"Winner of 2nd place in the September/October American Songwriter Lyric Contest, for 'Dola Rosa'. American Songwriter is a national, bimonthly publication based in Nashville."


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