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“Salt” Announcement & First Single

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that I’ve got a new record coming out later this spring. It’s called Salt, it’s a bit shorter and quieter than my other albums, and all the music on it is about liminal landscapes — places at the edge of things, where the relationship between water and land is sometimes ambiguous. I wrote the bulk of these songs a while ago, during a fairly rough and disorienting time, and I found it helpful and (ironically) grounding to be working on music about places where instability and flux are normal, and where the ground tends to come and go. So these songs are about ice roads, tidal estuaries, salt marshes, floodplains, places where earthquakes happen, ocean travel, and that kind of thing. In one sense the record is all about a very specific type of landscape, but in a broader one, it’s really about finding ballast in difficult situations, which I think just about everyone has had to do at some point.

The first single from Salt is called “Champlain,” and starting today, you can hear it for free exclusively at Junction Magazine, a great publication based in the Upper Valley of NH/VT. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record, and I hope you’ll like it too:

http://junctionmagazine.com/first-listen-champlain/

You can also preorder a digital download of the whole record here. I can’t wait for you to hear the rest of Salt. I’ve been playing a few of these songs for a long time now and I’m happy that they’ll finally have a home.

Also — if you live in northern New England, please know that I’ve got a few shows up here on the immediate horizon in the next week or two:

4/6 NASHUA, NH – Riverwalk Cafe & Music Hall (opening for Ian Ethan Case), 8pm
4/7 WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT – Open Door, 7:30pm
4/8 BURLINGTON, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop, 8pm
4/9 PORTLAND, ME – Blue (with Jamie Kallestad), 7pm
4/15 CRAWFORD NOTCH, NH – AMC Highland Center, 5pm (talk/Q&A) & 7:30pm (show)

Thanks for your support, everyone. I’m excited for you to hear this thing. Talk to you very soon.

Ben

VPR Interview

Yesterday I got to talk with Mary Williams of Vermont Public Radio about what it was like to write music about landscape from out in the middle of the ocean. You can hear the whole segment here.

“Break”

As some of you know, I’ve been working up a bunch of new music lately, which ought to be making its way to you soon. This is one small piece from that pile, a song called “Break,” which my friend Max filmed me playing in his very cold studio one afternoon last month:

The new songs are all linked together, and the whole set is inspired by landscapes that shift and change abruptly and unpredictably: ice roads, estuaries, earthquake zones, floodplains, wandering rivers, and places like that. I’ve found that in situations where everything is upended and you find yourself desperately looking around for anything solid on which to plant your feet, it can be important to remember that the ground moves too. “Break” in particular is supposed to feel a little bit like having the floor pulled out from under you.

Again, I’ll have more about all this soon — I look forward to letting you hear the rest of this music and rambling about impermanent landscapes with you — but until then, please enjoy this first song.

While I’ve got you, here are some upcoming shows:

2/25 BRANDON, VT - Brandon Music, 7:30pm (tickets here)
2/28 COLEBROOK, NH - Tillotson Center, 7pm (tickets here)
3/1 CANAAN, VT - Canaan School, 12pm
3/10 BURLINGTON, VT - Radio Bean, 8pm
3/17 TAMWORTH, NH - Tamworth Lyceum, 7pm (tickets here)
3/18 FITZWILLIAM, NH - Fitzwilliam Inn, 7pm
3/23 MORRISTOWN, VT - River Arts, 6pm
3/24 WORCESTER, MA - House Concert
3/26 NEW YORK, NY - Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1 (with Stephanie Jenkins), 8pm
3/29 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Lilypad, 7:30pm
4/6 NASHUA, NH - Riverwalk Cafe & Music Bar, 8pm (supporting Ian Ethan Case // tickets here)
4/8 BURLINGTON, VT - Light Club Lamp Shop, 8pm

Hope you’re all doing okay out there. See you soon.
Ben