Making a Scene Presents Gerry Casey’s Interview with Ben Reel
Ben Reel will release his 11th studio album ‘Come a Long Way’ in June 2023. The album consists of 11 brand new self penned songs. This follows 2 previous releases ‘Live @JJ Smyths Dublin’ (2021) & ‘Locked In & Live’ (2022) a double album which was a mixture of live songs & studio tracks recorded during the pandemic lockdown.
Since his debut album `This Is the Movie’ back in 1999, Ben has reinvented himself from album to album, influenced by different styles of music over the years. As one critic said, ” He’s not afraid to throw in some in folk, soul, reggae vibes, which in turn call to mind John Hiatt at his best”. Another describes him as “somewhere in the middle ground between rock and jazz or a sound that is sometimes reminiscent of Dylan and the Band”. He has also been described as the Irish Springsteen and comparisons have been made with the voice of Roy Orbison.
In a solo career which now spans over 20 years, Ben has received worldwide critical acclaim with numerous high profile TV/Radio appearances like BBC, RTE and Dutch NPO Radio. Supporting the likes of Jools Holland, & The Cranberries and he has collaborated musically with such names as Hal Ketchum & The Blockheads. He has co written and performed live with his fellow countryman Tony McLoughlin and some of Nashville’s finest such as David Olney, Nanci Griffiths & Irene Kelley.
‘The Nashville Calling` was the title of his 9th studio album which was released in March 2020. Produced by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack and featuring Garry W Tallent on bass from the legendary E Street Band. Recorded in Nashville this was a dream come through for Ben. The album went to No.1 in the Euro Americana charts voted by respected DJ’s and critics all over Europe.
In the past Ben was selected to play an official showcase at Folk Alliance in Memphis and has toured as double bill with Tommy Womack (Nashville) in the U.S & UK and also with legendary American folk singer/songwriter Eric Andersen in the UK & NL. While in Nashville he was invited to play the famous Bluebird cafe on a number of occasions. He has graced big festivals such as Jamming@Hippie Jacks (USA), Musiktan festival in Bilbao,(ESP). Haarlem Jazz & Huntenpop (NL), Robin Hood folk festival (UK), Kilkenny rhythm & roots, Cork jazz & Electric Picnic (EIRE). Ben has built a loyal fan base in various countries around the world and continues to be be one of the hardest working troubadours around.