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Ben Spencer's Funeral

Hear the great plains groan as the oil-ponies draw out their living blood and set it ablaze. Hear the din of the teenage boom-town struggling to hide its neon. Hear the asphalt sizzle under the long August sunlight, and then crack under the January snow. Something lives, something dies...

The passing of seasons are observed with celebration; in taverns and churches, at dance-halls and festivals. Songs are sung, stories are told. Kisses are given but more often are stolen. We allow for a few dirty jokes and the occasional dust-up. We watch the northern sunrise together - at four a.m. in the summertime and at nine in the winter. We remember what we can and record what we can't. We keep these memories in words; the words are given melodies:

"Did you take your name from the big hurricane that washed out half the town?"

"That's not a birthmark - it's just a lousy tattoo."

"Do you really enjoy the bait so much that you hardly mind the hook?"

"A voodoo doll with lipstick on it; a story cut, newspaper jaundiced; candlesticks in pools of their own blood..."

A travelling roadshow that's migrated from Alberta's big sky to Montreal's big heart, Ben Spencer's Funeral is ever an importer of sound and song. If pressure and time can turn rocks into diamonds, then these songs are a treasure trove, polished bright by haunted prairie winds and sharpened by blue winter nights. This is the soundtrack of an active mind and an open heart.

Never succumb to morbidity or despair. Funerals, after all, are the domain of the living.

Please refer to the Contact section for booking opportunities


Experience...

  • Showcased at NXNE in Toronto, 2007
  • Festival Appearances: Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Montreal Fringe Festival, South Slave Friendship Festival (NWT), North Country Fair, South Country Fair, Regina City Folk Festival, Edmonton Fringe Festival, Sasquatch Festival, Edmonton Songwriter's Festival, World Master's Games
  • Was resident host of a bilingual workshop at the 'Edmonton Chante' French music festival for two years
  • Served as producer, performer and engineer on his 2nd full-length release, Lynch the Mob, in 2005. This completely independent release charted (Top 30) at several college and community radio stations and was the Editor's Frontpage selection for CDBaby in May, 2005
  • Was resident host of the legendary Sidetrack Cafe's weekly New Music Night
  • Shared a major theater tour of western Canada with Theresa Sokyrka in the fall of 2006. Has toured across Canada twice

Hype...

Front Page Review by CDBaby.com:
"Lynch the Mob" by Ben Spencer - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "With a quiet sort of background static, an LP at its end as the needle repeatedly scratches in tempo, this beautifully orchestrated urban male folk rock drapes itself in lush electronics and all kinds of echoes from alt country and swampabilly, to a popular ring of Ben Folds and John Mayer, to edgy crust of emo where harmonies ride the friction point between dissonances, pushing a little harder against the resistance and residing there in that conflict that is both exquisite and agonizing. Ben Spencer is like that kid with the box of 96 crayons when all the rest of us had only 12."
- CDBaby Editor

Album Review From 'Penguin Eggs':
In the world of introspective, moody folk music, often-times earnestness is considered enough to make a song worth singing. It takes a little more to make it worth listening to. Ben Spencer has a keen grasp of melody. His clever word-play is enhanced by your desire to simply listen to the twin melodies that sometimes mingle between vocals and instruments. Ten years ago, Spencer came out of the woods into the Edmonton song writing scene with a handful of songs and an eagerness to learn. Nurtured and encouraged by a strong community of tunesmiths, his growth into a talented craftsman is clear on Lynch The Mob. Perhaps the most important aspect of this offering is the possibility of having fun in a song lyrically or musically without regressing to novelty. Working with a bunch of friends in a relaxed environment is enough to create good music, and it shows.
- By Chris Martin

"The only problem with lionizing Ben Spencer as one of the most gifted lyricists in Edmonton would be that it would give short shrift to his songcraft, and that would be a disservice indeed."
- Christa O'Keefe, See Magazine June 23, 2005

"Spencer's second album is a warm and intimate recording, buoyed by his graceful finger-picking skills and cosy vocals..."
- Edmonton Journal, April 2005 re: Lynch the Mob

"Singer/songwriter Ben Spencer was also a festival discovery. He's an appealing modern folk performer with a lively acoustic sound and terrific lyrics."
- Edmonton Journal re: North Country Fair

"...he's damn good. And funny and sincere and blessed with the kind of attitude that makes him valuable..."
- Edmonton Journal, March 2004

"Of special merit to me was the set by Ben Spencer. He's a young singer/songwriter blessed with supple vocals and a sharp sense of lyricism who is surely a star on incline."
- See Magazine re: S.A. Benefit Concert