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Ben Carroll: soul singing is back in style

By Gary Wien


Growing up in the shadows of music history, it was probably destiny that Ben Carroll would follow his parents' lead and become a musician. And it was only a matter of time before Carroll would utilize his father's talents on one of his records, which he does extensively on his upcoming release.

His second album, which will be released in the next few months, was co-produced by his father, Jon Carroll, who also plays on every song. Jon Carroll and Ben's mother, Margot Chapman, were part of music history as one half of the Starland Vocal Band. That group's debut record in 1976 included the timeless hit, "Afternoon Delight" - a song that always seems to pop up in a new movie or on a television show every few years.

Ben Carroll carries on the family tradition of soulful singing and R&B music. While his first record showcased his soulful singing ability against a folk & blues background, his new record brings out the Stax/Motown flavor with a full band sound.

"I love all that old Stax soul and Motown stuff," said Ben Carroll. "I produced it with my dad and he was reared on that stuff."

Carroll grew up in the Washington, DC area and now lives in Brooklyn. He did some acting early on, but it didn't take long before he began focusing solely on music.

"I grew up in a great musical household, but they never forced it on me," he explained. "I always sang and just enjoyed music and that aspect of life. I think that after a matter of time I just realized it and accepted it."
One thing that stands out about Carroll's music is his songwriting. He writes crisp, descriptive lyrics that flow and blend wonderfully with the music. Never one to be hung up with genres, he moves fluidly from folk to soul to blues to pop.

"I think artistically speaking it's a little bit pigeonholding to talk about influences because I don't think about that stuff too much as much as what's right for the song while I'm doing it and while I'm performing."

His work is beginning to get noticed from the industry as well. He was one of a few songwriters chosen to be a part of the BMI 2007 Contemporary Professional Songwriting Workshop, which ran for eight weeks in New York City this past spring.

The upcoming record will feature 11 original songs and should be released in either August or September. It is being released throughout the UK on the Orchid Music label and available everywhere online.

"I feel really good about the album," said Carroll. "I think it's really strong material and the performances are great. We had a lot of fun making every song. We are planning to get out on the road to open for some big acts in the later half of this year."

Ben Carroll will be performing a solo set at the Black Potatoe Music Festival in Clinton on Sunday, July 15th. He'll be at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on the 16th and at The Paradise Lounge in Boston on the 17th.
For more information, visit his websites at www.bencarroll.com or
www.myspace.com/bencarrollmusic



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State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.


"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!










Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


MUSIC

New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


THEATRE

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm







DANCE

PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events
























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