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Ben Bostick's rootsy, self-titled debut embraces the heart and soul of Americana

Simply Fantastic Music
The eponymous debut from roots musician Ben Bostick.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Rusty's Score
5
5 Rustys

ALBUM REVIEW: Ben Bostick – Ben Bostick (Simply Fantastic Music) 2017

For some odd reason, I recently pulled out my CD copy of the 1981 soundtrack to The Dukes of Hazzard TV series. And while it features Waylon Jennings’ classic “Good Ol’ Boys,” although performed by Boss Hogg actor Sorrell Booke, Jennings’ influence is felt through the music and the laid-back and somewhat goofy vibe - an album that includes Johnny Cash performing a song about the Duke boys' '69 Dodge Charger, "The General Lee." Wow!

Not long after giving it a spin (a remastered version of that soundtrack features Jennings’ version of “Good Ol’ Boys” and his duet with Willie Nelson, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”), I finally took a chance on a CD that came across my desk by a new Americana artist named Ben Bostick.

I really wasn’t ready for what I was to hear from Bostick’s self-titled debut album (coming on the heels of 2016’s EP My Country). It’s a damn good record, and totally in the vein of Jennings’ classic material. In fact, if a Dukes of Hazzard-esque show was looking for a faceless balladeer to narrate the show, Ben Bostick should be the first choice.

Bostick really has great chops and is an utter songwriting talent. The real deal. And all in that outlaw country style that seems to be finally coming back in vogue after several decades of pretty boy “bro-country,” with a few exceptions.

The Beaufort, South Carolina native, who makes California his home these days (busking on the Santa Monica Pier, as it turns out), is more Townes Van Zandt than Hootie & The Blowfish. Bostick understands that great lyrics, paired with dynamite musicians, is a recipe for seriously solid music. 

Bostick wisely featured producer John Would (Fiona Apple, Warren Zevon) behind the board to co-produce Ben Bostick – and to great effect. Each instrument – acoustic guitar to harmonica to piano to fiddle, and more – pops out of the speakers, sweetening the songs coming from Bostick’s buttery baritone that, well, is utterly reminiscent of ol’ Waylon.

The opening track on this 10-song disc, “Independence Day Eve,” gets things off to a simmering start, while getting into bouncy, countrified Jerry Reed territory on "Paid My Dues" which at times reminds me of Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere."

“Supposed To" and the amusing number "The Juggler" are standout tracks for their explicit honesty and poetry. And on "Paper Football," there is a delicate beauty amidst the sadness and loss.

We are very excited to learn of this new and authentic roots/Americana artist, who isn't afraid to let his hair down and have some serious fun. He isn't just some good ol' boy. Ben Bostick is the real McCoy.

Ben Bostick will have its official release on July 7, 2017.

To learn more about Ben Bostick, check out his website at www.benbostick.com.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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