Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

Recorded for the most recent edition of Sarasota Day and the HuB‘s Stairwell Sessions. Featuring me on guitar, vocals and upright bass, and John Patti on percussion and steel pan. Thanks to Julie Brown, Scotty Felsenfield, and everyone else who helped put this together.

If you want to purchase the studio version of this song from my new album of the same name, you can grab it on iTunes and CDBaby.


PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE GOING! Some of these listings may be outdated and are constantly changing.




  • Pastry Art Cafe – Open Mic, 7-10pm. (info)




Why I Put Together This List:

Sarasota, FL is a really great city for music, especially considering it’s relatively small size. I have so many friends that are making a living playing music in a way that is simply not possible in other parts of the country. Yes, there are huge problems with the city’s and county’s noise ordinances. Yes, the bigger established clubs can be a little “covers” oriented. However, people like the project are making big progress on both these accounts, and every year I return to find a new crop of incredible musicians moving into town or making their way onto the circuit. I’ve been extremely lucky to take over as host at the long-running SKOB Open Mic.


It has been an incredible way for me personally to network, shed new tunes, ‘audition’ new potential players, and test my skills as a bandleader. More importantly, it functions as a type of an incubator for musicians, combining new players to town, older players looking to get back into it, guitarists who don’t sing with singers who don’t play, etc. I have been honored to help guide this process as both an observer and a participant.

In this spirit, I have compiled the above list of Open Mics and Open Jams in Sarasota, in the hopes of encouraging developing musicians, budding songwriters, traveling professionals form out of town, and established players seeking the final piece of their band ‘puzzle’. Whether you’re a pro with a night off, an amateur seeking improvement from an encouraging audience, or a music lover who understands the “next big thing” is probably actually tuning his guitar in your local bar down the street, come out and support local music at some of these events and let’s keep this one big awesome happy musical family.

Much love! Come say hi on Tuesday!


Got a Gig! (Trombone Success Kid)

Posted: November 21, 2012 in Off-Topic
Tags: , , ,

Got a Gig! (Trombone Success Kid)

My take on the classic success kid meme.


I am super excited to be taking over as host of this awesome Tuesday night event at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar. From 7-11pm, bring your instrument, voice, ears and thirst for beer and good times to come rock with us! I am keeping this a very positive space where people are free to share all styles of music, from hip-hop to hipster shoe-gaze to hoe-downs. It’s all good, if it’s coming from the heart! So far we’ve had MC’s, Trombones, Steel Pans and Electric Banjos. Oh, guitars too! PA will be provided, along with a rotating selection of instruments. “Like” it at to get updates on various rockstars who will be showing up, etc. Hope to see you there!

Early pre-dinner set at a highschool friend’s wedding at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, VT. I’m playing a Godin Multiac Nylon SA Guitar into my Bose L1 Model 2 PA System, using a Boomerang III Loop Station, BOSS OC-3 Octave Pedal, and 3 Excedrin (thanks Joe) for the worst migraine I’ve literally ever had.

Video by the lovely folks at Saint Phalle Photo.


Friend and fellow McGill / Effusion Alum Jon Day continues to simultaneously inspire and infuriate me with his boundless talent. Check out this live video and buy all of his discs, they will be some of the best music you’ve ever owned.

As most of you are fully aware I just released my first Live CD/DVD “Solo at Stone Mt Arts Center” which I had manufactured by Discmakers. I used them for my last release as well, “[Reasonably] Honest”, and just as with last time I was extremely pleased with the results. Quick turn-around, pleasant staff, lots of options, and a quality product. The only bummer was that the seam of the shrink-wrapping ended up directly over my cool QR barcode on the back of the disc case, making it far less usable. However, I didn’t notice this until recently, and it wasn’t worth complaining as it was a very small mistake.

Anyways, as a bonus for having them replicate your disc they have teamed up with TAXI, a company dedicated to helping independent artists obtain “record, publishing and TV/film deals”. TAXI is quite an expensive service, and I haven’t decided to sign up with them yet, but I appreciate full-well the value of their service and it is definitely something on my radar. This is the second time, via Discmakers, that they have provided me with a free sample feedback form on one of my songs. I am very pleased with their critique of “Worst Kind of Perfect”; appreciate the compliments and agree with the suggestions. Here is a quote below:

“Ben, what immediately stands out if your formidable talent and musical skills. The playing is tasty throughout, and your vocals are delivered with lots of soul. Great job taking advantage of your wide range and improvising abilities! The chord progression has some sophisticated changes. The melodies feel good, though as noted you might have shifted to a higher range to add to the contrast of the chorus. Lyrically, you’ve got some colorful imagery. Also, you express an easily relatable idea with a fresh angle. It does seem a touch confusing that she “fits perfectly with me”, but then “but not quite”. Could maybe use a bit more clarity. Overall, impressive work here! You sound like you’ve got music in your blood. Thanks for checking in with TAXI, and best of luck with the CD!!!”.

I have to say, great idea with raising the range for the chorus to add contrast to that section, I think I’ll play around with that. Regarding the lyric suggestion, I think that might be a great example of me initially writing one lyric on paper “she’d fit perfectly, but not with me not quite yet”, and over time losing track of some of the tenses and pronouns, eventually morphing into “she fits perfectly but not with me not quite yet”. The original line “she’d fit” still might be a tad confusing, but definitely clearer than what got recorded… agree?