Stylish, original, classic country, gentlemanly honky tonk, indie rock/folk, French cafe-style tunes, and more, all from one troubadour:
All albums below are available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and wherever streaming music is available!
(2003) Mostly recorded after Ben survived the reality of the Austin scene, adapted, and began his time of musical prosperity, this record shines light on his distinct croon, reminiscent of Chet Baker, his wide ranging songwriting palette, and his work with truly talented and committed musicians.
Ray Strucker, principal member of The Triggermen Horns, took Ben's rootsy, skiffle eclecticism and turned it into what he calls Cowboy Bop. By contributing to a striking similarity to Western Swing gods Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Ray and trombone player Scott Davis took Ben Bell & The Triggermen to more visible shows, new audiences, and more than one club residency.
Bryan C. Reese: One of Ben's best friends ever, Bry "Ukulele Boy" Reese immediately cemented a lasting role as the groups snare drummer with brushes, his natural and glorious vocal harmony, his wicked sense of humor (onstage and off), and his near genius-level of musical creativity. Bry is identified on the original release as band MVP.
James Elmo "Jes" Sproat: He and Ben fought and loved like brothers and enemies. His upright bass playing made what was originally a trio something much more than a folk act. Jes immediately latched onto Ben's Buddy Holly energy and truly laid down the bass: four on the floor, swinging, even audacious. The truly trained musician of the trio part of the group, Jes nonetheless valued rock and roll, originality, and coloring outside the lines.
Ben played nylon string guitar during this time to differentiate himself as more in line with Willie Nelson than the rough and gruff , three chord, Texas outlaw sound that dominates that scene. This record is his punk rock expression at the time. Jes and Bry made sure of it!
(2007) This last Austin album of his shows Ben's musical education and growth, as a working musician in Texas, and first foray into indie rock, 60's surfy sounds, a more contemporary Americana country sound, and a deeper dive into originality in trad jazz.
The key players:
Howard Gloor: Fender Telecaster and pedal steel
Kirk Schafer: upright bass
Kevin Chubirka: drums, recording engineer
Erin Bobruk: ethereal harmonies on Go and Ride
Seymour Guenther: upright bass and harmonies
That's Ben on ukulele and upright bass on a couple of tracks
Stardust Floor is an old song of mine, available on Ben's 2007 "Blue Album," describing a unique country dance floor. This group captures that needed swinging sound with intentional, expressive restraint. New Orleans musician, Ben Herrington, said "Gin and Tonic" sounded like "folk for swingers," so there you go.
Ben: Singer/Songwriter/Acoustic Guitar
Kathryn “Kat” Carlson: Upright Bass
Robert Reynolds: Drums
Ben Herrington: Piano, Organ, Accordion
Recorded Live and Produced by Denton Hatcher, Blue Velvet Studios, Baton Rouge, La, 2019.
Ben: Singer/Songwriter/Acoustic Guitar
Ed White: Upright Bass
Neil Cato: Snare and Brushes
Sam Boykin Short: Telecaster Guitar
A hot alt-country and rockabilly outfit, from 2009-2014, that kept the Baton Rouge dance floors moving, toes tapping, and supplying the country music people want more of.
I am a man of much experience, some learning, and a deep devotion to the craft of folk singing, guitar playing, and songwriting. I practice being a musician's musician and diggable to men and women of all ages. After years of exploring roots music, literature, philosophy, and the broken road of life, I have grown into myself and found both a modern and manly approach to my music. I am finally the songwriter and performer I can be at peace with. A lot of vintage music, Buddy Holly, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, a swinging, vintage beach vibe, much classic country and button-down folk, part trad jazz and skiffle, part indie-rock and 70's blue eyed soul, Beatles, Bob Dylan, and acoustic Neil Young, and largely inspired by the performance of that American Master, Willie Nelson, I can pick and croon to while you either sip your lemonade, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, or sip whisky with your loved one by firelight and keep you entertained. My heart and soul are based upon a melody. Melodies are what drive me. As the Greeks well knew, such is the essence of tragedy.
Mostly love songs, my lyrics are imbued with an awareness of fragile love and my wandering way of life. You will hear country lyrics, romantic balladry, and vintage references that you or your ancestors grew up with. One song will hearken back to Roger Miller, another to soulful, train beat Americana, Rodney Crowell, or even indie rock and folk like Neko Case, M. Ward, and the Cactus Blossoms. Ameripolitan is more like it, but that, too, is limiting.
"Folk" is where someone develops a unique style and works within it, so I just call myself an indie version of that and consider myself thankful for the palette I can draw from. My goal as a singer/guitarist/songwriter is simply to transport the audience through music and myself on stage.
Completely comfortable and oftentimes preferring to play solo, I can also play with a great group of soulful and skilled musicians. I look forward to the chance to play for you, be with you, and entertain you for a while!
Having been a working Austin musician and, at times, traveling through Texas, I moved to Baton Rouge, met my future bride, and happily settled there. I studied to become a Library Scientist, and after several years, I had the opportunity to work as one at The University of West Florida, in Pensacola, and thoroughly love its vibe.