Let me start by saying that this post is a labour of love for me. Ever since I picked up a copy of a Communion Records compilation cd on the front of one of the music magazines I have been enchanted by the voice and music of Benjamin Francis Leftwich.
The debut album, Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm was released in July 2011 and since I bought it in early 2012, it has never been far from the cd player and is a constant companion both on my ipod and iphone.
Ben has stated that his favourite albums are Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen and Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams. You can certainly hear the influences in his debut album.
Ben toured the whole of the UK to support the release of Last Smoke. He even played Swansea but I was ill on the day of the gig and I was gutted that I couldn't attend - so he's still on my 'Must See' list. This tour culminated in a brilliant set at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
The whole album is just totally gorgeous and full of gentle, melodic songs.
But this is my favourite track from the album, Butterfly Culture
In October 2012, Ben released an EP called In The Open which contained four new songs, which apparently won't be on the next album. They show a slightly never direction that I hope Ben will follow for album 2.
Ben has also been known to record various cover versions from artists such as Arcade Fire, Tom Petty and others.
Sadly, last year, Ben's father passed away, which put a hold on his plans for the rest of the year. He has been pretty quiet over the last year or so and I await the release of any new material with bated breath.
Ben also co-wrote this song by Cascada
Ben working on album 2 -May 2013
(Pics Courtesy of Ben's Facebook page)
So here's hoping Ben has a great 2014 and I for one will welcome him back with open arms.
Twitter - @BenLeftwich