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Benefit for Tennessee U. S. Senate candidate

Ben Folds will co-headline a campaign fundraising event for Tennessee Democratic U. S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen on August 20. Sharing the stage at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works will be singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.

The evening event, being called Our Country, Our Future, includes Delta Rae in support of the former two-term Tennessee governor making his bid for the U. S. Senate in the fall election. Bredesen and his challenger, Republican U. S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, recently won their parties’ primary elections. While no Democrat has been elected to the Senate from Tennessee since Al Gore in 1990, Bredesen, who considers himself a moderate, holds a slight lead in polling against Blackburn in the race. They’re vying to fill the seat currently held by Republican Bob Corker, who announced his retirement from the Senate last year.

Folds, no stranger to politics, endorsed U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination ahead of the Michigan primary in 2016. Sanders won Michigan but fell short nationally to Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Ben Folds added to Music City Walk of Fame

Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame – home to stars like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams – gets a new resident in August as Ben Folds is one of four music industry luminaries to receive a star on the famed walk.

Folds has been honored not just for his musical accomplishments but for his support for the music business in his adopted home town. (more…)

Summer evenings with Ben Folds

Ben’s summer schedule this year unites him with alt-rockers Cake on a month-long tour of east coast and midwest festival venues. The An Evening with Cake and Ben Folds mini-tour will play shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Queens, the Jersey Shore, Columbia, Md., Richmond, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee.

The two are a compatible match, according to Ben: “Cake – my rough contemporaries, comrades and heroes – to me, they make universal, poetic, identifiable music with a groove. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I’m proud as punch to be on tour with them this summer.” He’s also thrilled to have Boston-based electro-funk duo Tall Heights on the bill as openers, and encourages fans to get there early.

He’ll also do a show with the Grand Rapids Symphony and a solo evening at the Bay View Festival in Petoskey, Michigan. Info is available on our Tour Dates page.

Majosha, then and now

If the names Eddie Walker, Evan Olson, Snüzz Uzzell and Millard Powers aren’t as familiar as those of Darren Jessee or Sam Smith, you’ll want to take a look back in the musical history of Ben Folds to his early days bouncing around the North Carolina music scene.

A feature article, A Ben Folds Lovefest, in the Greensboro, N.C. weekly Triad City Beat this week has a great overview of how Ben got into the music business, the friends he involved and met along the way, and some of the crazy gigs they played.

Reading Brian Clarey’s feature helps to explain the origin of many of Folds’ iconic songs like Army, where Ben drops out of school and forms a band which he subsequently gets kicked out of. It goes into Ben’s multi-instrumental abilities, with onetime bandmate Evan Olson describing how quickly Ben could learn a new instrument. And Olson’s not surprised at how many times Folds’ musical career has evolved, having realized at the time that Majosha was an “ephemeral project” but that it was time to move on.

The article concludes with a wrapup on what Ben’s original bandmates are currently up to.

There’s more about Ben Folds Five and the early days in our original Ben Folds Five website, still available using the link in the column to the right.

The Ben Folds Havana Getaway

foldscuba400In what is probably a first for an American musical artist, Ben Folds will be leading a four-day music and culture tour of the formerly off-limits (to US citizens, anyway) island nation of Cuba next May.

Called The Ben Folds Havana Getaway, the tour takes guests on a trip around the capital city and environs, featuring a private concert by Ben and another performance with some of Cuba’s top musicians. Also included are visits to Havana’s art galleries, museums, architecture and cultural institutions, a tour in one of the classic 1950s American convertibles that Cuba is famous for preserving, cigar and rum tastings, and special events revolving around Ben’s passion for fine arts photography.

The event, packaged by Cuba Arts Live!, takes place May 25-29. Cost ranges from $3,199 per person and up, with a couples rate of $6,199, and includes ground transportation, lodging, meals, events and concerts. Participants need to arrange their own air travel, visas and insurance, which can be arranged through the event’s travel agent. Also not included are incidentals, side trips, souvenirs and any extended stay expenses.

Registration opens Friday, December 16 and there is a discount for registering prior to December 31. Full information can be found here.