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IN QUOTES

Arnold returns with his sixth LP, Lost Keys, and it’s a sleek and soulful work from a refined tunesmith. The brass arrangements paired with his husky baritone recall The Afghan Whigs’ New Orleans-rooted LP 1965; his self-described “sad guy drinking alone at the bar” ballads .(“Nobody Hurtin’ Like Me”) have a bit of Closing Time-era Tom Waits in them; and his pop nuggets are impossibly poppy, like the Randy Newman-esque bounce of “Stupid Love” that, I guarantee you, will be stuck in your head in the best possible way! -John Vettese (WXPN/The Key)

Ben Arnold has an effectively grizzled, cobwebbed voice and a jones for stories linking underdogs to top dogs. As a singer, the Philadelphia resident slid, stabbed and pleaded. As a pianist, he bounded, shadowboxed and threatened to break into boogie woogie… Arnold looks like Rick Danko, sings somewhere between Levon Helm and Richard Manuel, rollicks like Garth Hudson and testifies like Robbie Robertson.”  - Geoff Gehman (Sellersville Theater Critic)

"Arnold has an ear for coy harmonic twists and trenchant insinuating refrains" -Tom Moon (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Better than half the music available today". -FMQB Triple A Radio Monthly

"One of the very finest artists on MP3.com" -Michaels Robertson - MP3.com Founder

"Ben Arnold is like a musical Rocky, ready to take on any level of competition." -People Magazine

"Here is an impressive artist making inroads" -Billboard Magazine

The new Cd offers a great opportunity to discover, in a very intimate way, an artist who is making music that matters" -John Porter (Performing Songwriter Magazine)

"If rock artists were judged purely on the basis of quality songwriting and musical arrangement, then Ben Arnold would be somewhere near the top of anybody's list. Whether the themes are personal or universal, Ben's songs are tinged with a depth of feeling and a sense of true humanity which confirm his status as a real rock poet." -A fan from the UK

"Arnold's rangy melodies make him an artist to remember“ Rolling Stone

"Move over John Mayer. You too, Jack Johnson. There's a new lyrical lad in town. The new laid-back, throaty vocalist sounds like he is here to stay." - Jason Sklar (One Way Magazine)

"Ben Arnold's songs flow smoothly, without a hitch or lull." - Mike Joyce (The Washington Post)

"#6 on Top Ten Christmas song list "Reindeer Game" - Dan DeLuca (Phila. Inquirer)

"The thing about this group of musicians is that what they do looks effortless and joyful. It's as big a part of the show as the notes they play. It's truly an engaging experience and one I suggest you not miss." - Roberta Perry (The Examiner)

Philadelphia Inquirer

The streets of Philadelphia are littered with young bands and solo bards who ended their journey because success was improbable or fleeting, the road is rough, and making real art on a regular basis is difficult. 

Not Roxborough-born Ben Arnold, though.

He's a lifer - a sensitive troubadour dude who has traveled and travailed, making his solo way through the independent-label, singer-songwriter world since 1993's Soar. He's lived to tell the tale of being signed to Ruffhouse/Columbia (1995's Almost Speechless). He's survived - and thrived, it seems.

Consider his most rounded, highly orchestrated album, Lost Keys, whose release party is tonight at Underground Arts.

"I'm calling the night 'Ben Arnold with the 48 Hour Orchestra' because I can only afford to do two shows with them," Arnold says with a chuckle, referring to an unusually big band (for him) that includes lead guitarist Eric Bazilian, percussionist Fred Berman, the Jay Davidson Horns, and the Sarah Larsen Strings.

Lost Keys is either a bold anomaly in Arnold's 23-year-old catalog or a grand redirection, as only 2010's Simplify benefits as much from rich, honeyed orchestration as does this new album.

"Doing Lost Keys was like writing a theater piece with certain instrumentation in mind while penning each song," Arnold says of Keys' full, late '60s/early 70's Funk Brothers/Wrecking Crew sound, and its production. "I spent countless hours working and reworking every word, tempo, every piano, horn and string part, the backing vocals, even my own vocal delivery."

Not so much a pastiche as it is Arnold's version of an Apollo Theater variety show, songs such as "Stupid Love" or "Cannonball" touch on Ray Charles' penchant for horn blasts and run-on sentences, while "Don't Wanna Lose Ya" has a Brill Building feel, and the French horn-y "When Love Fades Away" could be a Gamble and Huff Sound of Philadelphia outtake. Throughout the new album, Arnold seems to eschew his past folksy singing style for something more sensual.

"I've always had a clear affinity for soul music and a bluesier take on singing," Arnold says. "I think I've been looking for the right songs to express that part of my voice for a long time."

Lost Keys is a far cry from Arnold's rough, folkier albums with their emotionally sensitive lyrics. It's also different than what Arnold does when he sits in with local bands such as US Rails or the agit-prop Pistol for Ringo.

"Every other record is a different party," says Arnold, noting that 2013's poppy Circle 'Round the Sun and 2004's Calico were more like casual get-togethers with friends, with zero pre-production - "a lot of great artistic spirit and booze." Other Arnold albums such as 1999's In Case I'm Gone Tomorrow and 2008's Solo are sparer still, while heavy on the creaky, personal rumination.

"I think in many of my prior releases, I was speaking from, or talking about, matters of the heart very often in what might have been a too serious or too emotional tone," Arnold observes coolly of the singer-songwriter tag. "I got sick of hearing myself whine. I think I've lost a lot of that here for Lost Keys."

WXPN-The Key

 

Philadelphia’s own Ben Arnold poured his heart and soul into the crowd at World Cafe Live’s Free at Noon Concert today. He was backed by his 48 Hour Orchestra, gearing up for the upcoming show and release party for his new record Lost Keys.

The scene was a little different since Ben last visited WXPN for his Key Studio Session just a few weeks back. The full 12-piece orchestra band behind him brought a new light to his hearty music, booming with brass and strings sections, lighting up each song with energy and emphasizing on the intricate arrangements. His new tunes like “Detroit People” had more power behind them, with the orchestra bringing out the root emotions of the songs. While he labeled “Nobody’s Hurtin’ Like Me” as a “depressed, drinking alone song,” his lively performance was reflected in the crowd, radiating with spirit and excitement.

Sonic Rendezvous

"Lost Keys is Ben Arnolds 8th solo album presenting a complex, convincing set of 10 songs ranging from blue-eyed soul and piano rock to eastcoast-style blue collar rock with ingredients from blues, funk and Memphis pop. This is a mature, relaxed collection oozing experience and musical know-how with its positive groovy vibe. The artist describes Lost Keys as an homage to the golden years of Motown, Stax, Philly soul and doo wop - indeed! Songs like the opener "Stupid Love" or "One Heart" with their lush orchestral arrangements recall a River-era Springsteen, 60s Tamla Motown beat and the dancefloor atmosphere of 70s Philly sound at the same time. The funky "Cannonball" and the energetic "Detroit People" could have been sung by Joe Cocker in the 80s, "Freedom" is beautiful crooner soul pop not unlike Michael McDonald and the closing number "When Love Fades Away" has the groovy DNA of a classic Hall & Oates hit. Ben Arnolds voice is clearly his strongest asset, at times evoking comparisons to Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Delbert McClinton, Randall Bramblett or even Procol Harums Gary Brooker."

Control Alt-Country

(4 ****)

A small eternity ago now here we fell in love with "Almost speechless", the debut of the Philadelphia, PA coming singer-songwriter Ben Arnold. On a single one somewhere on the mid nineties by a local free newspaper distributed collector standing song we had more than enough for this man's immense talents were already beginning to recognize. That first had and we would have as soon as possible.And we enjoyed it also! As subsequent records as "Calico" and "Nevermind My Blues" also. Arnold's work with artists and collectives such as 4 Way Street and more recently U.S. Rails. His contributions to the group with Scott Bricklin, Joseph Parsons, Tom Gillam and Matt Muir were perhaps, to him a new record deal with the German Blue Rose Records headway. And his first house that we have restored the confidence to fingers and thumbs of licking. Just wonderful, what with a wonderful soulful voice drawling blessed them with apparent ease Arnold elements from such diverse genres as pop, roots and swamp rock, folk, R & B and to a lesser extent, funk and blues to blend with each other knows. In this way, his seventh one kind of roots-total package, which had a true Southerner would suggest someone with his roots in "Philly." More than once wandered in the direction of our thoughts here Muscle Shoals. And then especially during the quieter moments. We think for example of the slow glowing "O 'Holy Ghost', to the downright iaans Hiatt-called" Slow Learner "or the nice staid funky title track. Other highlights are absolute: it a little bit like the ideal soundtrack to the recent summer day agitating opening track, the Thumper "Depend On Love", it really rete-catching, particularly as successful by a combination of piano and guitars supercharged "Baby , Let The Tears Roll Down, "the swampy sounding cautious" Love Do not Lie ", with much feeling of the piano brought groovy cover Lennon-" Watching The Wheels "and the handsome, again placing emphasis on deep South-model manufactured ballad "Fishin '". With that kind of songs does Arnold "this time around" a stab at the hearts of lovers of the material of boys as Delbert McClinton, John Hiatt said the equally, Randall Bramblett, even Dylan. Great album!

Rock Times

I called Ben Arnold had never heard before, was again one of my fallacies. He was not only discussed by me as a guest of Tom Gillam album Never Look Back of the party, he is me of course, already a member of the U.S. Rails come under the eyes and ears. Arnold is from the Philadelphia scene, has already a good handful of solo albums to answer for, and was once even on the go in the first division when he was major-label contract took. As there published album "Almost Speechless" (1995), however, not reached the desired sales figures, he was again dropped a hot potato like.

Thus, Ben Arnold to this day by his music while living (which is also an achievement is already), is on the immediate environment of Philadelphia but also not well known. With the "Simplify" he already puts his seventh album under his own name before, made ​​possible by the Blue Rose label, which the Americans at the last European tour of the U.S. Rails crack under the nail. And that was good, asArnold puts here and by great rock album in front of the great songs, intricate arrangements and a great singer has.

We will receive at "Depend On Love" with a quick beaten acoustic guitar, harmonica and a supplementary class-Soul-soaked rasp of the vocal acrobats. Since pressure is behind it, the vocal melodies are catchy and the earthy, warm sound is provided immediately for a very positive impression. A strong mid-tempo groover in the area is "Baby Let the Tears Roll Down," in which drummer Matt Muir and Zach Djanikian provide the foundation. Every now and then, as for example, to "Fishin '" recalls Ben Arnold with his singing style (less in the texts) to the veteran Randy Newman . That these two musicians in addition to the vocals and mostly black and white keys serve, is another common.

"O 'Holy Ghost" is another of those items, the great songwriting and the hoarse voice of the protagonist bands shine through. Where it would be unfair to almost a different piece on the other to make or that there really hit the bank have been delivered here. Ten of the eleven tracks were written by Arnold , as a cover song, he has John Lennon's book "Watching the Wheels" from his album "Double Fantasy", 1980) showing (on which he also excels. Class, that the ex- Beatle , so typical minor chords on the piano and just as strong is Arnold's voice, the good deal of feeling is equipped with one.

You could write a paragraph each track on. "Upstate New York Whiteout" is a pretty brisk shuffle, the snow and storms of the sometimes very bitter winter in upstate New York describes. "Slow Learner" shines as a great successful piano ballad that once again to Randy Newman remembered and also a great guitar solo features. The title track groove once more as fluid down before giving me always brings a smile to the lips, Hammond chirps and creaks in the background while Arnold for the simple things in life longing for.

In "Breakfast For Dinner" ( Newman can greet once more) gives us the good Ben winking an insight into the eating habits in the house of Arnold , even here yet supported wonderfully by brass, the uptempo numbers bring home the bomb-proof. There is no failure to report. If one strikes would threaten me, then I would have to "Depend On Love", "O 'Holy Ghost", "Upstate New York Whiteout" or Watching the Wheels "as a face-off call tips.

It can be a conclusion only be: with "Simplify" is Ben Arnold than average, the mainstream tinged rock album succeeded one that by strong songwriting, warm as groovy sound, sophisticated arrangements, great musicians, and finally with the protagonist of a very has good singer, whose rough body for the required corners and edges provide. And perhaps comes Arnold yes sometimes solo across the Atlantic, these songs cry out then, live on stage to be played.

Hooked On Music

 

Wer ein gutes Gedächtnis hat und stets interessiert die Liner-Notes seiner Alben liest, wird sich an Ben Arnold erinnern, der einst im Jahre 2003 mit seinen Philadelphia-Kumpels die Combo 4 WAY STREET formierte und ein hübsches, wenn auch wenig beachtetes, Album veröffentlichte. Arnold schob sich dann im vergangenen Jahr mit der neu formierten sogenannten Supergroup U.S.RAILS ein wenig mehr in den Vordergrund, zumindest innerhalb des Dunstkreises einschlägiger Blue Rose Records Fans.
Nun, was so ein richtiger Profi ist, ruht sich nicht großartig auf seinen Lorbeeren aus, sondern schreibt neue Songs, geht für ein paar Tage ins Studio (hier: 3 Tage) und nimmt die frischen Tracks mit einer kongenialen Begleittruppe schnurstracks auf. Ben Arnold, der ein wenig unscheinbar wirkende Multiinstrumentalist, legt mit seinem Blue Rose Records Debut "Simplify" tatsächlich schon sein insgesamt siebtes Soloalbum vor. Alle Achtung. Schön, dass wir das jetzt in Deutschland auch mal mitkriegen.
Letztlich hat der Künstler hier aus der Not eine Tugend gemacht, denn wer im ungleich härter gewordenen Pop- bzw- Rockbusiness etwas mehr verdienen möchte, muss sich entweder ziemlich entblößen, wenn nicht gar prostituieren oder eine auf der Schmalspur dahin glitschende Musik produzieren. Das kann Ben Arnold nicht, oder besser gesagt, das möchte er nicht.
Arnold bleibt also bei seinen ureigenen Musikertugenden, veröffentlicht Platten, die zunächst dem Herzen und der Seele des Musikers entspringen und mit ein bisschen Glück auch einem mehr oder weniger großen Haufen von Fans gefällt und hält sich mit niveauvoller Qualitätsmusik über Wasser. Nicht umsonst titelt sein neuestes Opus "Simplify". Wie sagt Ben so treffend im Titelsong seiner Scheibe: "Don't really need to be famous, my record high on the charts, I'm happy to sing with a couple of strings on a beat old pawn shop guitar. I gotta simplify, everything's so complicated, multiplied and decorated." 
Richtig, Ben, man kann die Sache auch mit Gelassenheit angehen. Diese Entspanntheit findet sich auch in Arnolds Album wieder, das sich tief in die musikalischen Traditionen der Südstaaten-Zentren Memphis, Austin und New Orleans gräbt, um mit der Essenz dieser Musikmetropolen ein hausgemachtes Gumbo zu kreieren. Southern-Soul, R&B und wohldosierter Pop halten hier als alles bestimmende Zutaten her. Ben Arnold und seine gewitzte und versierte Truppe machen das nicht auf sonderlich spektakuläre Art ud Weise sondern eher locker und mit der ausgefuchsten Selbstverständlichkeit und Souveränität über Jahre gewachsener Routine. Guter Groove. Vollblutmusiker eben. Das hört man direkt heraus. Not bad, not bad.
Ben Arnolds Stimme birgt hier einen besonderen Reiz, klingt er doch mit seiner seelenvollen Raspelstimme wie eine interessante Mischung aus jungem Joe Cocker, John Hiatt ohne Knödelfaktor, Randy Newman nach ausuferndem Gesangsunterricht, gepaart mit ein paar Reminiszenzen an Southside Johnny bzw. auch Huey Lewis. Alles wunderbar inbrünstig und mit heiserem Timbre vorgetragen. 
"Simplify", ein Album für jede Tages-und Nachtzeit. Nicht aufdringlich, sondern einfach nur schwer sympathisch. Mehr davon. Ben Arnold kommt übrigens bald auf Deutschland-Tour.

Wer ein gutes Gedächtnis hat und stets interessiert die Liner-Notes seiner Alben liest, wird sich an Ben Arnold erinnern, der einst im Jahre 2003 mit seinen Philadelphia-Kumpels die Combo 4 WAY STREET formierte und ein hübsches, wenn auch wenig beachtetes, Album veröffentlichte. Arnold schob sich dann im vergangenen Jahr mit der neu formierten sogenannten Supergroup U.S.RAILS ein wenig mehr in den Vordergrund, zumindest innerhalb des Dunstkreises einschlägiger Blue Rose Records Fans.
Nun, was so ein richtiger Profi ist, ruht sich nicht großartig auf seinen Lorbeeren aus, sondern schreibt neue Songs, geht für ein paar Tage ins Studio (hier: 3 Tage) und nimmt die frischen Tracks mit einer kongenialen Begleittruppe schnurstracks auf. Ben Arnold, der ein wenig unscheinbar wirkende Multiinstrumentalist, legt mit seinem Blue Rose Records Debut "Simplify" tatsächlich schon sein insgesamt siebtes Soloalbum vor. Alle Achtung. Schön, dass wir das jetzt in Deutschland auch mal mitkriegen.
Letztlich hat der Künstler hier aus der Not eine Tugend gemacht, denn wer im ungleich härter gewordenen Pop- bzw- Rockbusiness etwas mehr verdienen möchte, muss sich entweder ziemlich entblößen, wenn nicht gar prostituieren oder eine auf der Schmalspur dahin glitschende Musik produzieren. Das kann Ben Arnold nicht, oder besser gesagt, das möchte er nicht.
Arnold bleibt also bei seinen ureigenen Musikertugenden, veröffentlicht Platten, die zunächst dem Herzen und der Seele des Musikers entspringen und mit ein bisschen Glück auch einem mehr oder weniger großen Haufen von Fans gefällt und hält sich mit niveauvoller Qualitätsmusik über Wasser. Nicht umsonst titelt sein neuestes Opus "Simplify". Wie sagt Ben so treffend im Titelsong seiner Scheibe: "Don't really need to be famous, my record high on the charts, I'm happy to sing with a couple of strings on a beat old pawn shop guitar. I gotta simplify, everything's so complicated, multiplied and decorated." Richtig, Ben, man kann die Sache auch mit Gelassenheit angehen. Diese Entspanntheit findet sich auch in Arnolds Album wieder, das sich tief in die musikalischen Traditionen der Südstaaten-Zentren Memphis, Austin und New Orleans gräbt, um mit der Essenz dieser Musikmetropolen ein hausgemachtes Gumbo zu kreieren. Southern-Soul, R&B und wohldosierter Pop halten hier als alles bestimmende Zutaten her. Ben Arnold und seine gewitzte und versierte Truppe machen das nicht auf sonderlich spektakuläre Art ud Weise sondern eher locker und mit der ausgefuchsten Selbstverständlichkeit und Souveränität über Jahre gewachsener Routine. Guter Groove. Vollblutmusiker eben. Das hört man direkt heraus. Not bad, not bad.Ben Arnolds Stimme birgt hier einen besonderen Reiz, klingt er doch mit seiner seelenvollen Raspelstimme wie eine interessante Mischung aus jungem Joe Cocker, John Hiatt ohne Knödelfaktor, Randy Newman nach ausuferndem Gesangsunterricht, gepaart mit ein paar Reminiszenzen an Southside Johnny bzw. auch Huey Lewis. Alles wunderbar inbrünstig und mit heiserem Timbre vorgetragen. "Simplify", ein Album für jede Tages-und Nachtzeit. Nicht aufdringlich, sondern einfach nur schwer sympathisch. Mehr davon. Ben Arnold kommt übrigens bald auf Deutschland-Tour.

 

Chill Music

Ben Arnold of Philadelphia is one of those talented American singer / songwriter and all-around musicians who are able to achieve with their art daily Brotwerwerb and a good reputation among peers and fans have given to the local level, but where the really big breakthrough to higher orders still to come. After Ben Arnold, however, in 2010 with his little Superstar Combo U.S. Rails we created a furore, he has recently also as a solo musician for Blue Rose-growing family.

In the spring of 2011 he will fly for an extensive club tour across the pond, his brand new CD 'Simplify' is planned in time for a Blue Rose label debut and will increase its name recognition instantly!

Ben Arnold's career can be traced to the early 90s, to trace, as he appeared with his friend Joseph Parsons in Coffehouse / club scene in Philadelphia and a first album ('Soar', 1993) in self-distribution could say. As is frequently at that time happened, he was spotted by talent scouts a major label: 'Almost Speechless' was a good piece, published in autumn 1995 Ruffhouse / Columbia and a new, veritable singer / songwriter and keyboard-rocker with sandpaper powerful voice in the broad spectrum between Randy Newman, John Hiatt and Bruce Springsteen and with a very professional pop / rock mainstream production presented. The sales figures were able to maintain high expectations but not state and allowed to fall again immediately - and this was a typical experience of this era. Ben Arnold directed so again in the Independent-terrain and published over the next few years, the CDs 'In Case I'm Gone Tomorrow "(1999),' Calico '(2004),' Solo '(2006) and' Never Mind My Blues' (2007). He caused a stir in 2003/2004 with a first Philly-Singer/Songwriter-Powerpaket called 4 Way Street. Here he met his old companions Joseph Parsons and colleagues Jim Boggia scene and Scott Bricklin in the name of the band, strong CSNY-oriented Harmony / folk pop / rock band. The 2003 CD "Pretzel Park" remained, however back as the main document. As a session musician Ben Arnold was also on albums by Joseph Parsons ("Vagabond Tales', 2005) and Tom Gillam ('Never Look Back', 2007), both with drummer Matt Muir, he was sighted with the indie pop / rockers Pistol For Ringo . All these personal contacts led ultimately to the above-mentioned U.S. Rails project and published in summer 2010 on Blue Rose success record with the same name. In a head band with equal Singer / songwriters Parsons, Gillam, Arnold and Scott Bricklin (plus Matt Muir on drums) Ben Arnold assumes the role of the pianist with attractive Raspelstimme. And it is certainly not an exaggeration to say that just mean his song reviews the salt in the soup Americana at U.S. Rails!

'Simplify', Ben Arnold's seventh Solo work offers a complex, deeply convincing program of 11 pieces, which hung very organic and well-southern between blue-eyed soul, piano rock-style singer / songwriter, R & B, some blues, funk, folk rock and Memphis pop are created and thereby prove sovereignty, calmness and highest musicality as well as send out very positive, groovy signals. With the brisk opening 'Depend On Love', the following title track and the creamy piano ballad 'Slow Learner' it's over the New Orleans groove of 'Love Do not Lie' directly to the Randy Newman-style 'Fishin' and on to the elemental , slowly escalating, from jammigen combination of organ and electric guitar influenced rocker "Woman's Intuition 'and the cool Big City Shuffle' Upstate New York, Whiteout '. Yes, and then there's the grand finale was the only cover number of the album: 'Watching the Wheels' by John Lennon ('Double Fantasy') in a piano-supported, organ-enhanced, slow grooving version, in which many - especially Arnold's singing - to Procol Harum and 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' recalls. Besides like Randy Newman, and Gary Brooker Delbert McClinton, Randall Bramblett, John Hiatt and are sometimes even Bob Dylan as a vocal and musical points of reference.

Was produced 'Simplify' by Arnold and his longtime guitarist Barrie Maguire (The Wallflowers, Amos Lee, Natalie Merchant) in just three days back home in Pennsylvania. Arnold plays mostly piano, but also competent acoustic guitar, electric piano and harmonica, although he will always be measured by its madness voice! The accompaniment comes from his band (Jason Loughlin / guitar, Adam Flicker / organ / trumpet, Zach Djanikian / bass and Matt Muir / drums), and additional studio musicians such as Maguire (electric guitar), Lee Schusterman (piano), Jim Boggia (acoustic guitar) and Mia Johnson & Jaclyn Marie with gospel-Harmony vocals.

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