Dirty Dozen: Ben Ford-Davies

ben-ford-davies, 2016The latest single from Ben Ford-Davies is by far the best he has recorded to date. Lyrically and musically.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?

I am from Adelaide in South Australia but I’ve been traveling Oz for many years always playing music. I’ve lived in Melbourne and Perth and Port Douglas (far north Queensland).Having landed back in Adelaide a couple of years ago I found myself a manager who was able to take me to another level and now I tour Europe each year for at least two months at a time which is what I always wanted; To combine travel to exotic places with music. My life is a working holiday and I love it!

How would you describe your music?

My music has always been ‘singer-songwriter’ ,which is broad I know, and it does encompass many styles from folk, blues, country and even funk sometimes, but I’ve just added contemporary to the list with this latest track.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?

I started off with the usual parental influences but fortunately my dad is one of those left over hippies. So I was getting The Doobie Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Santana, Cat Stevens, Steely Dan, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King and the list goes on….

Suffice it to say that when I write music the bar is already high and I really try to represent an integrity that will connect with a wide range of people on both a cerebral level and of course the all important groove factor.

What are you currently promoting?

Currently I am promoting my latest single ‘Vitruvian Man’. It was recorded with Nigel Grummet at Highball studios and marks a new way forward for me in contemporary music. Collaboration happens on so many levels with so many people but this is something I’ve been hanging out for without even knowing it. I just finished recording my first all original studio album ‘Papillon’ and thought that it was the best thing I had ever produced…. until this single.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?

All my songs define me. A great piece of advice was given to me early on, ‘Write about what you know’, and as my knowledge of myself progresses so does my songwriting. It’s easy to follow my life story by listening to my songs. Chronologically I would go for ‘In the City’ , ‘Storm’ and now ‘Vitruvian Man’.

What are you currently listening to?

At the moment I have Steely Dan’s ‘Can’t buy a thrill’ in the car but I am making an effort to get out on the local scene and hear what the word on the street is. Talking to working musos about what they are doing and how they are feeling is so valuable. It’s inspiring and it’s validating.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?

Favourite album of all time….. really tough question…..I’m going with songwriters so it would be a toss up between :

Cat Stevens ‘Tea for the Tillerman’

Joni Mitchell ‘Blue’

Bruce Cockburn ‘Charity of Night’

All good songs, all in the right order.

What are your hopes for your future career?

I really want to keep touring with music and making sure I can avoid the day job hahaha. So far so good but I need to get to the next level and it is happening. So I guess my future is exactly what I am making it.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?

If money were no object I would be a drummer in a funk band!  I would still be writing of course, but to just sit back and lay down the groove that people will ride for a few hours… wow man, too cool.  A hook up with Sly and the Family Stone or Parliament…. there’s the dream.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The best thing about being a musician is the freedom I feel on stage to just be me. Everyday life is sometimes hard to keep up with, but on stage… my relationship with my audience is directly proportional to how connected I am with myself at the time. It’s the greatest opportunity to gauge where you’re at and how to move forward.

And the worst?

The worst part about being a musician….. I haven’t found it yet.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?

Please have a listen and most importantly let me know what you think.  I live by ‘we are nothing without each other’ , so drop me a line anytime.


About Rudie Hayes 150 Articles
Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.
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