Laugh out loud to the songs of Ben Ranson this Saturday
You can hear his music in person at an upcoming show in New York Mills on April 23.
NEW YORK MILLS — Sebeka artist Ben Ranson plans to put on a performance at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 23, at the New York Mills Cultural Center.
If you attend, you can listen to the world of central Minnesota through the eyes of this quirky storyteller.
Ranson said he has a funny set that's left people laughing until they cry. The content is often filled with tales gathered up from the local area. His performance on Saturday will be a special one indeed as it will be filmed for a special promotion of his latest albums.
Ranson is a nylon-string, finger-style guitarist and comic singer-songwriter from Sebeka, Minn. He calls himself a “folksinger,” but he is much more than that. His songs about potato inspectors, love, taxidermists, garbage men, grasshoppers, and other unusual subjects are sure to speak to way and life of those that know this area well.
“I write about the world as I see it, where I live it, from my point of view," Ranson said in a Cultural Center news release.
Ranson has a storied life since being been born in a pickup on the side of the road next to Little Pine Lake in Otter Tail County. Growing up, Ben was always the guy in the band whose job it was to listen to the recording and teach the song to everyone else. A talented student (when he wasn’t playing teenage punk rock), he finished high school at 16. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music, where he studied performance and composition, he recorded his first album, played in wedding and bar bands, taught lessons and honed his recording skills by engineering recordings for other local artists.
Ben’s dynamic guitar work features jazzy chords, counterpoint, and unusual combinations of textures. You can hear chicken pickin’, blues, and hints of jazz and flamenco in Ben’s music. Other musicians find Ben’s Travis-picking and richly textured leads reminiscent of Chet Atkins and Al Di Meola. He is notable for combining ironic, quirky songs with sophisticated guitar arrangements featuring extended solo improvisation.
Ben has toured from Boston to Austin, but his music is still rooted in central MN. He has played in hundreds of bars in North Dakota and Minnesota in rock, blues, and folk groups. He is known locally as an exceptional accompanist for vocalists. Ben has just released his second album “Red Eye River,” which can be found on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music. Incidentally, his song about love and taxidermy will be on his next album, but you can hear it live at the New York Mills Cultural Center.
Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students. For this special “celebrating the local” show, bring a friend and get a free ticket.
You can buy tickets online, or pay at the door the night of the concert.