From Ben de la Cour
“Ben de la Cour is a master storyteller who pairs his narratives with dense arrangements and an unforeseen sense of drama and deliberation.”
“Ben de la Cour writes rich and uncompromising narratives of lyrical fierceness and rough beauty.”
- MAVERICK MAGAZINE
“Plaintive story-songs showcasing affecting, plainspoken vocals and narrative lyricism.”
- AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“A true troubadour of Nashville’s east side, Ben de la Cour maintains a realist perspective that few others are capable of.”
- NOW/IT’S MAGAZINE
What happens when the unstoppable force of our dreams meets the immovable object of reality? It’s unclear - but Ben de la Cour is hell-bent on trying to find out.
Born in London and raised in Brooklyn, Ben was was playing New York City dive bars with his brother a full decade before he could legally drink. A high-school dropout and former amateur boxer, he received his education by listening to his parent’s record collection – full of everything from Bob Dylan and The Everly Brothers to Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the tender age of nineteen he spent a year in Havana training with members of the Cuban national boxing team before moving to London with his brother to revive their doom metal band, Dead Man’s Root. They lived in a van and toured around Europe for several years until the band fell apart under the two-fisted attack of burnout and drunken brawls, and in 2008 de la Cour returned to the states with a head full of softer, bruised, but no less intense acoustic songs.
Following a short stint in Los Angeles, Ben passed through New Orleans on tour and decided to stay. He released Ghost Light in 2011 but was soon on the move again, this time winding up in Nashville where he crashed on friends’ couches and worked as a doorman until finding his footing.
De la Cour’s third album Midnight in Havana came out in 2016 on Flour Sack Cape Records and was met with critical acclaim from outlets like The Huffington Post, No Depression, Red Line Roots and The Nashville Scene, with one journalist dubbing him “a vitriolic Leonard Cohen”. That same year he won the prestigious New Folk Competition at the 2016 Kerrville Folk Festival.
In April of 2018 Ben de la Cour released The High Cost of Living Strange, eight tracks of his self-proclaimed “Americanoir” style - weaving complex, mysterious and sometimes shocking storylines with a unique blend of instrumental backing and the occasional glimpse of gallows humor. Along with his unique perspective towards songwriting and his lyrical attention to detail, de la Cour has a veracious studio ideology; live tracking, minimal overdubs, no headphones, one room, and just a couple of days. “I’m like a bargain basement Cowboy Jack Clement!” he jokes.
The High Cost of Living Strange may seem bleak, but never self- consciously so. There is enough humor and hope in all but the darkest moments to tell us what we all need to hear sometimes; it’s okay to be human. At least until a better alternative comes along.