I’ll be making my solo debut west of the Mississippi with my new band featuring Adam Gorman on guitar, Anthony Quirk on drums, and Adam Discipio on bass. They have been touring with me since we started our late spring tour and things have settled in really nicely with a lot of new songs ready to come out on this tour.
This tour includes my two appearances as part of The Deadication Festival in Northwest Montana. At 1pm on August 26th I will be playing a solo acoustic set at the outdoor festival in Columbia Falls (right on the outskirts of Glacier National Park), then my band will join me for a full two set late night show at The Great Northern Bar immediately following the festival. Our second set will be a very special Allman Brothers Band tribute set with special guests.
Another major show on this tour is our first headlining theater show at JaM Cellar’s Ballroom in Napa, CA. We have some special guests in the queue for this one that we can’t wait to announce.
All online tickets are on sale now and can be purchased under the “shows” tab. At some shows, tickets will only be available at the door.
Copies of Wooden will be for sale at all shows for $10 and a new line of T-shirts and stickers will be for sale while supplies last. Online ordering of new merch will begin after this tour when orders can be fulfilled.
“Ben Sparaco was up for his first Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park show since moving from South Florida to Nashville. At the advanced age of 19 (!!), Sparaco continues to grow as a superb guitarist and band leader. His tremendous set featured six tunes from new album Wooden. He is cut in the mold of Derek Trucks, but Sparaco is his own man in the same way that Trucks is.
Blasting off with “Make Me Feel Alone Tonight,” he was definitely NOT alone during this set. Highlights from the set included an outstanding take on original tune “Walk On the Levee” and great playing on “Mountain Jam” and “That’s It for the Other One” with some sweet note-bending. And about that jazz: Sparaco threw in a dynamite version of Miles Davis’ “So What” in the middle of “Wooden” and quoted “Volunteered Slavery” (Roland Kirk, and a Derek Trucks favorite) during closing “Cypress Hotel.”
If you are keeping track, King just turned 21, Heather Gillis is 22, and Ben Sparaco won’t turn 20 until August. The future of our scene is in very good hands, and these three represent just the tip of the iceberg.”
A surprise visit home to south Florida for two days got extended into a week and a half, thanks to good friends and good music.
Biscuit Fest 6, The Funky Biscuit‘s annual four day festival started a day earlier for me, playing a full show with Crazy Fingers on Wednesday, March 29th.
Friday brought a last minute gig of “Holloway, Collier, and Friends” featuring Ron Holloway, Roosevelt Collier, Rich Friedman and Josh Foster of Crazy Fingers, Andrew Musselman of Tchaa, Rich Conklin, and myself opening for The Main Squeeze. Here is video from that show of “In The Pines.”
Saturday saw another Crazy Fingers show that I sat in at, opening for Oteil Burbridge’s Bureau of Sabotage. Oteil, Ron, and I realized that we all shared an August 24th birthday, hence the picture at the top of this post. Here is a video of “St. Stephen” with Ron Holloway.
Sunday I did an interview/studio session with Blues Radio International and then sat in with Albert Castiglia along with Ron Holloway, Roosevelt Collier, and members of the Chris O’Leary Band to play “Sweet Home Chicago” in honor of Lonnie Brooks.
On the way back to Nashville I stopped in Macon to visit my friend Richard Brent at The Big House Museum who very generously let me spend a while with Duane Allman’s 1957 Goldtop Les Paul used on the first two Allman Brothers Band albums, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and hundreds of live shows. Here is a short clip of the time I spent with it, from my instagram account @bensparacomusic (which also has other clips from Biscuit Fest).
London-based music blog “musicmusingsandsuch” reviewed the single “Don’t Try To Wake Me Up” off my forthcoming album “Wooden.” It’s an in depth review that also covers my last release, Bring The Jubilee EP and much more. It’s great to get some love from across the pond, where the single was given a 9.2/10 rating.
Some quotes from the review:
“The guitars shine and the delicious licks are not bashful when getting into the earlobes (and other more visible regions). The songwriting looks at humanity and deeper issues but never truly exposes its meanings. The lyrics keep oblique and can be open to interpretations.”
“Don’t Try to Wake Me Up has some of the more spirited and juggernaut components of Bring the Jubilee but there is a tonal shift. Things are more stripped back and there is a move from Country/Blues-Rock to Folk-Rock. That Folk element has not only defined the foundations but the lyrics too. The words are more compelling and direct.”
“The way the vocals sound and are delivered reminds me a little of the late, great Leonard Cohen: there is no quite the low-down gravel and gravy of Cohen’s voice but something in the way it sounds that made me think of him.”