Midnight Blue  – Ben Holland (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You can see why none other than Joan Armatrading took a shine to this young artist when she  saw him busking. It’s easy to hear the ghost-echoes of classic singer-songwriters and 60’s folk revival icons between the notes and words. It’s isn’t hard to become captivated by such a straight forward yet beguiling slice of timeless acoustica. 

There is a poignant lyric in the song “It’s an old idea I’m just trying to make it new” and that beats at the heart of the song’s identity. An acoustic troubadour singing about the midnight streets, of love, loss and longing, of heartache and the search for redemption, so what’s new? Well, stylistically not much but then again looking at the footsteps he is following why change a thing? Why not just learn from the greats, take those age old sentiments, that tried and tested style and use it to build new songs for a new audience. And whilst you are at it do so brilliantly.

You can tweak music, invent new genres, fuse styles all you want but there is something timeless about what Ben does, its an approach which has served contemporary music well for generations. There is a saying “if it aint broke don’t fix it,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t polish it up, put your own flourishes and personality into it and use it to court a younger audience. And that is exactly what Ben does so well. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

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