News

Fatea Magazine review of The Emigrant 

"Irish born and now Nashville based singer-songwriter Ben Glover has been going through the process of getting his US Green Card over the past two years and tells us the 'reality of immigration was very present in my world'. This is eloquently captured in the PR material that accompanied his CD which says 'When an ocean separates the two halves of your whole, it's worthy of contemplation. For Ben Glover that consideration comes in the form of his new album, The Emigrant, which folds his two worlds into one'. 
Ben relocated to Nashville in 2009 and had a solo album out in 2014, but has also made a name for himself as a 'co- writer' of note. Most obviously, this has been with Mary Gauthier and Gretchen Peters and with Peters, he won the International Song of the Year at the 2016 Americana Awards with 'Blackbirds'. For his album 'The Emigrant', the themes of searching, identity and home predominate in a continually restless fashion. Accordingly, Ben finds songs from all sorts of places, Traditional arrangements, more contemporary covers, co and solo writes, all unified by the sentiments at the heart of each number." Read the review in full here 

 

4**** review in The Irish Times 

"Suitably strange as it may seem, this is literally a soundtrack to a ghost story.And if the idea of a ghost story prompts raised eyebrows, don’t tell Ben Glover, Neilson Hubbard, Joshua Britt and a large supporting cast, because they spent the guts of 2013 pulling this American civil war project together.It is a soundtrack because they’ve made a film about Octagon House, an antebellum house in Kentucky, considered among the most haunted in the US.Make what you will about the documentary (see it at theorphanbrigade.com), but the 14 Americana tracks, all (except the traditional Paddy’s Lamentation) written by Irishman Glover and his two American partners, stand impressively on their own.The first two, Pale Horse and Trouble My Heart (Oh Harriet), are not bettered but the playing, singing and storytelling remains top-notch throughout."

4****
by Joe Breen.


Read the review online here

Blackbirds is nominated for International Song Of The Year at the UK Americana Awards 2016 

Ben and Gretchen Peters have received a UK Americana Awards 2016 nomination for their song Blackbirds for International Song Of The Year! The inaugural awards ceremony will take place in London in February 2016. Also in category are Jason Isbell, Andrew Combs and Angeleena Presley. Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees! A full list of the nominees is available to see here

Folk Radio UK calls Soundtrack To A Ghost Story "Outstanding" 

 

"One of my favourite artists (Ben Glover), the period of history that fascinates me most (the American Civil War) and Southern Gothic, it’s a combination designed to have me drooling at the mouth. The brainchild of producer Neilson Hubbard in collaboration with Glover and fellow singer-songwriter Joshua Britt, the album and its accompanying documentary (see below) are rooted in Civil War history, specifically the First Kentucky Brigade (which earned its titular nickname when, having suffered heavy losses in a battle, the commander rode among the survivors crying out “My poor orphans! My poor orphans” ) and Octagon Hall, a plantation house in Franklin, Kentucky built by Confederate sympathiser Andrew Jackson Caldwell...." Read the review in full here

 

For The Country blog: "a perfect piece of Americana and a fascinating examination of the effects of warfare." 

"Octagon Hall is a Civil War-era plantation house in Franklin, Kentucky, built by Confederate sympathizer Andrew Jackson Caldwell in the mid-19th century. Like many of the living reminders of that era, the house is full of stories of warfare and slavery, of humanity twisted and broken in the name of a comparatively trivial goal. The First Kentucky Brigade were stationed there during the war and it has become something of a legend how the wounded were hidden in crawlspaces and underneath stairs, while soldiers on both sides of the fight poisoned wells and livestock in order to starve their enemies. The Octagon Hall and surrounding area was the site of incredible atrocities, and the energy of those starving, tortured, murderous people still remains there to this day..." Read the review in full here

Folk And Tumble blog features The Orphan Brigade 

"Something in these songs left me feeling unsettled and uncertain. They instilled, consciously or not, a state of unrest – I would flit from one to t’other. Maybe it was the October full moon in Taurus on the nights that I tuned in, or maybe, it was that this artistic collective had captured full force the rattling, haunting, raw emotion – and exposed it for time in memorium – like extreme unction in reverse, exorcised in chords and words exhumed but never spoken.I can’t deny, something surrounding The Orphan Brigade gave me chills. A self-confessed sensitive sort, at times I was sure my blood was curdling. War, the very thought of it, the fear and futility, both turns my blood cold and makes it boil. These sentiments are captured with purity and stark reality throughout..." Read the review in full here

Blabber'n'Smoke: "One could imagine that The Band or a solo Robbie Robertson might have made the album." 

"Two Americans and an Irishman walk into a haunted house… No, it’s not the opening line of a joke but the punch line for the story behind The Orphan Brigade. The three (Neilson Hubbard, Joshua Britt and Ben Glover) have built an album around the tales and histories of characters from the Civil War period, notably Confederates housed in and around a plantation house named Octagon Hall in Franklin, Kentucky, sixty miles north of Nashville. The Hall still stands, spared from immolation by the Northern troops, an antebellum reminder of the horrors of war and slavery and reputed to be the “most haunted house in America.” With a wealth of historical documents to hand (letters, journals, poetry, some written by members of the titular Orphan Brigade, a nickname of the Confederate Army’s First Kentucky Brigade) the trio set up shop in the haunted house to write and record the album with assistance from Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Kris Donegan, Heather Donegan, Dean Marold, Eamon McLoughlin, Dan Mitchell, Barry Walsh, Carey Ott, Brad Talley, Zach Bevill, Jim DeMain and Ryan Beach.
It’s a fine back story and the cast tell tales of spooky happenings during the recording, much of it captured on a documentary directed by Hubbard and Britt. However, entertaining as this all is it’s much more than an Americana version of American Horror Story, the good news being that the album stands up to scrutiny whether the listener knows the origins or not. It’s not a retelling of the era in the vein of White Mansions although there are songs that refer directly to the experiences of the historical protagonists. Rather it’s an impressionistic capture of the spirit (sorry) of the times delivered in a variety of styles that gather in musical influences but are rooted in modern music. One could imagine that The Band or a solo Robbie Robertson might have made the album..." Read the full review here

 

AmericanaUK review: "A film, a soundtrack and an history project. Americana's most interesting release of 2015?" 

'The Orphan Brigade: Soundtrack to a Ghost Story' has as an interesting background story as you can get for a record. Recorded in a Confederate plantation house in Kentucky, producer Neilson Hubbard and musicians including Ben Glover, Joshua Britt and Gretchen Peters moved in to write songs and record amongst the ghosts of the Orphan Brigade, which was the nickname given to the First Kentucky Brigade who fought during the American Civil War. The mixture of historical research and modern day songwriting often produces some interesting projects across the folk and Americana world.
Sheffield's Payroll Union produced an American research based record recently too and in both releases one gets a sense of the voices of the past and artists exploring the great tradition of story songs. 'The Orphan Brigade' is a ghostly story only in that it looks back at ancestors long dead. Listeners will not find a timely Halloween treat here but rousting shanty reels in 'Cursed be the Wanderer' to hooky Americana in 'We were Marching on Christmas Day' and Waterboys inspired fiddle folk in 'Trouble my Heart (oh Harriet)'. This record encompasses more than simply a collection of songs. Engage in the story, in the location and the spirits of those Kentucky Boys who marched for the Southern way of life nearly one hundred and fifty years ago."
8/10
See the review on Americana UK

 

Three Chords And The Truth - The Orphan Brigade Review 

"Maybe a little prompting was required to get this record off the bottom of the pile, but sometimes you are forever grateful for that helping hand and hopefully the outpouring from the next few paragraphs will act as a further stimulus for others to engage. Quite simply this record is a stunning presentation of a project by three exceedingly talented songwriters to extract creative gold from an intriguing story, chain of events and an interesting slice of American history. The three architects are two Americans: Nielson Hubbard and Joshua Britt, and a Brit in the guise of Northern Irishman Ben Glover. The name is taken from that given to a group of Civil War fighters and the scene is based around the haunted Octagon Hall in Kentucky. The result is a magnificent fourteen track backdrop to a string of accomplished folk songs, gloriously structured in the American roots tradition and adding extraordinary value to the precious listening time of the cultured ear..." Read the full review here
 
 

Striking Matches "What A Broken Heart Feels Like" 

Striking Matches has officially taken the UK by storm, landing at No. 1 on the iTunes UK Country Chart with their debut release, Nothing But The Silence. Produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, the album showcases this dynamic duo (comprised of Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis), brimming with harmonies and plenty of guitars. Ben co-wrote the song " What A Broken Heart Feels Like," which is included on this critically acclaimed debut. 

Gretchen Peters "Blackbirds"  

Be sure to download a copy of Gretchen Peters' latest album "Blackbirds". The new album, which debuted at number one on the UK Country Charts features three songs co-written by Ben (Blackbirds, Pretty Things, and When You Comin' Home). The album is available on I Tunes, Amazon and through Gretchen's site here

New UK Tour Announced 

Ben will join Angel Snow for a 15 city co-headline tour in the UK and Holland. The tour kicks off March, 5 in Perth, Scotland and wraps up in  DeSchalm, Netherlands on March 24th. For full dates be sure to check out the Tour Page.

New Placement with Kay Jewelers 

National jewelry company Kay Jewelers recently chose Ben's song "I Could Take The Whole World On With You," for their 2014 Thanksgiving Campaign airing on VH1. The song is part of a side project done with frequent co-writer Kaci Bolls. 

Atlantic earns 5 stars from Maverick Magazine 

An incredible, haunting album inspired by country and blues legends and the American South. 

Singer-songwriter Ben Glover has that rare quality of making you stop in your tracks and listen to his every word as you're transported to another time and place entirely.  Glover launches into Atlantic with a distinctive raspy, raw voice and takes the audience down a road of Southern blues, love and loss, redemption, heartache and haunting ballads right to the very end. Adding to the overall quality is the collaboration on a number of tracks by Nashville singer/songwriters Mary Gauthier and Gretchen Peters. 

Glover grew up in the seaside village of Glenarm in the North of Ireland and relocated to Nashville in 2009. He soon set about immersing himself in the world of his musical heroes, once spending the afternoon in Johnny Cash's childhood home and visiting the grave of Hank Williams in Alabama. 

But it was a trip up the Mississippi Delta to blues legend Robert Johnson's grave that the foundations for Atlantic were formed. He decided he would write an album that connected his "two worlds" - Nashville and Ireland. 

The resulting album is a deep, earthy, Southern gothic blend of storytelling of another time. "Oh Soul," written with Gauthier, is a deep, haunting blues number but he then switches things up and performs the classic country inspired "True Love's Breaking My Heart".

The stand out murder ballad "Blackbirds," written and performed with Gretchen Peters, is an amazing tale told with heartfelt grit and emotion that will give you chills. Other impressive traces include the beautiful love song "The Mississippi Turns Blue," the more up beat "Take and Pay" and the spirited and moving "Sing a Song Boys." All pretty incredible considering the album was helped along the way by a kickstarter campaign and was recorded live in the living room of Glover's house in Ballyliffin, Co, Donegal, Ireland.

This gifted performer will be heading out on UK tour dates with Mary Gauthier in October. Don't miss it!  - Megan Gnad

The Falcon's Nest Review "Might be the best record of the Year" 

Ben Glover might be the love child of Vance Joy and Steve Earle. Northern Ireland based, he splits his time between his home country and the American Southwest, and it shows all over Atlantic, one of the best auditory adventures your ears will embark on all year. While the album has the feel of wandering into a kick-ass open mic night in terms of the looseness vibe that seems to wash over you, in the hands of a true professional, everything feels mellow and thought provoking. 

The Americana landscape of the journey shows up on "Too Long Gone," a song that comes right from the Ray Wylie Hubbard school of back-alley noir, and "Oh Sou" has the songwriting chops of back in the day Steve Earle with a voice that is fairly familiar. The rock moments on the record never push things out of bounds, but rather provide an energy that Tesla would b e proud of, and on "Take and Pay" Glover displays his rock chops in spades. 

And oh yeah, the guy can flat out write, check out the pull you into the portrait imagery of "Prisoner" with the stunning opening lines:

She, she told me
She hid the gun in the potter's field
Covered it in delta mud
Underneath the pecan tree
She drew a map
On my hand in a red ink pen
Said 'Meet me here in the parking lot
Don't say a word, swear to God'

And it gets better, like a Cormac McCarthy novel. Having cut his chops playing songs from The Pogues in Boston bars and Dylan and Johnny Cash in the pubs of his hometown of Glenarm, Ireland, the intersection of both worlds is working to perfection. You will come for the songs, but you will stay for the lyrics which probably come as no surprise as he wrote many of these songs with Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters, Neilson Hubbard and Rod Picott. This one might be the best record of the year. Stay tuned. 
 

 

Ben Appearance on BBC TV with Nolan 

Ben will be performing live on BBC One Northern Ireland TV on The Nolan Show Wednesday, October 15. He will be performing "Too Long Gone" from his new album 'Atlantic'. Be sure to tune in at 10:35 pm. 

American Roots UK review "Atlantic 

 
"Until very recently I was unaware of Irish born but Nashville domiciled (for the last five years) Ben Glover, that was until I was sent a copy of this unusual album that covers quite a broad rootsy spectrum. Its starting point is in folk music and it gradually meanders its way, quite naturally, between there and an edgy country music and gives more than a passing nod to the blues. So, quite a range, but it works tremendously well with no sign of jumping about, just a smooth seamless transition backwards and forwards on an often mellow in tone music but with at the same time a powerful dynamism that can only be achieved by someone who has strong aims and is lyrically adept at portraying a variety of emotions and situations.
 
I can’t count the number of ‘solo albums’ I’ve heard by hugely talented singer songwriters that are so lacking in variety that everything tends to blend and lose any sort of dynamism or variety, as a consequence of which the recording starts to drag and anything that could have been memorable is lost in a flat sea of tranquility that is almost immediately forgotten. This album is a complete polar opposite to that statement! There is plenty of variety although not so much that the album is disjointed, his warm, expressive vocal style and his lyrics are able to summon up and make believable whatever story he has to tell.
 
The album title ‘Atlantic’ is in a way conceptual, being the link between his two homes of Ireland and the US. His previous four albums were all recorded in Nashville but this time he decided to take producer Neilsson Hubbard and return to his roots in a house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Inishowen, Ireland. On the recording they used the musicians that he had toured with on this side of the Ocean, in his words ‘bringing my two worlds together.’ His thoughtfully reflective lyrics are often questioning of our modern world, with most of the sentiments, if not all of the stories, being pretty much applicable universally. There is a range of subject matter that includes tales of deep passionate love, contrasting this with a tremendous murder ballad at the other end of his spectrum. In Ben Glovers world versatility is not something that is lacking!
 
One of the songs, Oh Soul was co-written with the wonderful Mary Gauthier, who Ben apparently often tours with, in fact later in the year it seems they will be touring the UK together. That song, such is it’s power, is also included on Mary’s new album ‘Trouble & Love,’ all of which gives some indication of the regard in which she holds this talented singer songwriter. There is another co-write, this one with Gretchen Peters, who duets with him on the often harrowing, sad murder ballad, ‘Blackbirds’ on which both singers have their abilities to project a story with a powerful sense of believability rubber stamped, ensuring that whilst there is sympathy for the protagonists, redemption is most definitely not an option. A beautiful steel guitar highlights True Love’s Breaking My Heart, a gorgeous ballad, underpinned by excellent bass and percussion, with Ben’s vocal having an emotional haunting air that brings this tale of heartbreak alive. The Mississippi Turns Blue is a beautiful haunting bluesy ballad  with tuneful echoing guitars, beautiful harmonies and a story of deep love. Final mention goes to Sing A Song Boys,an excellent up beat, mid tempo celebratory song of someone returning home and the various emotions that are going through his head, underpinned by excellent harmonies, mandolin and bass throb.  
 
As can be seen from the above, this is a tremendous album laid out on a broad pallet, not only generically, but also lyrically. Everything on this recording smacks of quality and believability and at no time is that diversity a negative. With this sort of talent, choosing a narrow direction is unnecessary and long may Ben Glover continue following his varied muse. "
Mike Morrison
Read the review on 
American Roots UK