Musician Ben Hammond, a 2001 graduate of Fryeburg Academy, realizes as a performer it is important to give the audience what they want, and that's exactly what he intends to do with his second appearance at the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine Thursday, March 6, at 8 p.m.|
“A common response from those who see my live show and then buy the CD is 'Hey, I love the record, but it isn't the same as what I saw you do live, I miss the vocal trumpet and looped vocal percussion and solo singer-songwriter vibe,'” Hammond said.
“Basically they missed my solo imitative versions of what I had real instruments do in the studio.”
Hammond intends to change all that with his Stone Mountain performance Thursday, which will be filmed and recorded for a live DVD and CD package.
“I have been eagerly awaiting a return to Stone Mountain Arts Center since our sell-out CD Release show in 2008,” Hammond said. “And realized I could get the best of both worlds: a high-energy live solo acoustic show and a recording of that show which showcases the one-man band element of what I do for my solo gigs.”
The man behind the camera will be Michael Dana, the film and photo instructor at Fryeburg Academy, who has worked on such high-profile films as “Once Upon a Time in America” and “Requiem for a Dream.”
“The idea to film and release the video on DVD was almost a no-brainer in this YouTube-driven world,” Hammond said. “That site is definitely the first place most people now look to check out new bands and it'll be helpful to have some high-quality, well produced video to help make my first impression.”
The show will consist of new original material, acoustic versions of songs from his first album, "[Reasonably] Honest," and songs he has gathered during the past few years of world travels, including tunes from Canada and New Zealand.
“The original material will explore some new areas, both in mood and in genre, while maintaining the overall acoustic soul-pop vibe that I tend to gravitate towards,” Hammond said. “Stylistically I have certainly been influenced by my extended stays in Florida and New Zealand. There are tinges of reggae and swampgrass poking their respective musical heads up throughout, quite often simultaneously.”
Hammond is also planning a tour of the United States that will include stops throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England. He is also putting plans together for his second studio album.
“As a composer and producer I can't wait for the next kid-in-the-candy-shop experience of sitting in a high-end studio with a roomful of talented musicians and instruments,” Hammond said.
That isn't to downplay his excitement about his upcoming live album. He is just as eager to show the solo performer aspect of his personality and to have that documented.
“Ever since that first cave-man wooed his special cave-lady with a stick and a bit of taut rope, the singer-songwriter vibe has been popular and I can't wait to present my 21st century version of this ancient art-form.”
Tickets for the show are $15 plus $1 handling fee. For more information visit www.stonemountainartscenter.com.