#28 on the 2011 Musical Bacon Calendar
Heavy Boots & Underwoods by Ben Fisher
Seattle is a great town for music, but you probably already knew that. #28 on the list is the perfect example of this, because I first heard Ben Fisher busking on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the weekly Ballard Farmers Market. Just him and his guitar, standing on the sidewalk, playing songs that he wrote, collecting tips and selling copies of his self-recorded debut, Heavy Boots & Underwoods.
The farmers market is great for busking, and consequently there’s always something fun to hear and see there. But, up until hearing Ben, I had never been swayed enough to purchase anyone’s CD right there on the spot. I struck up a conversation with him after having heard him play a couple songs, and found out that he had just recorded a KEXP in-studio session, was about to do a residency at the Columbia City Theater, and had recently completed recording his CD, which he had funded through a recent successful Kickstarter campaign. My $10 quickly leapt out of my wallet.
I brought the CD home, and couldn’t stop listening to it. Ben has a folk music style similar to The Tallest Man on Earth (who appeared on last year’s Calendar), who in turn is quite a bit like Bob Dylan. And while his music is quite a bit like theirs, Ben’s voice is very much not like either of those performers. Deep and resonant, with a slight twang that I can’t quite place, Ben’s voice seems ripe to sing about drinking problems and broken-down trucks. He also sings a lot about the Northwest, and Ballard, in such a way as to make them feel like they’re your neighborhood, whether you live here or not.
Ben is working very hard to make a name for himself. Seems like I hear his name mentioned at least once a week in the various local blogs I read. Keep an eye on him, as you’ll undoubtedly be hearing his name in more nationally-recognized locations soon enough.