In his debut solo album Rivers, singer songwriter Ben Lester brings together a beautifully honest voice, and graceful melody, with thoughtful and intricate instrumentation, to create a distinctive folk rock sound. 'The way this album came together just feels right.' Ben says, 'There was no pressure for it to be anything that it wasn't.' At 22 years old, Ben is a compelling individual whose self assurance and directness are powerfully reflected in his debut solo release. Rivers paints a collage of pictures that resonate with sincerity. The vitality of 'Sail Away' and the humanity of 'Someplace to Call Home' exemplify not just Ben's gift for melody, but his true gift for the expression of life through song. The completion of Rivers was a three year journey. For Ben, taking on the roles of producer, arranger, writer, and performer was no small feat for Ben, but resulted in an album that truly captures the inspiration and depth of his songs. 'I had done a lot of collaborative work,' Ben says, 'but I wanted this project to be my voice. ' Although Rivers is Ben's debut solo album, it is not his first time in the studio. Ben began producing and playing on albums with his former band Groove Street Junction, and has also produced and recorded over a dozen other artists in the New England area. Ben says, 'There is so much you can learn from finding out where other people are coming from, both musically and personally. It's really an essential part of the process.' Growing up, Ben was always inspired by his father's virtuosic abilities on the flute and began picking up instruments at an early age. But it wasn't until his introduction to Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmore (of Pink Floyd) that Ben was passionately drawn to the guitar. By sixteen Ben had come into his own as a remarkably talented guitar player, earning recognition and praise from his teachers and peers. Over this period, he studied many forms of progressive rock and jazz. Ben's own musical ideas began to need an outlet, and at age sixteen he started forming bands. Two years later, along with friend and guitarist Rob Lafond, he formed Groove Street Junction, a four piece band that played jazz and blues infused rock. Groove Street Junction played around Boston for two years, building a fan base, recording two albums, and receiving college radio play. It was the perfect venue for Ben to find himself as a songwriter outside the confines of pop music. While producing the second Groove Street album, Ben began recording a solo project. This project was a more song-oriented approach. Ben sought to pair the essence of melody and lyric with the symphonic and complex ideas of classical and jazz music to form the unique and enlivening music of Rivers.
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