Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers: Folk, bourbon and smoke

By Jesús Rojas. June 9, 2012

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With only one album, 'In the time of the great remembering', this songwriter from Halifax has already become a key figure in the Canadian folk scene. His style imbibes from classic artists, being Tom Waits the most evident and recurrent influence.

We are talking about a dazzling début with a scent of cabaret and bourbon in even proportions. It’s a pleasure to let yourself go with the retro swaying of Beautiful and the instrumental majesty of Down to the river, but it is in pieces like Conduit or Bang to break the drum where this bearded man of golden locks and blue eyes displays his trademark. I’m talking about that husky, raspy and roaring voice telling stories –sometimes beautiful, sometimes heart-rending– that deserve to be told.

To shape these ten compositions, he has needed the help of six casual smokers; the same ones that go with him on stage, although Ben Caplan is more than able to defend his songs live on his own. Guitar and piano are his best allies, but he also knows when to get hold of the megaphone or accompany with the melodica.

In Spain we won’t be able to see him play live, but it is obvious that the rest of the world is already aware of Ben Caplan’s potential, and that is why he is right now deep into a lengthy tour that will end next November in his hometown Halifax.

 

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