WUIS' Bedrock 66 Live!
June 16, 2012
Hoogland Center for the Arts, Theatre III, Springfield, Illinois
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With the release of his second album, Land of the Shadows, Ben Bedford “…has proven himself to be a truly inspired and talented storyteller…” according to Arthur Wood (Maverick). In its first month of airplay, Land of the Shadows reached number one on the Folk-DJ charts with three songs in the top ten. Land of the Shadows finished 2009 strong, as the fourth most played album on Folk-DJ Radio for the year, making Bedford the 16th most played artist of the year. In addition, the album received considerable airplay on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio program, The Village, syndicated programs through WFMT like The Midnight Special and River City Folk, as well as international programs like BBC Radio Scotland, gaining Bedford a more geographically widespread audience.
Bedford delivers intriguing sketches of America, its individuals, their victories and their struggles. Poignant, but never sentimental, Bedford’s portrait-like songs capture the vitality of his characters and draw the listener deep into the narratives. Bedford’s songs tackle scenarios including homelessness, the plight of a Confederate soldier’s wife during the American Civil War, the aerial triumphs of Amelia Earhart, the life of Jack London, and the murder of Emmett Till in 1955. Often drawing upon history, Bedford’s songs have a strong sense of time and place. The songs are rich in sensory detail which allows the listener to hear, see and feel each narrative.
After only seven years as a full-time artist, Bedford has already played WFMT’s Folkstage (hosted by Rich Warren), The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as Izzy Young’s famed Folklore Centrum in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, Bedford’s music has been played on National Public Radio’s Car Talk, reached the top ten on the Folk-DJ charts with both his debut and sophomore albums and was featured in The Sounding Board, the official newsletter of the renowned C.F. Martin Guitar Company. In July of 2010, Bedford was named one of the “50 most significant Folk singer-songwriters of the past 50 years” by Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago. The list, which included artists such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Judy Collins and John Prine subsequently appeared on the blog of journalist Eric Zorn on the Chicago Tribune website. Referring to his style as “American Portrait Songwriting”, Bedford will spend 2012 touring and working on his next album.
Both albums were released on Hopeful Sky Records and are now carried by the independent label, Waterbug Records, based in the Chicago area.
Don't worry if you missed some of the previous shows... WUIS airs the best of Bedrock 66 Live Saturdays at 7 p.m.!
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