Artist Spotlight : Ben Caplan

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Recently performing at Pepper’s Pub, Halifax-based folk artist, Ben Caplan, has an amazing stage presence.

Having not shaven for three years and counting, Caplan is a wild looking man, with music just as wild to accompany him. His vocal styling’s range greatly, varying from precise and stout, to being even thunderous and bellowing.

Having recently attended one of his performances, it truly sets in how captivated you can get by a solo artist and his guitar. Sometimes performing with background singers, other times performing with Nova Scotia-based band, The Casual Smokers, who incorporate a strong variation of instruments, including violin and saxophones.

Caplan is just as capable performing solo. Enticing the audience to sing along, shaking the floor and screaming at the top of their lungs. (At the performance I went to, he asked us to scream until we pooped).

Of the many strong qualities of Ben Caplan’s work, perhaps his finest are his lyrics. They’re relatable, catchy and very original. At the heart, Caplan is a bluesy folk artist, but he adds his own layer of personal emotions and stories that you rarely see so well incorporated in folk music.

Most songs come with a little snippet of a story, usually funny and then it dawns on you that he’s not just a performer. He’s a storyteller that stands out for being crazy, funny and even magical.

Having recently completed a strenuously long tour, performing over five hundred times, Caplan finished the tour right here in Saint John. All of his hard work has paid off.

Caplan recently won the Nova Scotia Music Week Entertainer of the Year as well as the Hamilton Music Award’s Roots Recording of the Year Award. Now Caplan is taking a few months off to work on a new album, hopefully to be released sometime in February.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.