Ben Howard

  • British folk/indie guitarist and songwriter, born in 1987 from London England.
  • As a child, Howard was influenced by the music that his parents listened to – singer songwriters from the 60s and 70s like Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel. He began to write songs at the age of 11, and learned to play the guitar so that he could put the words to music. He got into surfing, and worked at a surf magazine, but his surfing friends were so enthusiastic about his music, he decided to focus on music full time. He played his folk music at clubs throughout the UK, and as his writing became more prolific, his lyrics became progressively darker.
  • In 2008, 2009 and 2010, Howard released EPs of songs, some of which would eventually be released on his debut studio album. Over time, his played sold out concerts throughout Europe, and in 2011, he was signed to a recording contract. Every Kingdom was released in September that year. The album primarily is Howard singing and playing guitar, with support from 2 other musicians contributing everything from accordion to cello to ukulele to percussion to bass guitar. It reached #4 on the UK album charts, and the single Only Love peaked at #9 on the UK singles chart, and at #6 on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart. Keep Your Head Up also charted in the U.S., at #15 on the Alternative Songs chart.
  • The success of Every Kingdom led to several awards for Howard – at the annual BRIT Awards, he was named British Breakthrough Act and he won the award for best British Solo Male Artist. The album also was nominated for Album of the Year at the Mercury Prize Awards and at the Ivor Novello Awards.
  • His second studio album, I Forget Where We Were, was released in 2014. It topped the UK album chart, and reached #23 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and #3 on the U.S. Folk albums chart. The title track charted in the UK. His most recent album, Noonday Dream, was released in 2018 and reached #4 in the UK.
  • In addition to his solo work, Howard is a member of a band called A Blaze of Feather. The group has played numerous festivals in the UK, and has released an EP and a studio album.
  • I discovered Ben Howard during some random listening to indie acoustic music on a streaming service. Three of his songs are on my “indie” playlist – that’s a lot for me, since I tend to build playlists with a rule of only one song per artist. He is considered the “Anti-Ed Sheeran” of indie-folk music. He says that he doesn’t want the spotlight. While he may not yet fill stadiums like Sheeran, tickets to smaller venues are hard to get. Here is the video to one of the songs on my playlist, Old Pine. Like a more mellow style of acoustic music? Trust me, you’ll like this song, and most of Howard’s work. Watch this!

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