Another Roadside Attraction

From Bolivia to your basement, Ben Sures can tell you the story of a travelling man.

Ben Sures Gone to Bolivia Album Launch
Thursday, May 12, 8 p.m.
TransAlta ArtsBarns — Westbury Theatre ( 10330-84th Ave.)
Tickets: $19.25 at Tix on the Square

Ben Sures could be coming to a living room near you. No really, he could literally be walking into the living room at the house party down the street and jamming out on his six-string. For Sures, that’s the best way to connect to an audience — intimate house parties and sweet-ass folk jams. For 20 years, this award winning singer/songwriter’s been rambling along, and now he’s giving the masses more to talk about with his newest album Gone to Bolivia.

“I do a lot of house concerts with 50 or 60 people in living rooms across the country, and I’ve become good at it,” Sures explains. “But the biggest contribution to what I do is how much I travel. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life travelling Canada, playing in little tiny places — house concerts in living rooms, small festivals, and opening for people.”

Sures music isn’t something that’ll make you bang your head and make devil horns with your hands. Instead the singer/songwriter wins people over with his ability to craft melodic folk tales that catch the ear. For Sures, music is meant to have an intimacy and truth which in turn speaks through the lyrics forming a relationship with the listener.

 Gone to Bolivia is kind of like a travelogue and I almost called it ‘Postcards’ because it’s sort of reminiscent of the travelling I’ve done and all the people I’ve worked with,” says Sures. “Another great thing about it is a lot of the songs are taken from real stories.  It’s kind of a personal universal album.”

The musical range of Gone to Bolivia subtlety changes from folk, to bluesy alt-rock, all the way to country inspired songs that showcase the many styles that he has played throughout his years of performing. His songs may take listeners though a journey of musical origins, but each song is grounded in the singer’s distinct vocals and lyrical musings — and as Sures notes, that’s something that he wanted to pay attention to when producing the album.

“I think I have become a better musician and songwriter, and I think every album is a step closer in getting towards the sound I want to hear. I really love the sound of this album — the way I played on it and how it was produced,” says Sures.

For Gone to Bolivia, Sures worked alongside producer Don Kerr — formerly of the Rheostatics and Ron Sexsmith’s band. While utilizing the wisdom of the multi-talented Kerr, the album also features numerous players that Sures had met along his journeys. Because of this, the album ends up layering in the musical styling of The Creaking Tree Quartet, and also features backup vocals from Juno Award winners The Good Lovelies, among others.

Sures’ efforts have been gathering him steam over the past half-decade. He won the 2006 John Lennon Song Writing Competition’s award for his folk single “Any Precious Girl”. And that win gave him the attention which led to his more recent involvement in CBC’s The Irrelevant Show — a comedy showcase which saw him producing comedic songs alongside some of Edmonton’s finest actors.

“Because I have been to so many places, I have met a lot of people, and that informs what I do because you get real stories,” Sures says.

So now, after producing his newest CD, Sures is back on the road, playing at house parties, smaller venues, and folk festivals across Canada while trying to open some more minds with his travelogue folk music.


All Content Copyright © SEE Magazine 2008 About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Contest Disclaimer