Born a stone’s throw from the swamps of southern Alabama and in particular the city of Dothan, Ben Jarrell’s early musical influences were derived from his close family members. Dad loved Rock N Roll, especially hard rock. Stepmom brought classic rock and modern country into the home. However it was Grandma who led him to more traditional country music. From Alabama to Waylon Jennings and on to Willie Nelson and Johnny Paycheck Ben acquired a taste for what was then branded Outlaw Country Music.
During his rebellious years Ben discovered Social Distortion and Mike Ness, the band that will remain one of his all-time favorites. It’s helped guide him through some really important shifts in his musical journey. Fueled by “angry rock n roll” at that point Ben said “I didn’t care about tone or lyrical wordplay, I only care about anger”. As like so many other musicians it was a part of the learning process, time to grow and mature musically.
The timing was perfect to discover an up and coming band, The STEELDRIVERS which helped him rediscover his love for bluegrass music. These early years made him a sucker for harmonies. Ben said “it can turn an average song into something extra special and I can’t get enough of it” Looking back now it was the experiences he shared with his Grandmother which led him back to Bluegrass music and a good 6 years out on the road. He loved the performing but realized his voice was not best suited for that style of music as his natural lower voice was a better fit for country music. He vividly remembers “Blind Child’s Prayer” by Hank Williams which transformed him into a lover of sad songs. Ben commented “It’s still one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard”
Turned on to the likes of Sturgill Simpson’s early band “Sunday Valley” Ben could see a new musical journey on the horizon. “I had to go back and remember what drove me when I was younger; the likes of Drive By Truckers led me to Jason Isbell’s music and thus another huge change in my mindset and how it would impact song writing” recalls Ben. A mixture of the old and new. The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jerry Reed leading him to Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Blackberry Smoke.
Since then Ben relocated to Nashville and has spent countless hours honing his craft. Many a long night on a honky tonk stage but still finding the quiet time for writing and finding out what moves his soul. Along the way Ben has met lots of good people and enjoyed the entire experience. As they say onward and upward.
Ben’s most recent work included the release of his first record “Troubled Times”. It is a compilation of life experiences and those that have touched him. This music resonates within Ben Jarrell and he is sure that it will resonate in you. The journey is far from over so hop on and see what the future brings for Ben Jarrell’s Roadside Revival!