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BEN KWELLER – San Francisco, CA

by Jody Mason

Ben Kweller Takes on San Francisco

Ben Kweller returned to his place of birth Sunday, October 5, to play the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. The 27-year old drew a huge audience of all ages with fiery, Dylan-esque songs like “Fight” and “This is War”, stomping with the beat and twirling wildly with his guitar. Kweller showed his softer side with “Things I Like to Do” and “Falling”, both great if you fancy Jack Johnson. You may have also heard his song “Keep it Together” in the movie “The Wedding Crashers”.

He demonstrated his impressive skill on multiple instruments. His repertoire includes the drums, guitar, and piano but his vocals could stand alone if necessary. He belted strong notes and mitigated his tone frequently and on key. Every word was clear and true, and his final song “Penny on the Train Track” invited fans to shout the lyrics along with him.

Of all the bands on Day 2 of Hardly Strictly, Kweller grabbed my attention and held a lasting impression. His newest album, Changing Horses, is due out in 2009 featuring his latest single, “How Ya Lookin’ Southbound? Come in…”

Yeah, I don’t quite get the title, either, but he is an amazing songwriter and musician. I will await his album release and report back here.

Ben Kweller – Penny On The Train Track

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