$10 in advance/$12 at the door
10:30pm doors/11pm showtime
Benjamin Cartel is no stranger to making music that quickly connects with its listeners. That’s something he’s always excelled at, first with the substantial attention and acclaim accorded his duo Kaiser Cartel, and then, with a return to his solo career. To date, the latter has yielded two highly acclaimed efforts, an EP called Money and Love and a full length outing entitled
Gothenberg, each of which helped broaden his reputation while underscoring his obvious
ambitions. “Benjamin Cartel’s songs can often conjure the same subliminal tension as that of a Randy Newman or John Prine” -.American Songwriter
With Cartel’s upcoming release, Flickering Light, he moves the needle even further, opening up a sonic palette that not only reflects his expansive musical vision, but also reflects his attention to craft and detail through astute, articulate arrangements and a sound that’s both stirring and sublime. Co-produced by longtime colleague Mike Cohen and recorded at Trout Studios in Brooklyn (home to recordings by Evan Dando and Joan as Police Woman) and Flower Studios in Minneapolis (which birthed records by The Replacements and The Jayhawks), the new album found Cartel intimately involved in every detail of the process. With Cartel playing guitar and drums, Cohen contributing guitar and Kieran Mulvaney anchoring the proceedings on bass, the results verify that fact that Flickering Light is easily Cartel’s greatest achievement yet.
Then again, Cartel felt a decided connection to each of these songs, most of which were written and accumulated over the past few years. “When I write, I like to have a story to write about,” he insists. “I often take my inspiration from things that friends of mine have experienced. Then I’ll write the song from a first person point of view and create a lyric that’s completely direct. Other times I’ll take my own experiences and share them though a song. Either way, I see myself as a storyteller, and while the narrative may not always be completely literal, I do try to interpret the events with some imagination and put myself in the center of the song.”
With the release of Flickering Light, Cartel is realizing that vision like never before. “I’m not
trying to overwhelm anybody,” he says. “To me, less is more. At the same time, I live and
breathe what I do. There’s nothing like a good catchy melody to convey emotion and inspire my enthusiasm.”
In 2010, songwriter Ryan Traster took to the road as a solo artist. He hasnt stopped moving since. Whether it be from one coast to another, or from one musical style to another, Ryans multiple releases and nomadic lifestyle reflect his unwavering stand against being confined to one place or musical genre. This is not an easy road, and each of his releases, which range in style from indie to garage to folk to power-pop, has come at a steep price. Whether it be sleepless nights in a cold van or working odd jobs to pay for studio time, Ryan does whats necessary to realize his artistic vision on his terms. And the hard work is paying off. Ryan and his music have been featured on American Songwriter, Death and Taxes, Daytrotter, iTunes New & Noteworthy, MPR, City Pages and more, in addition to receiving national radio play and placement in several popular television shows. Years of hard living later, Ryan Traster is only getting stronger, most recently releasing a highly anticipated new EP produced by Ed Ackerson (Joseph Arthur, Jayhawks, Polara) in September of 2016 via Dead Letter Records/The Orchard.