B i o g r a p h y
Ben has been a musician since the age of five and began writing music by the time he was ten. He’s played stand-up bass in school jazz bands and while at Wasilla High, with his sister and friends, formed Spiritus Mundi and another group that copped the name, the band. After high school, he played and recorded with The Drunk Poets out of Palmer. He recorded with the Poets on the album Preambulations and Such, playing bass and guitar on two separate tracks. Moving on to college, he started the group, Shriek. Ben decided that school wasn’t for him, so he began jamming with friends in Seattle before landing back in Alaska. With guitarist Mike Fleck, he formed Fleck’s Frenzy, a short-but-intensely-lived band that gigged around Anchorage.
But then it was time to see the world and off to Holland he went. He formed the group, Billy Goat’s Gruff and toured around the Netherlands and Belgium with another ex-Drunk Poet, Michael Rusteck, and his new band, Bowel Flowers.
Visa issues forced a retreat to the States. After a short stay in Alaska, Ben moved to Vermont, focusing more on writing songs for piano. With guitar in hand, he busked the streets there for five years to make sure his dues were being paid.
Returning to Alaska in 2011, Ben composed and recorded his first professional solo album, “Comin’ Home to You with Toilet Paper on My Shoe”. Yes, there is off-hand humor in a few of his songs. In 2013 he formed the band, The Acoustic Oosik with a variety of sidemen and they’ve appeared all over the state including three different bars in Nome during the 2014 , 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2019 Iditarod.
Ben has recorded two cd's since “The Boat of My Imagination” and "Twenty Thousand Day Dreams Under the Sea". Your sonic palate might detect flavors of Waits, Dylan and Prine blended with Knopfler, Westerberg, and Police-era Sting. You’ll be able to perceive hints of Lennon and McCartney and the occasional pinch of Shankar spices it all up into a quirky curry.
Ben is working on his fourth cd which is off to a good start and will be out in early 2022.