Gentle Ben is an openly trans folk singer and the subject of the documentary-film Real Boy which chronicles his physical transition and relationship with his friends and family. It’s a beautiful documentary that has the power to change the world. Ben is a prolific singer-songwriter who writes catchy songs that are amplified with rootsy, country, Americana, and folky production styles. His acoustic singer-songwriter vibe shines through on all his tracks which gives enough room for listeners to focus on his craft of songwriting.
The album “Worth The Weight” is definitely worth the wait. It features beautiful harmonies by Joe Stevens (Coyote Grace) who is also a big part of the the documentary Real Boy which was part of the PBS Independent Lens Series and screened all over the world, winning awards, and opening the hearts and minds of many people and families. Ben and Joe’s music is the soundtrack of the film which has amplified the impact of the documentary.
Strange Fire Magazine’s favorite songs on his album “Worth the Weight” are “Left Foot, Right Foot” because of the initial chill vibe and then the quick paced chorus lyrics that come across more like a rap. This song showcases Ben’s talent in songwriting and vocal delivery. “For My Family” is a feel-good song about Ben’s transition and his family’s reaction. After watching the movie, Real Boy, and learning the story of Ben’s family’s transition, this song hits the heart even harder. Another favorite is “Fear Not My Life” which can become an anthem for anyone that has gone through the struggle of transitioning and not completely loving yourself for a moment. This song is empowering and relatable on a very human level that can mend a broken heart or soul.
This album features tons of soothing vocals, lots of acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos, incredible lyrics, and hooky melodies allowing listeners to dip into those great Americana vibes.
Enjoy the Gentle Ben & The Rising Tide record on Spotify:
Written by Ryan Cassata (Originally Published on Strange Fire Magazine)