Following Hot On The Heels Of His Praised Eponymous Debut Album


Players:  Ben Bostick - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar / Luke Miller - Piano, Organ / Kyle LaLone - Lead Guitar, Vocal Harmonies / Cory Tramontelli - Bass Guitar / Perry Morris - Drums, Percussion


Los Angeles, CA March 29, 2018—Country artist Ben Bostick has once again teamed up with engineer and producer John Would (Warren Zevon, Fiona Apple) to create Hellfire, his rowdy sophomore release.  Hellfire is a collection of 11 high-energy songs written during his band’s yearlong weekly residency at The Escondite in downtown Los Angeles. Influenced by the energy of the barroom, Bostick says the songs were “written to make the drunken denizens of the downtown dive go ‘hell yeah!’ In the tradition of the blues, they are lyrically dark songs that make you tap your toes and feel all right.”


In an unconventional way of recording, the musicians arranged themselves in a circle in the studio and played live, without headphones, using stage monitors to hear the vocals.  In addition to using close mics for the instruments, Would placed microphones throughout the room to capture the sound of the band playing together.  The songs were all written well before the band went into the studio and performed live dozens of times. “My aim was to write an album of songs that not only fit together musically and thematically,” Bostick explained, “ but also songs that really worked in a live situation and that suited the players in the band.”


Bostick’s eponymous debut was released in 2017 and was well received by the Americana and country music critics and fans.  “Last year was great for me,” said Bostick.  “I felt like I entered the musical conversation.  I released my first album, got reviews and fan mail from all around the world, and played more shows than ever.  I felt like a musical debutante.”  That being said, when asked about the differences between the last CD and Hellfire Bostick responds, “Everything.” 


Bostick’s last album was expansive, varied, sometimes funny, sometimes soft-spoken and sometimes wistful.  Hellfire occasionally has humorous moments, but as an album it is loud, fast, and angry.  “The last record had something for everyone,” Bostick professes, “but this one will have a specific audience.  I expect more people to dislike this album, which I’m excited about.”  Fascinated by the tendency of people to turn their suffering outwards in the form of rage and resentment, Bostick explores these themes on Hellfire. “I have a theory that one way to cope with being in hell is to integrate yourself into the environment and become one of the demons that dwells there--as if inflicting pain on others might relieve some of the pain you yourself feel.”


Kicking it off fast and loud with “No Show Blues,” the song’s main character is a man acting against his self-interest.  “This is a guy inside me,” confesses Bostick.  “I often have to push down the perverse urge to drive out into the desert and just get drunk, smoke cigarettes, and shoot bottles off fence posts.”


The title track, “Hellfire,” has a call and response chorus inspired by reading an article that asserted that music was historically only part of larger ritual practices and was always accompanied by dance, ceremony, and religion. “When I sing, ‘I’m talking bout hellfire’ and everybody in the crowd yells ‘hellfire!’ back, that breaks down the barrier between the stage and the dance floor and brings us closer together,” Bostick contends.


In the vein of participation, there are two songs on the record, “No Good Fool” and “Work, Sleep, Repeat” that were written as line-dances.  “As the satanic narrator sings on ‘No Good Fool’ about driving a woman to her death, the dancers are out there laughing and having fun,” Bostick observed. “That’s a thing of country music beauty.”


The humorously titled, “It Ain’t Cheap Being Poor” was arranged by the band’s drummer, Perry Morris, and has a New Orleans feel to the music, while on “Feeling Mean” Luke Miller’s organ takes the center stage. “Luke never plays the same solo twice,” Bostick claims admiringly.  “In fact, he never plays anything remotely similar.  He’s one of the most creative musicians I know and he never fails to surprise me.”


South Carolina raised, now Los Angeles-based, Bostick makes his living in music through various forms.  Along with being a performing artist, he busks (in an official capacity) on the Santa Monica Pier and has recently started DJ’ing at local clubs.  “It’s been a great opportunity to indulge my inner music fan and allows me to tell my girlfriend that I’m working when I go to the record shops,” he quips.  “But seriously, if it weren’t for music I would be a complete mess, if not dead.  Most of our waking lives as Americans are spent working, so I had to find a way to make a living doing something that was meaningful.” 


The themes of work and masculinity are thoroughly explored in Hellfire.  “The definition of maleness, the ideal of masculinity, and the role of a man in modern society have become harder to make out,” he considers.  “The image of the big strong man who works physical labor and provides for his family and retires with a union pension is old-fashioned.  There are a lot of guys raised in that mold that feel left behind.  I suppose you could say that the ‘character’ of Hellfire, the person that sings the songs on this album, is one of those guys.” 


Despite the darker theme, Hellfire is upbeat, raucous, honky tonk bar music.  The sound is raw and live and fast and the lyrics are of a whole.  “I’m very proud of it, and I’m proud to have made it with a great group of guys,” said Bostick. “I have two more albums written—who knows if I’ll record one or both or neither—but this ain’t the last time you’ll be hearing from me!” 



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