With the release of his fourth album, The Pilot and the Flying Machine, Ben Bedford takes the listener on a philosophical, poetic, and powerful sonic flight. With his songwriting as erudite as ever and his guitar playing further honed and refined, Bedford enters decidedly new territory in terms of themes, sound, and arrangement with this album. While his tried and true singer songwriter influences, such as Townes Van Zandt and Patty Griffin are here, this album owes as much in inspiration to the piano playing of Vladimir Horowitz and Thelonious Monk, the theatrical songwriting of Kate Bush, and the open sounding jazz and classical recordings of the late 1950s.
In many ways this is Bedford's most personal album and in a figurative sense, he is the pilot in the flying machine, maneuvering, swooping, and plummeting through his experience.
Bedford's approach to the recording process was markedly different from his other three albums. Rather than record in a studio, Bedford opted for the open sound and acoustics of Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church in Springfield, Illinois during January 4 – 8. He assembled a group of people who could help him achieve his musical vision and the live and open sounding recording that he hoped to capture. Nashville engineer David Sinko traveled to record the project(Punch Brothers, YoYo Ma and Edgar Meyer). His specialty is achieving an outstanding and unadulterated natural recording sound. Diederik van Wassenaer, who has toured with Bedford for the last two years, added his haunting violin and viola. Ethan Jodziewicz, who studied under Edgar Meyer, was tapped to play double bass. Last but not least, Kari Bedford, Ben's wife, adds her signature harmony vocals. The combination of musicians and engineering within that acoustic space has created a unique folk/americana album with strong hints of classical chamber music.
released June 22, 2016
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