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Ben Kweller

Children are often raised in musical families, but few receive the same introduction to music as singer/songwriter Ben Kweller. Before he was old enough to enter kindergarten, a young Kweller emulated Nils Lofgren (who, during his time with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, would hang out with Kweller's father) by playing his toy version of the guitar. He also played piano, and by the age of eight, Kweller had begun penning his own songs. The following year, he received a nod of encouragement from Billboard magazine when it conferred an honorable mention on the youth for his entry into Billboard's yearly songwriting competition. By the time he hit his teenage years, Kweller was an accomplished guitarist and had begun playing drums as well. He pulled together his first band, Mirage, and followed up with groups like Green Eggs & Ham and Foxglove. All the while, he honed the skills that would later launch his respected solo career.

With help from bassist Bryan Blur and drummer John Kent, Kweller established Radish in 1993. The group made its mark on the local Dallas scene, not far from Kweller's hometown of Greenville, TX. In 1994, the musical wunderkind and his teenaged outfit released the Hello EP through Practice Amp Records. That same year, the label released the full-length album Dizzy, which convinced producer Roger Greenawalt to partner with the group. Under his wing, Radish produced another demo and inked a contract with Mercury Records during the summer of 1996. Ben Kweller was still a teenager at the time, having turned 15 years old that June.

Mercury Records released Restraining Bolt the following spring, and Kweller led Radish through European and American tours (as well as several late-night TV appearances, including The Conan O'Brian Show and Late Night with David Letterman). Despite scoring a Top 40 hit in the U.K. with "Little Pink Stars," Radish failed to enjoy significant success at home, and changing tides at their label (Polygram, Mercury's parent company, was absorbed into Universal Music Group in 1998) prevented them from releasing another album. When the group disbanded in 1999, Kweller headed east to Guilford, CT, where he stayed only a short time before relocating to Brooklyn, NY. Not yet 20 years old, he signed with Island Records as a solo artist.

Ben Kweller launched his solo career with a series of EPs, some of which reprised the material that Radish had written but not released. His heartland hooks and folksy flourishes made fans out of several artists, and Kweller soon found himself touring with the likes of Juliana Hatfield, Guster, Kristin Hersh, and Evan Dando. He inked a deal with ATO Records in 2001 and released one final EP before issuing Sha Sha, his solo full-length debut, in 2002. More touring followed, as did a collaboration with Ben Folds and Ben Lee known as the Bens. Kweller's sophomore effort, the subdued On My Way, followed in spring 2004 and was supported by a co-headlining tour with Death Cab for Cutie. Two years later, he returned with his self-titled third album, on which he played all the instruments. Kweller furthered his experimentation with 2009's Changing Horses, which saw the songwriter embracing country music and employing a pedal steel guitarist. The singer continued to explore pop music on 2012's Go Fly a Kite, which found Kweller dabbling in everything from power pop to alt-country. ~ Linda Seida & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Drowning in my whiskey...gu r g l e , gurgle
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If this guy.kid represents the new direction of rock what do I do with my black lips, nobunny , Japanese Motors, The Mantles, the soft pack, best coast, sore Eros , dr dog, plunt, Shannon and the clams, king khan & the BBQ show, Mark sultan albums and so many more so better than kweller ? For Sha Sha I was on his street team them his your manager then I couldn't stand to hear one more song by him and looked forward to the music I played before and after his sets! They don't even list his one go
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This kid sounds like Ben Folds meets Rivers Cuomo. I like it.
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amo muito tudo isso
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amo muito tudo isso
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nicko252008
THIS is rock and roll
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@jfcruz: that's epic, I hate it for him must have made his voice sound nasally ha ha
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Song playing nothing happening. Ben has a nice voice even though this isn't my typical style of music; it's a little easier than what I usually want to hear. Sounds about like Beatles to me.
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I saw him in Austin at the ACL festival. He had a massive nose bleed. There was blood all over the stage, covering his guitar and piano. someone threw a tampon at him. He shoved it up his nose and kept playing. Probably one of the most epic shows I have ever seen
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piece of s**t
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cris_cal_89
I love this guy! I've seen him every tour since 07 and I've never been disappointed . He is RAW talent. Amazing live, and Super sweet! After each show I've been able to meet him and talk to him. GREAT GREAT guy!
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He is very friendly. When I met him after his show, he hugged me and kissed my neck! hahah
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m_cd_31
Love Sha Sha!
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cballas
Sha do! I do love Ben Kweller!
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Love this guy. First noticed him in sha sha Been a fan ever since!!
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love nothing happening the best
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You're telling me this isn't Weezer!? lol
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First saw him live in 2003 after I bought Sha Sha. Haven't looked back since.
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saw him and julia nunes recently in burlington f**king epic
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changing horses was my first album of his... great album
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Ben Kweller just makes me happy.
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betsyslu
I like Kweller because there's a vulnerabilit y in his voice. And his lyrics are good...can't neglect that.
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tchandler21
raizingcane: you clearly are not listening to the same song as the rest of us...
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Listening to "Nothing Happening" right now and he sounds just like Travis on 12 Memories. In fact if I wasn't staring at his face right now I would swear this was a hidden track from that album.
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csharppoet
I think Ben is more macho than Enrique!
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This is terrible!
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Saw Ben in Greenville,T X on the 22nd. It was amazing!!!!! ! ! Best show I ever seen. Great to see him in his home town.
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Listening to Ben Kweller makes my day right.
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This kid rocks! Saw him play at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA 2 years ago and really liked the show. Ben spoke of retirement at 23 must be nice!!
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He sounds just like the front man of Wilco.

Love it.
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Sounds like weezer to me
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Sweet music!
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I really love "On My Way," such a classic album. It sounds to me like an older rock album, but I don't know who it sounds like. Does anybody know of any good older albums that sound like this?
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Kick A**!
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i miss radish @ trees.
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Makes me miss Texas!
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bean5869
I was lucky enough to see him last night live (on his 28th birthday). If you ever have a chance... go see him. Great show!! He's very personable, friendly, and just overall a great guy.
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mphymel
Nice little reference to Gretna, on the west bank of Mississippi, New Orleans area
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he's great. my friend told me about him.
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It took a me bit to warm up to him, but I'm glad I did! He's absolutely amazing! And I love his voice, it's got a really charming quality to it.
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absolutely my favorite artist. He totally blows my mind.
:)
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sabralit
always and forever i will have a place for kweller
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:)
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He has a large nose, but his music is good.
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melrdennis
I HATE THIS GUY.
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Ben Kweller is so immensely talented; he's mind-blowing .
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Ben Kweller from what i've heard of him is freaken awsome! dats it jst freaken awsome.
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Ben kweller represents the new generation of rock. Period.
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amazing...
just amazing.
all i can say
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"Falling" masters the art of the chord change, haha.

I love Ben Kweller, and I'll be damned if this isn't the best of him.
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