Tuesday, April 15, 2014

UPDATES for SPRING and SUMMER SHOWS

I've recently booked a whole bunch of dates for the band, and thought I would take a quick moment to share them with you here. 

We just recently played another fun show over at Toad in Porter Square, and as it happens that is the place where our next show is going down on Friday May 9th. We hope to continue appearing there at this Cambridge mainstay for good music on the 2nd Friday of each month; you can also catch us over there at Toad on Friday June 13th. 

BIG BEN and the band at TOAD on 11April2014. l-r: Ben Alman on bass, Noah Matlsberger on guitar, Zeke Martin on drums and Big Ben Hillman on keyboards and vocals.


On Friday May 16th starting at 9 PM we will finally be making our long-awaited return to The Back Page in Lowell. I'm thrilled to have a new bassist working with us that evening, a talented young man by the name of Vaughn Brathwaite. 

Wrapping up the month of May you can check us out in Roxbury at a special place known as Sonny Walker's (formerly the C&S Tavern.) It's always a very spirited event when we play there, and if you haven't caught a show there yet you really ought to come check it out. It's something not to be missed! 

We've had the good fortune to play a couple of shows now at both the Cambridge and Waltham locations of a venue called Joe Sent Me, and on Friday June 6th we will be returning to the Waltham location for another fun filled evening. 

It's been a while since I've been back to New York City, but on Friday June 27th the band and I will be making our triumphant return to the one and only Shrine World Music Venue in Harlem. This will be our 2nd time in the headlining slot over there, and we really hope that all of our extended New York friends and family will come to show their love! 

Lastly I want to mention a new spot for us altogether: a fabulous spot up in Salem, MA called Brodie's Seaport Cafe. We will be making our funky debut over there on the evening of Independence Day, Friday July 4th! We're hoping that this will be a really fun night and we really want to see all of you there. We will also be appearing there on Friday August 15th. 

Lots of great shows to choose from, we hope you'll come to all or as many as you can. Of course there will be many more shows to come, and you can always get the latest news and updates on all upcoming events right here at www.bigbenhillman.com! 
Check out the latest BIG BEN gigs here:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

BIG FUN at JOE SENT ME

This past Friday the band and I had a gig scheduled at Toad, one of our favorite spots to play at in Cambridge. We were all set to go that afternoon when my girlfriend Barbra got a call from one of her friends saying that there was another band listed on the website as being the headliners that night. Long story short, we had been double-booked by the agent and we were out of a gig.

Having been in this situation before, my mind quickly started running through my options. Then I remembered that just a couple of weeks ago we had played at a place in Waltham called Joe Sent Me, and that they also had a location in Cambridge not far from Porter Square. So Barbra and I took a ride down there, talked to the owners real quick - who are super cool by the way - and lo and behold we had a new gig!

Big Ben at Joe Sent Me Cambridge on March 28, 2014. l-r: Jeff Buckridge on guitar, 'Cowboy' Ben Alman on bass, Big Ben Hillman on keys and Zeke Martin on drums. 

It took a bit of organizing to get the band and all of our friends and fans to come out to a new location, but we managed to make it all come together and it ended up being a really great night. Of course I am grateful to the guys in the band who always throw down the funk, and I'm really grateful to all of the good people who came and hung out with us. It was really great to be able to meet some new folks and get some new sets of feet dancing to our beat - above all we really want to thank the good folks at Joe Sent Me for being so cool and letting us come in there and do our thing at the last minute! They treated us really well over there, and if you haven't been there yet you really ought to stop in and pay them a visit sometime soon.


We were really happy to have our buddy Jeff Buckridge on guitar with us, as this was the first time he really did a full night with my band. Jeff, who says that he has yet to play a gig at Toad in all his years of musicianship, I'm afraid will have to wait just a bit longer to end that streak - but hopefully not much longer!

The band is slated to be back at Toad on Friday April 11th. This time we're on the web site - so mark your calendars and come get down with us!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Art of FUNK


A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting an artist based out of Boston named Carol Barenberg, an extraordinary painter whose colorful and vibrant work has been featured in galleries all over the world. Several months ago she told me she wanted to start working on a new piece based around the music I make with my band, as she had come to several of my performances in the area and apparently liked what she heard.

As I sat and posed for her in her studio with my keyboard in front of me, we listened to a copy of my soon to be released single Friday Night for a dose of funky-inspiration. It was quite interesting to see and feel the effect that one of my compositions could have on a visual artist.

Miss Barenberg often makes time-lapsed videos of herself while she is working and later sets them to music and posts them on YouTube. I was really happy that not only did she want to feature me in one of her paintings, but that she also wanted to feature my song in the video of her work on the initial study sketch. You can see and hear it in the video linked here:



The drawing is now finished and she has now begun doing the actual painting on canvas. I am already loving the way it is coming out and am very excited to see the finished product!

Check out some of Carol’s other videos on YouTube and visit her web site at www.barenberg.com to learn more about the work that she does. And as always keep checking in here at www.bigbenhillman.com for all of my funky updates! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

EPIC GIGS!!!

The last couple of weeks have been nothing short of AMAZING... dare I say even EPIC?!? That is a word that tends to get thrown about frivolously these days, but I promise you there is no frivolity in my delivery right now.

Last weekend in New York was great. We had an excellent turn out at club GROOVE; playing on stage at this West Village hot spot is always a good time. We met some great folks, made some new friends, and for the first time in a while we managed to keep almost everyone there dancing until closing time. We love playing at GROOVE and we can't wait to get back in there again soon!

Paula Green, Dave Smith, Kyle Christian, Dameyun Henry and myself take time between sets at GROOVE NYC to take a picture with some fans from Canada.
We'll be back in New York City on December 13th at THE SHRINE in HARLEM. It's been a little while since we've played over there, but it's always a good time. This will be the first time for us playing an extended two-hour set over at THE SHRINE, starting at 10 PM and ending at midnight. We are very excited to showcase some NEW and ORIGINAL material at this show, so we really hope that you and all of your friends will come on by help us to make this yet another EPIC GIG!!!

Posing with the fabulous Paula Green at GROOVE NYC
Lastly, I need to give a big SHOUT OUT to everyone in my old hometown of LOWELL, MA who came out to see the band and I play at THE BACK PAGE. It was truly and extraordinary night! Aided by the unseasonably warm weather and perhaps by some overflow from the GUSTER show happening across the way at the Memorial Auditorium, we managed to fit more people in that club than I think I had ever seen in there, and everyone was having a great time!

Big Ben with drummer Mike Stephan at The Back Page in Lowell, MA on November 16, 2013 (thanks to Barbra DeLauriers for the photo.)
I am so grateful to everyone who came out and partied with us. Your love and support as always is greatly appreciated! Of course I want to thank my good friends Mike Flynn at WUML and Jack Baldwin at WCAP for helping my get the word out over the airways. Of course we also want to thank everyone over at THE BACK PAGE for having us back, we hope to come back and do it again real soon!

If you're in the New England area you can come check us out at TOAD in PORTER SQUARE in CAMBRIDGE, MA on FRIDAY DECEMBER 20th at 10 PM. Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CHANGES and NEW DATES ADDED

As happens sometimes in this crazy business of music-making, things can change in an instant and all at once! As such I've had to make a few changes to the schedule recently, including the last minute addition of a show at GROOVE in NYC this SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9th at midnight!!



If you are anywhere in the New York City area then you should definitely come by and check us out! It's always a good time over there. Cold drinks, delicious food, friendly staff and some of the best music you'll hear in the whole damn city - you really can't go wrong!

For all of my friends and fans a little closer to my hometown of Boston, it saddens me greatly to say that the gig we had scheduled at TOAD in CAMBRIDGE on Friday November 29th has been CALLED OFF due to a scheduling issue with the venue. I'm afraid there is nothing we can do about this one, folks.

However, we will still be ROCKING over there on FRIDAY DECEMBER 20th at 10 PM for sure!! So hopefully if all goes well we will be looking at doing a regular slot over there on the 3rd Friday of each month. I've really got my fingers crossed for this one... but I will need YOUR HELP in order to make this happen!

Please, if you care about live music - in particular LIVE FUNK and SOUL music - then PLEASE come out and show your support! And don't just come out by yourself, tell all your friends and family. Let them know just how IMPORTANT it is to you personally that we keep this music and this TRADITION alive! Together we can make it happen!!



I recently visited the old WUML studios in LOWELL, MA to help promote my upcoming gig at THE BACK PAGE on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16th. If you were able to tune then you heard a brief preview of my upcoming single "Friday Night." I'm still making some adjustments to the mix, but as soon as it's done the song will be available for download here at www.bigbenhillman.com, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that.

Lastly, I've heard from a few people who have said they were having trouble ordering items from the merch store. I am looking into this to see exactly what the problem is. All I can say at this point is that the store is a work in progress, so please be patient with me as I work out all the kinks.

Alright, children... so to recap I'll see you in NYC at CLUB GROOVE this coming SATURDAY the 9th, and I'll see you in LOWELL, MA next SATURDAY the 16th at THE BACK PAGE. Let's get it done and FUNK IT UP HARD, people!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Introducing BIG BEN'S FUNKY MERCH TABLE at www.bigbenhillman.com

So as promised I have created a little Cafe Press page containing a handful of products featuring some designs I created. There are only a few shirts and a couple of hats right now with a limited selection of designs to choose from, but more will be forthcoming soon. You will be able to access the store at anytime from the "MUSIC" page here on www.bigbenhillman.com, but here is a little preview you can check out....

Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

I'm honestly not sure how many people out there will be interested in wearing a tee shirt with my face on it or a ball cap with my name emblazoned across the top, but I suppose you never know. Fortunately I've created another cool alternative design: a psychedelic tie-dyed looking "FUNK" logo. I think this will make for a really cool gift for someone, don't you?


Like I said before, if anyone has any feedback or ideas I'm all ears. At this point I'm just experimenting with different ideas until I find something that really works. All of this of course is in hopes of further promoting the new music I have coming out. My newest single "Friday Night" is almost finished and should be ready for download soon! as always keep your eyes and ears locked here to www.bigbenhillman.com for all the latest info!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

CHANGES and UPDATES at www.bigbenhillman.com

In between all of the normal madness that is my life, I have been trying to make a few updates and improvements to my website. I have been plugging along with the same basic format and layout for a while now, and it's worked out fine I suppose, but I feel that there is always room for improvement. So I try to take into account people's comments and critiques when they come up and make the page overall more user friendly and more inviting to people.

First of all the most noticeable change is the picture at the top of the page. I really felt it was time to update that. My look has changed a lot over the past year. Yes, children, uncle Benny is getting older, but I think I still look good. Don't you?



Okay, so maybe I can't pull off the long hair, the baggy low hanging jeans and oversized hoodies quite the way I used to (at least not in public, what I wear around the crib on a Monday afternoon is entirely my business... ) Thank goodness I look good in a suit.

One of the comments that I recall hearing was that it was a little bit difficult to find/access my music, which is of course the most important thing a musician's web site should do: promote the music! Right?? So I have added a small music player with a handful of my tunes to the top lefthand corner of the main page, so you really can't miss it. I also added a newer player with a much larger appearance to the music page. Now if only I can get some new music up on there I will be all set... and I promise you, that is coming soon!

Also on the main page, just below the player I have added more links to some of my other spots on the world wide web, such as my Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. There is also a link that brings you to my iTunes store (which at present only contains the "I'm Sorry" EP, but again this is something I hope to rectify and amend very soon!)

For years I have toyed with the notion of opening some sort of a "merch store" where people can buy various other Big Ben related items aside from my music, such as tee shirts, hats and coffee mugs. I'm honestly not too sure how interested people would be in buying/using items like this. Would you rock a Big Ben tee shirt at the club on a Friday Night?



I'd like to reach out to all of you, my friends, family, fans and fellow funksters to ask your opinions about all these things and more. If you have any ideas on how I can continue to improve the web site, on what sort of merchandise you would like to see sold here, or any other feedback I'd love to hear about it! You can comment here, or you can e mail me on the "contact" page form. Hope to hear from you soon, and I look forward to bringing you more great content - and especially some good music - here at www.bigbenhillman.com!!