Just gimme one good year

O2 16.03.13 Ben Welburn

Hey folks, I just wanted to say hi on here for the last time in 2013. And say what a truly awesome year it’s been on the music front!

When I think back over the year it’s been somewhat mad. In January I first met Phil Penman from Drumfire Records (after months of playing e-mail tag), and he proved to be a great supporter of mine over the next 12 months. He even asked me to play as one of his Drumfire acts at the inaugural Country 2 Country festival at the O2 in London, which was a great boon for me. For all the things that could’ve been improved about that weekend, it gave me exposure I hadn’t had before and set the tone for the rest of the year. Before that though, in February, I’d played with the great Canadian songwriter Fred Eaglesmith, which was also superb.

Festivals were a big part of 2013 for me too. 12 months ago I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be playing the Oxford Punt, the very first Halfway to 75 festival, Brownstock in Essex and the massively popular Truck Festival all in one summer. But I did and I’m very grateful to those that asked me. Hopefully I’ll see some of you again in 2014. As well as those I also played excellent London venues like The Good Ship in Kilburn, What’s Cookin’ in Leytonstone, The Old Queens Head in Angel and the famous Jazz Café in Camden. All great gigs I’d gladly do all over again.

But even with all these great milestones the big event of this year was, of course, recording my debut album. Back in March at C2C, I met the terrific Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens. After a while it became clear that making an album together was a real possibility, and sure enough a few months later I packed my axe in the car and headed for Edinburgh. Dean fed and watered me and generally put up with my crap for a week. I’m immensely proud of what we (Dean, the mercurial Garry Boyle and the brilliant band of musicians) achieved in five days of recording and mixing at Castlesound and I can’t wait for you guys to hear it all.

It’s been a big year in a lot of ways, and I have every intention of making 2014 even bigger! The album, ‘How About Now’ is scheduled for release on Drumfire Records in February, so stay tuned. The album has already been made a ‘tip for 2014’ by Duncan Warwick, the editor of Country Music People magazine (no pressure, then). In the meantime though, I found time in the studio to record an acoustic version of the album track ‘Get Out Of My Mind’, which the impatient super-fans amongst you can see on video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzPlkcG0C2E

Thanks so much for your support this year. I hope to see all of you and more in 2014 and I hope you’ll continue to take an interest in my music for a good while to come. Oh, and make sure you have a great year yourselves….