Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma. Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore, what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is bold in both range and ferocity. Fuelled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, the romance and bravery in his voice gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion.

Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Sometimes joined by his band, The Casual Smokers, Ben strides in pace with gypsy-inspired strings delicately blended with the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone. Caplan’s tours have extended throughout the Commonwealth, and with the rhapsodic energy of his live show it is no wonder that his elegant cacophony is gaining attention around the world. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul and the heart in your chest pounding in sync that makes Ben Caplan an unmissable act.

The music of Ben Caplan is diverse, ranging from poetic ballads to frenetic gypsy anthems. But even when the band delivers the roughest of bar room stomps, there is a surprising depth and musicianship to the songs. Expressive percussion, upright bass, violin, sax, clarinet, flute, and terrific use of call and response sing-along choruses all help Caplan stand out from the masses.

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Photo Credit: Courtney Lee Yip