2016 Kerrville New Folk winner Ben de la Cour has lived a different kind of life. After growing up in Brooklyn, he set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, janitor and agricultural worker in Havana, London, Los Angeles and New Orleans before settling in Nashville. Influenced as much by giants such as Townes Van Zandt and Warren Zevon as by Nick Cave and The Gun Club, Ben de la Cour has managed to meld all of these influences into a uniquely modern, haunting and sometimes darkly humorous sound that is all his own.
“Ben de la Cour’s songs are brimming with urgent authenticity. There is thematic hardness and vulnerability throughout, but what distinguishes de la Cour’s songs from lesser guitar-and-anguished-vocals hacks is the raw humanity of his delivery and the potency of his way with words.” (No Depression)
In 2016 Ben de la Cour released ‘Midnight in Havana’, eleven tightly crafted songs of what he likes to refer to as “Americanoir”. Tales of substance abuse, murder and mental illness sit in perfect juxtaposition with occasional moments of playful lightheartedness and the ever-present glimmer of hope. However, upon closer inspection, darkness almost always wins…an unlikely hero, but one that suits de la Cour.
“Ben de la Cour bleeds the songs he sings. Within the understated instrumentation and de la Cour’s baritone voice lie stark, haunting songscapes: moody recollections that recount the journey of a life that is not always pretty, but proves better than one of mundane predictability.” (Turnstyled, Junkpiled)