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Live from Montreal!! 


That's the "petit" amount of French I know right now. Merci! 

So, I finally did it. I made into another country. Sure, Canada is right next door, but I must say, of the Canadian cities to visit, Montreal seems to have a very "foreign" or "exotic" feel. As soon as I crossed the Quebec border in my tiny little Prius, fighting off the beastly winter storm, English and French no longer partnered with each other on the highway signs. From that point on, only French was what I saw in everything, including: signs, buildings, and advertisements, which understandably makes sense. French is the primary language of the province and was quickly revealed. Thank, God for the psychology behind graphic design. Without those helpful, self-explanatory symbols, who knows how many epic fails I would have. 

A few things right off the bat: 

1. 100 kph is a lot slower than it sounds. 

2. 90 cents p/l is a lot more expensive than it sounds. 

3. Right turns are not a thing in Montreal. 

4. It's only about an hour away from the northern New York border (the state) and an hour and a half from Vermont border 

So, you might ask, why Montreal? especially during this crazy winter storm? 

Well, I'm at the one and only Folk Alliance International Conference, which happens to be in this lovely city to the north. It's my second year doing it, and I continue to plan on going to it on an annual basis. Unfortunately, due to previously diagnosed vocal cord issues, I have had to practice my "silent" conversation on this trip. It's proved to be a bit difficult, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I've been doing a lot of writing! 

Music updates: 

1. I have cancelled most recent performances due to recent vocal cord issues, but it doesn't mean I'm not still playing music. I have handed off my happy hour performance to my dear friend, Cylia, over at the Shrunken Head NEXT Saturday who will be sharing a set with my friend, Matthew Neill. I would LOVE to see you. I'll be trying out some glockenspiel stuff along with some piano. 

Happy Hour performance at the Shrunken Head 

Saturday, February 23rd w/Cylia Queen & Matthew Neill 

251 W 5th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201 

6 :00 - 8:00 PM 

2. I have a few performances scheduled in March, which are still ON right now, but will keep you posted after my next doctor appt! 

Thanks everyone! Respond to this e-mail to let me know how you are doing! If you don't know where to begin, answer this question: 

What is your current dream or project? (a new job, home remodeling, cooking, etc) 

Thanks for all that you do!

Voice Updates 

Warning this might be a long e-mail update! Skip to the bottom if you want to hear the silver-lining! 

So, I swallowed my pride finally, and saw a doctor. Let me tell ya, I'm certainly glad I did. 

Initially went to an urgent care, which didn't do much. They just saw me for two minutes and made a quick diagnosis of a sinus infection and laryngitis, prescribing me an anti-biotic and a steroid to hopefully reduce the swelling for a little while. 

I already had an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) appointment scheduled for two weeks out, but after waking up the following day, I realized I needed to get in sooner. I called an employee on the phone on Thursday at the end of the day, who said she would reach back out if there were any openings the following day. Sure enough, the customer service representative followed through and called back Friday morning with an appointment opening. -- Imagine that, someone with follow-through skills -- I honestly was shocked that she called back. She called me at 8:45 for a 9:30 AM appointment THAT day. 

After finding word about the appointment, I hustled to the ENT office and checked in, eagerly trying to figure out what's going on. I was introduced to Dr. Jeffrey Hall, who I quickly learned was Canadian and a previous opera singer. He was an incredibly personable guy who knew the importance of singing as a performer and a voice pathologist! After doing a quick test of my throat, they did discover a lesion (polyp) on one of my vocal cords.  --- If you want any cool pictures, I'd be happy to send...;-) --- 

We talked about strategies of what to do including voice therapy, surgery or vocal rest. He stated that therapy would not be any good at this point and suggested that "vocal rest" was the best option. If not improved, surgery may be considered, which is not the most ideal. Later in the day, I then met with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who confirmed the Dr. Hall's findings. Voice rest was the answer. 

This was unfortunate for a few reasons: 

1. I had a performance that night, and have several other gigs scheduled for this month as well. 
2. I'm heading to a Folk Conference this next week, which is a great opportunity for collaborating and meeting other musicians along with networking opportunities. 
3. I use my voice for my day job. 
4. I could not attend two interviews with employers because of this issue. 

It's frustrating. Singing is therapy to me. But not only that, I also realized how important verbal communication is. Last night, I still attended the gig I had to cancel. I wanted to show support but also wanted to practice not talking while being in social interactions. So, what did I do?? 

I brought my note pad...and used body language. As slow as it was to communicate, I wrote down everything I wanted to say on notebook paper and made it through the night without saying a word. Well, I'm sure a few slipped out, but I got away with not talking for MOST of the night. 

After getting used to being "silent" for a while, the weird part was that I actually kind of enjoyed it. No temptation to be the center of attention. I could just enjoy the company of others and listen while practicing more intentional body language. It also forced an element of patience on my end. If I wanted to ask a question, the important ones would stick with me, but the unimportant ones would slip away. 

Anyways, I'm still figuring this whole thing out as of now, but DO keep in mind that if I see you, most likely you will see this for the next month: 

1. I will not be talking/using my voice. (Hopefully) 

2. I will be communicating on notebook paper or text message (unless I can get a new iPad or Phone) 

3. I hope to STILL play music...but must do so by playing an instrument, not singing. 

4. I'm attempting to learn some sign language as well to potentially help with communication! 

Any prayers, thoughts or good vibes you can send me would be GREATLY appreciated. I know this will be a valuable experience for me, but it's also a tough one to accept. 

Thanks everyone for your love and support! 

Peace and love, 

PS: Here's an interesting read regarding vocal issues with pop singers, specifically Adele ( which I heard a few references to already, haha)

Thank YOU! 

Good morning, friends! 

I know I'm over a week late on this...but let me start this e-mail by saying... 

Thank you for the AMAZING CD Release Night on Saturday (January 19th)!!!!! 

As unpredictable as the weather was, I couldn't ask for a better turnout. The song, "Hurricane" turned out to be very fitting to start the show, which was inspired while driving behind/around the Hurricane Harvey storm in Fall of 2017. Last year's show at Shrunken Head was actually CANCELLED due to bad weather, so I was blessed to still put on a show! I must have a thing for storms, eh? 

This past week has been a restful one. Having lost my voice, I've been trying to spend the last few days resting...and listening. Not singing. I thought this would be easier...but MAN, it's tough. Singing is a beautiful thing....and I've come to realize how tough it is to NOT to sing. 

Most of this was a product of stubbornness on my I sang an event this past Thursday when I probably should have just rested...but... I didn't. And guess what? I came home eventually sounding like Tom Waits...or for those of you who don't know ol' Tom, I'll reference Louis Armstrong. As a result, I've been taking a break since Friday with hopes of sounding somewhat normal again. It's only been three days, but I can't help but be reminded of Ecclesiastes 3. 

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:.....a time to be silent and a time to speak," Ecclesiastes 3:1,7 

Now, this verse has MUCH more than what I just listed.....but I purposefully skipped to "a time to be silent and a time to speak". When you're not able to talk with ease, what do you do? You're silent. And when you're silent, it gives you more opportunities to listen. Because of this, I'm trying to embrace this time! I'm confident my voice will come back soon enough, however, I believe it's a good excuse to listen to some new albums, podcasts, heart-felt conversations, and... to have silence! 

Anyways, this is my short sentiment for today! I've been meaning to send this e-mail for several days now, and finally got to it....with the help of some coffee! 

Reminder: CD's have all been shipped out/sent through e-mail (for the Digital Download). Please let me know if you haven't received it yet! If you would like a copy, feel free to order it on my site...or you can e-mail me, text me, call me...get ahold of me somehow! 

Thanks everyone for ALL of your support. I hope you have a great start to your week! 

Peace and love, 

2019: I Thought it was 2007 Still 


I sincerely hope that 2018 brought in some good final memories...but now that we're in the beginning of 2019, let's be cliche and talk about our New Years resolutions. I'll go ahead and start by telling you one of my new years resolutions....well, when I say one... I really mean three. 

1. Hug more. Give at least one hug a day. It's a bit cheesy, but I continue to forget the value of a good hug. I'm not the most "huggy" person in the world, so we'll see how this one goes. Feel free to hold me accountable to this. :-) 

2. Read a book a month. I'm not gonna set the bar too high..since I don't read much. I go to the library quite often but for some reason, don't read that much. I even check out a bunch of books and have them for months on end...and still forget to read them. That being said, I think one book a month is doable. 

3. Get out of the country. This is actually already planned. I'll be heading to Canada in February for a Folk Music conference. If all goes well, I'll reach this goal within the first few months! 

I have PLENTY more goals for music...but I won't bore you with them. 

What are your plans for 2019? 

--- I'd love to hear what your plans are. Simply hit the respond to this e-mail and give let me know what you're up to! ----  


- CD's are officially printed and should be in my hands tomorrow. For those of you who contributed to the campaign, you SHOULD have received an e-mail LAST WEEK with the digital download. PLEASE let me know if you didn't get it. 

- CD Release Show: Saturday, January 19th, 2019 @ 8 PM  

Classic Victory's: 
543 S High St 
Columbus, OH. 

Lots of awesome music from PFC Pierce, October Ember and Paper Morning! 

- Be on the lookout for some future podcast episodes from "Just Play a Song" - a community music Meet Up group. Looking to start producing some music-related podcast episodes in a story-telling theme. Let me know if you're interested or have any cool ideas!

It's Time for The Bear Minimum 

Howdy friends, 

Merry Christmas everyone! Can't believe we are TWO weeks away from the Christmas. 

Also, as a late delivery, but early Christmas present, it is finally that time! The album is in the FINAL, FINAL, FINAL stages. No more mixing, no more mastering...Although, I'm realizing I can always make further adjustments, tweaks - it is in the stage where it's going to be replicated! 

If you didn't already see, the album's official title is "The Bear Minimum". Thanks to all of you who have supported me and voted on the album title. Apparently, me naming album titles after an animal is becoming a consistent thing. Now that I have both a giraffe and a bear, we'll have plenty of time to decide on the next animal title... I mean album title. 

For those of you who preordered the album, I will be e-mailing you very shortly with the download, so stay tuned for that. If you didn't preorder it, you can still do so - just respond to this e-mail or check out my PledgeMusic page. 

I'll keep this e-mail nice and short, since I know you have plenty of Christmas shopping to do along with other activities that don't involve reading e-mails. Be sure to mark your calendars for January 19th - the CD Release Show. It'll be at Victory's, which is not far at all from my house in the German Village area! Not only will this be a fun time, but I'll even have some new self-recorded songs to give out that'll only be offered at the show! 

Facebook invite: 

Thanks everyone for all of your love and support! 


The Choice Is Yours 

Today, I was scrolling through many of us do, and couldn't make a decision for the life of me. I wanted to find a "good" movie so I wouldn't "waste my time". Ironically, most of the times I do this, I waste more time scrolling than I do with actually watching the movie. I'm sure you all know the struggle! 

Luckily, I did make a decision that didn't take TOO long. The movie was called "Mr. Nobody"...which of all movies was very fitting. It was a film that dealt with the consequences of choice. If you haven't watched the movie, I won't spoil it for you - mainly because I'm bad at explaining movies. I definitely recommend it! 

The movie dives into several different lives of one specific individual, showcasing the outcomes of his decisions had he made one decision over another (almost a butter-fly effect idea). It makes you ask the question: If we knew the outcome of our decisions beforehand, would it aid our decision-making process? Or would it make us even more burdened? 

Me personally, I'm not too sure. Knowing the potential future of every decision you make would be overwhelming. But, I also do know that fear of the unknown is also a legitimate concern for making decisions. I'm realizing that decisions aren't always necessarily right or wrong, as I have previously thought; some decisions are simply just decisions. They may lead is down a different path but not always a worse path. It's not to say that there aren't better or worse decisions, but the fact that their could be neutral decisions. 

Sometimes, the worst decision could be the decision to not make a decision. 

I say all of this to reflect on my own life...and what I believe is a big struggle for much of humanity (at least in America). I've had many moments of life where I've contemplated so much and failed to make a decision at all. Choices are EVERYWHERE: including anything and anyone at anytime. It's good to think through decisions, but at the end of the day, we cannot predict the future. 

My motto (as of now): Pray about it, make a decision....and pray some more! 


The album is officially mastered! It's going to be called "The Bear Minimum"! My good friend is helping me out with getting some artwork ready - so be on the lookout! I'm eager to share the music with you! It's been a long time in the making - we're now on countdown! 

As always, let me know how you are doing! Simply respond with a "Hey Ben! Life is....." 

Peace and love, 

You're Under a "Rest" 

I'm starting to realize the importance of rest. 

Yesterday, I had the luxury of not having much on my plate. It was awesome! But of course, I thought I had something to I initially set my alarm for 6 AM the night before. I always like the idea of being productive on the weekend....but, more often than not..these aspirations are not met by action. So, a few minutes after... I thought to myself...why in the world do I need to get up at 6 AM? So, I pushed it to 8 AM.. falling straight to sleep. I eventually wake up to the melody of my apocalyptic sounding alarm at 8 AM...with no sense of urgency. 

So, what did I do with my alarm? 

I just turned it off...and fell back asleep. No snooze button AT ALL! 

Moral of the story? Rest is good. It's even BETTER when you can plan on rest. 

I always feel like I need to be doing something, but in reality, doing "nothing" can be more productive. Many of us call it the Sabbath...and I can see the importance of why it is needed for us humans. If we work, work, work, and have no rest, we have no time to even enjoy the fruits of our labor...and more importantly, we end up losing our steam, becoming more and more drained. We NEED rest. 

Anyways, I won't bore you with much more of my Saturday...but DO was very unproductive....which I am quite proud to admit. Several hours of Netflix may or may not have been a part of the day. 


1. All tracks are recorded....doing a final mix review this Monday (tomorrow) and hopefully can officially get things mastered and RELEASED! I'm STOKED!  Now, an album title is needed....see update #2 

2. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE PLEDGE MUSIC CAMPAIGN, YOU get a say in my awful, terrible, but awesome album title potentials... 

Simply respond to this e-mail with the title you hate the least. 

- Cat Me if You Can 
- Shark Appeal 
- The Bear Minimum 

3. CD Release Show is SET for January 19th at Victory's. Mark your calendars! 

Thanks everyone for all of your support. Each and every single one of you is a blessing in my life and I am forever grateful for YOU! 

Feed My Sheep 

This past Thursday, I had the absolute pleasure of recording a new song....well, really a BRAND new song. I could have went with a familiar song that I was more comfortable with recording, but I was feeling led to track this song and throw it on the album. I had eight amazing other human beings come in on a whim and sing some back up harmonies to give it a mini choir feel. I'm stoked to share it with ya'll...but it may be a while...:-( 

The song, called Feed My Sheep, was inspired by the story between Peter and Jesus in the Bible. Yeah, I'm about to get a little bit bible on ya....sorry.... 

For those who are unfamiliar, Peter was a bold character and a strong follower of Jesus. I'd say he's one of those guys you'd want on your side; the type of person who would stick up for you through thick and thin. Peter probably thought that until the end, he would be there right by his side. But much to his dismay and probably shock, Jesus informed him that he would deny him THREE times before the rooster crows. He had hard time processing this but sure enough, by the time the rooster crowed, he wept in remorse. 

Luckily, the story doesn't end like this. When Jesus is resurrected, alive from the dead, he asks Peter three times: Do you Love Me? After each time of asking "Do You Love Me", he replies with similarly but differently worded statements as followed: "Feed My Lambs", "Take Care of My Sheep" and finally, "Feed My Sheep". 

Clearly, this was a statement for not only Peter, but all of us to love our neighbors. This is a requirement on our end. I wrote this song to remind myself, and others, of not only the importance but also how vulnerable we are in this area. It is so easy to fail at doing this. But when we do fail, it doesn't have to define us. 

On a musical note... (ha, get it)), if you're free, come out to the Tree Bar tonight! I'll be playing at 9-ish 

I'd love to see you and perhaps talk with you some more on your thoughts! 



Saturday, September 8th at Tree Bar - TONIGHT!!!!!! 

Davey Dynamite, Chase Duncan, and PFC Pierce 

$5, 9 PM 

Thursday, September 13th at Bobbys Idle Hour 

Songwriter Round (Nashville) 

FREE, 10:45 PM 

Saturday, September 22nd at Troubador Farms 

What If I Would Stock, Galena, OH 

$10 wristbands, $15 at site, $5 PM (goes on until 2 am!) 

Thursday, September 27th at the Tree Bar 

The Rightly So w/ Jeff German & Benjamin Marshall 

$5, 10 PM 

Thanks everyone! Do me a solid, and continue to let me know how your are doing. If you don't know where to begin, this might be a good starter prompt..... 

If you had to pick an animal that represented your life RIGHT NOW, what would it be?

The Music City 

Oh, how I missed Nashville. 

Over the past weekend, I had the pleasure of being in Nashville for a "DIY Music Conference" put on by CD Baby. It was actually my 2nd year, so this time I wasn't a complete newbie. Utilizing my grandpa driving skills along with the great mileage of my prius, I ventured off to the Music City with a few music pals - David and Nate and stayed in a hostel downtown. We were right in the heart of the city...and for only $35 a night. Not too bad, huh? 

All four of the dudes in our little dormitory room were here for the conference - one from Santiago, Chile and another from Pittsburgh - and of course my friend and I. I was fascinated by the fact that someone would travel so far for this conference. He definitely wasn't the only one. There were people from all over the world that attended this conference - from New Zealand to Chile to Brazil. Apparently, Nash-vegas was the city to be in this past weekend. 

So, I won't bore you with all the details of the conference - but the big takeaway for me is the connection aspect. I always find myself in the "jam room" playing music with other talented individuals....And since my voice was gone the first night, I found myself LOVING accompanying other people - whether on piano or guitar. Seeing the diversity in styles - unified by a simple, causal jam room...was all I needed. Don't get me wrong, the seminars were great as well...but, the relationship building part is always is a priority to me. 

So, here I am. Typing away at the computer. Back in Columbus...and long behold, the Nashville connection happens again. One of the new neighbors randomly found my business card on the street...and actually checked out my music. 

Yeah. You read that correct. 

A stranger...who had no idea of who's business card it was... randomly checked out the website and music. Maybe that'll be my new way of marketing. 

He told me today that his son plays bass in a band, based out of Nashville, but lives in Columbus. It's a band called, Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes... I am going to check them out RIGHT now! I think you should too! 

Anyways, thanks for reading my e-mail. I'd LOVE to hear from you. I'm realizing how small this world can be sometimes. 

Tell me about a time/situation where YOU realized how small this world can be...aka six degrees of separation. 


Saturday, September 8th - 9 PM  at the Tree Bar 

Davey Dynamite, Chase Duncan, and PFC Pierce 

Thursday, September 27th - 10 PM at the Tree Bar 

The Rightly So w/ Jeff German & Benjamin Marshall 

For those of you who actually have read this far....or happened to scroll to this point, here's a treat for you. For the next several e-mails, I'm going to send you a few old recordings of my OLD band. Here's the first one on the list. Take a listen...Dive into "Fearing All the Evidence" - a song recorded OVER a decade ago. 

Thanks all! Have a great rest of the week! 

Peace and love, 
Benjamin Marshall

Previous events

Date Event Location
Benjamin Marshall The Summit / Cafe Bourbon, Columbus, OH 43201 The Summit / Cafe Bourbon, Columbus, OH 43201
Sunday Funday @ Jackie O's Jackie O's, Athens, OH 45701 Jackie O's, Athens, OH 45701
Happy Hour at the Shrunken Head The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
 —  — FOLK ALLIANCE Conference Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec
LIVE! at Craft & Vinyl Craft & Vinyl, Columbus, OH 43212 Craft & Vinyl, Columbus, OH 43212
Benjamin Marshall - CD Release Show Victory's , Columbus, OH Victory's , Columbus, OH
Private Event OH OH
The Big Room Bar w/Will Wood The Big Room Bar, Columbus, OH 43206 The Big Room Bar, Columbus, OH 43206
Noise for Toys w/PFC Pierece The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
Happy Hour at the Shrunken Head The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
The Crest - Happy hour! The Crest, Columbus, OH The Crest, Columbus, OH
The Rambling House - HAPPY HOUR! Rambling House, Columbus, OH 43202 Rambling House, Columbus, OH 43202
Private Event Private Event, Ohio Private Event, Ohio
Star House - Donation Drive/Fundraiser The Shrunken Head, Columbus, Ohio 4320 The Shrunken Head, Columbus, Ohio 4320
Benjamin Marshall & Friends, The Castros, TOWNeS, and The Kozmics The Tree Bar, Columbus, OH The Tree Bar, Columbus, OH
Benjamin Marshall & Caroline Smith Aerial Wine Boutique, Columbus Aerial Wine Boutique, Columbus
Benjamin Marshall Tatoheads Public House ,, Columbus, OH 43206 Tatoheads Public House ,, Columbus, OH 43206
SOW Connected - Benjamin Marshall The Coffee Connection, Hilliard, OH 43026 The Coffee Connection, Hilliard, OH 43026
Benjamin Marshall Aerial Wine Boutique, Columbus, OH 43230 Aerial Wine Boutique, Columbus, OH 43230