Philly-area singer-songwriter Ben Kessler has been on our radar for a couple years now, which is crazy when you consider he has yet to graduate high school. But he’s been at it since he was 14, with a smooth vocal style and a sturdy knack for writing 70s-influenced pop songs. He’s released a handful of EPs on Bandcamp – most recently So It Goes, which debuted a year and a half ago – and his music channels Jackson Browne, Bill Withers, James Taylor – and more contemporarily, fellow Philadelphian Amos Lee.
It’s no accident, then, that one of his backing players on So It Goes is longtime Amos drummer Fred Berman; he’s joined by Chico Huff on bass and Ross Bellenoit on guitar. Kessler gigs alot, both with other players and solo, and this particular lineup will perform live this Sunday, March 13th, at World Cafe Live for Kessler’s 100th show. They also recorded a snappy Key Studio Session with Kessler, which you can listen to below.
The five-song set ranges from hip-shaking soul singalongs (“Imaginary Love”) to more emotive, introspective ballads (“From Me,” “Missing You”). Listen to the set below, download it for free at Soundcloud, and get tickets and more information on Sunday’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Ben Kessler, The Key Studio Sessions, World Cafe Live