That’s what I said when the music started playing. The sound was amazing, better than I expected. But the vocals made my jaw drop. That sounds like Ben Kyle, doesn’t it? I know that guy!
Steve Knight mentioned going to see the band Romantica when he came to town, and his fawning over the band and the fact that you can listen to their CD online prompted me to head over to the site and check them out.
From the first word of the first song I knew I recognized that voice. Could that be Ben Kyle? But this sounds amazing. This sounds like a full-blown, record-signed, professional band. Not that I don’t think Ben’s capable of that, but when did that happen?
Maybe you need a little background to be as blown away as I am. I went to college with Ben Kyle. He was the cool artsy, musical guy from Ireland. He had dreadlocks and an Irish accent. He teamed up with Luke Jacobs and they played some amazing acoustic folk music. We had them on our radio show, Mission Control, multiple times. In fact, I’ve got a few tapes of those performances and have been in the process of transferring them to my computer. Abby and I went to several Ben & Luke performances at local coffee houses.
After college I didn’t hear much about Ben Kyle anymore. I did track him down for a story about playing Irish music in pubs for passageway.org. I went to a show in Dinkytown and filmed his performance for the article, and one song is available on the site.
After that I never heard much about Ben Kyle. Every now and then I’d remember those accoustic songs, pull out my Mission Control tapes and hear them again. Occasionally I’d Google “Ben Kyle,” wondering what he was up to. I never did find him.
I guess that’s why it’s such an amazing, drop-what-I’m-doing, fawn-like-a-fan-boy thing. I didn’t expect to hear Ben singing, see Ben and Luke’s names and pictures on the site. I always thought Ben and Luke should plunge headlong into the music biz. Maybe that’s just me wanting to hear more of the local music I loved, but I always thought they’d go far. And maybe they’re not far yet. They’re a local band on a local label, but they have an amazing CD and are being reviewed in City Pages. It’s a start.