Benny Sidelinger & Stripmall Ballads
- Events begin promptly at the posted time - doors open half an hour beforehand, so come early to have your choice of seats.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door.
Benny Sidelinger has always had a wanderlust. This was the catalyst for a trip to Buenos Aires that would shape the course of his life. Studying the art of Guitar Building with master Luthier Rodolfo Cuculelli sparked a flame that would take Benny on a journey of a lifetime. While building his custom acoustic guitars in Western Massachusetts, Sidelinger found himself playing locally with a group of musicians that included Phill Saylor Wisor. When Phill and Benny found they both had ambitions to tour, The Shiftless Rounders was born. Together they scoured the Appalachian byways absorbing anything that felt true, from the music of traditionalists in the hill-towns of West Virginia, to the gritty sounds of east Tennessee rock and roll. At a small festival in Oregon, the Shiftless Rounder crossed paths with Po’ Girl, and a few years later Benny found himself crossing the Atlantic with the Western Canadian based band. Working as an arranger and accompanist gave Sidelinger the opportunity to dig deeper into the craft refining the raw material of songs into thoughtful and tasteful music.
After extensive international touring with The Shiftless Rounders and Po’ Girl, Benny Sidelinger has set out on his own. Singing, playing guitar or banjo and playing drums all at the same time may be impressive, but it’s the songs that drive the music. That’s why he’s coined the term “Don’t call it a one man band”. The focus of this act is not on the novelty of multi-instrumentalism, but on raw American roots music. Vivid and gritty songs are delivered with an honesty that only comes from true mastery. There is nothing in this sound that mimics the sounds and textures of traditional Appalachian music. Rather, Sidelinger has dug so deeply into American roots styles that the music oozes out of him effortlessly. This gives Benny the unique appeal of possessing all the elements of tradition while remaining refreshingly relevant. Blending original songs with artistically arranged traditional material, Sidelinger has crafted an original sound that is as much at home in the mountains of West Virginia as it is in the Streets of Greenwich Village.
“Hauntingly gorgeous, melding Appalachian roots with intimate, Beat poet-esque lyrical ruminations.” – Seven Days (Burlington, VT)