Ben Featherstone, an artist who has enraptured audiences with over 1.2 million streams of his original music, is a maestro of the progressive acoustic genre, weaving a tapestry of sound with the ethereal embrace of strings and the boundless realms of space.
His opus, "Prisoner to the Wind," is a symphony recorded predominantly on analogue equipment, a testament to his devotion to authenticity and sound purity, captured in various locales, each with its own unique acoustic soul.
"I am enamoured by the deep, resonant timbre of Analogue gear. Despite its capricious nature, the labor of love it demands is a price worth paying - a nod to a slowly fading art," Ben muses. "In my creations, I hope to infuse my spirit, endeavouring to craft a cinematic landscape within each melody."
His vocal prowess, shaped by operatic training, echoes poignantly in his song 'Ageless Lady'. This mastery was honed under the tutelage of South American icon Marco de Brix, a mentor and friend who departed from this world too soon, leaving behind a legacy of song and sorrow.
"Marco de Brix was not just a legend; he was a beacon of musical truth. He imparted lessons of faith in the power of lyrics and performance. Tragically Marco was tormented by the spectre of his heritage – a congenital heart ailment," Ben recounts. "Marco once entrusted me with the President of Paraguay’s guitar. As I tuned its strings, he unveiled a scar – a silent witness to his stormy past. With a bittersweet smile, he whispered, 'The doctor says singing may end my life, but I say a life without singing - I would rather be dead.'
In a twist of fate as electrifying as his music, Ben found himself amidst a tempest on a fishing expedition to the Island of Flowers, off Brazil's coast. "I expressed my apprehension of a lightning strike to the boatman, whose stoic countenance offered a choice – a bar on a secluded isle or the boat amidst the storm," he recalls. The choice led to a literal shocking encounter a lightning bolt struck the tin he was leant against - Reliving the experience on BBC Radio 6, Ben described the jolt as "dual pneumatic drills assaulting the knees." The aftermath was a cocktail of pain and cachaça, and a journey hindered by unyielding knees across diverse landscapes. "The decision to return to Britain for medical attention became inevitable. My command of Portuguese was barely enough to navigate the place and without Marco's protective presence, I was a mere whisper away from the shadows of incarceration or worse, I had guns pulled on me on numerous occasions there,"
In the pantheon of the world's most distinguished twelve-string guitar virtuosos, Ben Featherstone stands as a colossus, heralded by Rolling Stone as one of the top 20 maestros in this realm. Fender, the esteemed guitar manufacturer, acknowledges him as a notable user of their twelve-string marvels, though Ben jests with a twinkle in his eye, "Unless I've strummed one in the throes of post-gig revelry, my own twelve-string, lovingly bespoke, bears the unique touch of both my craft and my mother's hand."
Ben's musical odyssey has been chronicled and celebrated across a constellation of prestigious platforms:
- NETFLIX - Cobra Kai
- BBC Sussex, where his melodies have danced on the airwaves
- BBC Radio 2, echoing through the heart of Britain
- The diverse realms of BBC Surrey, BBC Radio 4, and the eclectic BBC Radio 6 Music
- Radio Reverb's waves, carrying his tunes far and wide
- The innovative soundscape of Amazing Radio
- The visual storytelling of Channel Four
- Esteemed print and online publications like The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Argus, all singing praises of his artistry
- Local acclaim from the Mid Sussex Times, resonating with the heartbeat of his community
Featherstone's career has seen him sharing stages with luminaries such as Adele, I Am Kloot, The Wonderstuff, Kate Walsh, his mentor Marco de Brix, and Karl Barat, each performance a testament to his versatile prowess.
Today, Ben Featherstone serenades the night as the charismatic host of "The Late Show, with Ben Featherstone" on Mid Sussex Radio 103.8FM. In this role, he weaves the rich tapestry of his experiences, stories, and songs into the fabric of the night, enchanting listeners with his dulcet tones and captivating narratives.