HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 20th 2011 - ISAAC



Ben Caplin @ the Bus Stop Theatre
HPX 2011

Ben Caplin - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011 03
Since I had to work late Thursday and early Friday, I decided to take in the early show at the Bus Stop theatre, one of my favourite spots in town, unfortunately it started so early that by the time I got there Kim Churchill and Charlotte Cornfield had already played. Carleton Stone was just setting up, so I squeezed my way through the small crowd to the front of the stage. The crowd was small but considering the sheets of rain that were invading the city, it was a bigger crowd than I expected to see.

Carleton Stone presented a handful of stripped down alt-country songs about broken hearts and unkept promises which featured only himself and a pianist. Stone’s self-titled album was produced by the great Hawksley Workman and like his producer, Stone has a knack for catchy melodies matched with heart breaking lyrics. Halfway through his set, Stone brought his full rock band onstage and finished things off
with some foot-stomper anthems that mixed Ryan Adams with Steve Earle and the Dukes. Stone’s has a great voice for this type of stuff, it’s pretty and melodic but he can also push it to a forceful (but still poppy) sounding caterwaul. And the girls in the audience went nuts for this guy.
Carleton Stone - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011 02

Carleton Stone - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011 01
Carleton Stone - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011 03




Halifax rising star Ben Caplin and his band the Casual Smokers closed the bar down with their wild CD release party. The Smokers have been making a name for themselves far and wide for their eclectic sound and fantastic signwriting, but their live show is probably their strongest attribute. Caplin presents himself almost as a character and his onstage persona is expert while coming across as 100% genuine.
He switched up instruments throughout the night and it always felt like it was in service of the song and not the songwriter. Whether Caplin played guitar, piano or screamed his lungs out he did it because it is what the song needed. He’s a songwriter to watch.
Ben Caplin - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011
Ben Caplin - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011 02
As for his band, they are fantastic. The rhythm section is dead on, implementing a lot of creative beats to enrich their foot stomping hoedown. And the violinist… Holy shit this guy is good. His solos were mind blowing. Imagine Jimmy Hendrix strangling the life out of a violin until it shrieks the last, most beautiful, gut-wrenching notes it will ever shriek and you might have some idea of how amazing this guy is.
Ben Caplin - HPX Day#3: Thursday Oct 01 20h 2011

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