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By Joshua Tehee
"For a while, Ben Bostick’s affinity for country music was a sort-of secret.
It was the music he played growing up in South Carolina, but that was before he left and moved all over the country, living in cities like New York and Portland and Los Angeles, where he eventually ended up playing guitar in a hard-core funk band called Music Force X.
“If you say it fast ...” says Bostick, letting the play on words run in your head.
It was at a party after a Music Force X show that Bostick first played a few of his “country” tunes for his friends. It was at their insistence that Bostick began playing his songs at open mike nights and on the Santa Monica Pier, where he made some good money. Well, good for a busking musician, he says.
His debut EP is “My Country.” The five-song album was recorded in one day, mostly live, and features a collection of Los Angeles session players.
“The best musicians I knew all wanted to play on this record,” Bostick says.
The result draws heavily from ’70s country artists like Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, particularly in the subject matter and Bostick’s deep baritone voice. This is outsider country music with easy comparisons to contemporary artists such as Sturgill Simpson.
It’s definitely outside Nashville’s pop-country mold, Bostick says. The music isn’t polished. Nor is Bostick for that matter. He doesn’t have a personal trainer or a PR firm. He self-booked his current tour the old-school way – by cold-calling venues on the suggestion of friends.
“Artistically, all I was trying to do was put together songs that fell outside the Nashville style,” he says."