Common Folk Music is coming together with Shaker Steps to present one of my personal favorites, Ben de la Cour. When I think of folk music, I think of troubadours, and when I think of troubadours I think of Ben. Never staying in one place too long and never setting down roots, Ben is a bona fide folk singer. If you don’t know his story, here’s a quick overview: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but with a restless spirit and wanderlust Ben has lived in Havana, Paris, London, and New Orleans working a string of various jobs from amateur boxer to heavy metal singer to agricultural worker making him the “real deal” when it comes to the image of a true folk singer. However, it’s not just my imagination or his life that makes him a true folk singer, it’s his voice and his ability to turn a story into a song like his new song performed for Shaker Steps and posted below. Filmed at Millpond in Lexington, Kentucky, Ben delivers a fantastic performance of “Midnight in Havana”. There’s something unique and lovely about the juxaposition of a song about humid Havana and the crisp, autumn air of Kentucky. With a Townes Van Zandt quality (which, by the way, I don’t take lightly) in his voice and to his songwriting, Ben doesn’t get the proper props and recognition deserved for such a talented artist. Like the proverbial hidden gem or diamond from coal, that’s what makes Ben special. It’s also the reason I love writing about independent artists. It’s exciting to discover, explore, and share something so rare and beautiful as Ben de la Cour and his songs, and I hope you will do the same.