"Ben Levin is the purest evidence that great things happen when you mix hard work, magic, love and music." - Brian Baker, CityBeat
Paris-Move, Blues Magazine(Translated)
By Patrick Dallongeville
News from the Cincinnati prodigy! His 21 years barely sounded, the pianist and singer who panics the stages (as well as the critics) around the world confined himself for four days last June (at the peak of the pandemic in the USA) with his father of guitarist and his section rhythm, in a studio in Newport. And this new album by Ben Levin (his third in four years) completes its establishment in the firmament of a blues scene that never ceases to celebrate its own heritage. That he pays homage to Henry Gray and Howlin 'Wolf (the delicious “Stuck”, and “Have You Lost Your Mind?” Where his father splits into a nasty guitar chorus), to Ray Charles and Charles Brown (Papercut ”,“ Time Brings About A Change ”,“ Too Good For Me ”on electric piano, or the instrumental“ The Buzzard ”on organ, with other nasty lines from daddy Aron's six strings), up to Jay McShann, Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris (the jubilant titular beach, with its proto doo-wop choirs, and “Hadacol Bounce”), which he borrows from Doc Pomus the Brill Building touch that made the heyday of the Drifters by Ben E. King (by signing here the well titled “Some Other Time”, which one would swear recorded at the very beginning of the sixties), or that he resuscitates the rumba madness of the late Professor Longhair (“Nola Night”), or adapts Frank Frost's funky “My Back Scratcher” to the Hammond B3, the kid confirms here from start to finish what his modesty tries to deny in vain.
The production, however sober it remains, is no less as brilliant as it is luminous, as required by the chosen register. Do not listen to the jealous people who accuse him of being just another young person playing old man's music: now, Ben Levin no longer just embodies the next generation, he is the new boss.