My book/CD project, "John Williams for Solo Fingerstyle Guitar", published by Hal Leonard Corporation, has been signed, sealed, delivered, and approved. Actual publication date, TBD. I will update the site once the book is available for public consumption. In the meantime, I give you track #1, "March From Superman". Enjoy!
Check out the latest issue here.
Here are a few sample videos:
I am thrilled to be one of the acoustic personalities on this gem where I share 40 of my own newly composed finger-style licks.
From the Hal Leonard website:
"A Guitar Licks Goldmine awaits in this incredible acoustic collection! With four hours of content, this DVD is jam-packed with lead lines, phrases, and riffs personally taught to you by professional guitarists Matthew Schroeder, Ben Woolman, Peter Roller, and Colin O'Brien. Each and every authentic lick includes a walk-through explanation by a pro guitarist and note-for-note on-screen tablature. Normal and slow-speed performance demos are included to really help viewers master the licks."
Enjoy a live performance from my recital at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, MN.
The Jan/Feb issue of Akustik Gitarre Magazine - the premier acoustic publication in Europe - contains a feature profile article on yours truly. Tommy Emmanuel is on the cover and there is also an accompanying CD which includes my arrangement, Blake Says.
Dan Schwartz and I are hard at work recording new music for this latest collection which will be released as an incremental album (as singles - about once a month). Please visit newrootsduo.com for more info!
I have finally added a new series of videos to my YouTube channel:
Moving forward, I plan to utilize this space to promote my music as well as for guitar instruction purposes. The video content will range from self-produced and concert footage to online lessons and study pieces for students. Take a look and check back as I will be updating much more often...at least more often than every 3 years. Enjoy!
I just completed a successful DVD shoot for Hal Leonard Corporation, the world's largest music print publisher. It is part of a DVD series they are releasing called, "The Guitar Licks Goldmine Series". I am one of the acoustic personalities per se and contributed 40 newly composed finger-style guitar licks. It is a pretty wide range of techniques, rhythms, textures, tunings, sonorities, etc. and basically just tried to represent my own personal gamut of finger-style guitar. The format was me playing each exercise at speed, then slowly, followed by a brief explanation. It looks and sounds amazing already (though a little disconcerting to see myself in hi-def)! The completed project is scheduled to be released at the Winter NAMM show in California, followed by online streaming content later next year. Of course, I will post again once everything is available for mass consumption.
I am happy to announce that my music has been added to Pandora Internet Radio.
'Pandora is a new form of personalized internet radio that was designed to help you discover new music you'll love, and enjoy music you already know.
Pandora is powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a crazy project started over ten years ago to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.
Pandora is always free, with the option to pay for additional features.'
Here is a description of my 'musical DNA': folk roots, acoustic sonority, major key tonality, a good dose of acoustic guitar pickin' and acoustic rhythm guitars.
Sign up and create your own Ben Woolman station today!
My first online video lesson is complete. Click on the Instructor link above for lesson info.
"Many Moods is completely instrumental, completely solo, with not one single overdub, and must be considered along with the extraordinary CandyRat label master players. Though the disc produces a great ambient sound for non-simplistic atmosphere and spatial enhancement of a balmy summer's day, attentive listening reveals many facets of surprising acumen alongside seemingly impossible feats. Woolman is of a stripe with Antoine DuFour in that regard: subtle but far deeper than the surface effect appears to expose."
Read the rest of the review by following this link: http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p06333.htm
I have added select tracks to the Internet radio station, Jango, and have been enjoying much positive response from listeners around the world. It has been reported that there are some 7 million listeners subscribed to this one particular network. Not bad. In the past few months my music has been played in 48 countries, from the the US to Taiwan, spanning 6 continents. Haven't figured out a way to crack Antarctica yet! Please check out my profile on their site. Raise your thumbs and thanks for listening!
In case you missed it, I was a guest on MPR's Radio Heartland program to promote the CD and the release concert. Me and host Dale Connelly chatted a bit, I played a bit, and we listened to some tunes. Check it out!
Floating Feather Music is pleased to introduce, Many Moods, the fourth solo CD by Minnesota based finger-style guitarist, Ben Woolman. His latest effort offers the listener a diverse mix of musical genres ranging from the 1920s through the present century. In a sense, it is a nod to the history of finger-style guitar as well as an example of contemporary development of the style. This cosmopolitan collection features 8 original compositions and 3 arrangements with melodies hinting at the regional influences of: Latin America, Africa, Ireland, Eastern Europe, and the US, and evoking colors of: sunshine, sorrow, soul, funky, energy, joy, drama, and hope. Not since his debut CD, Lost in Density, has there been such a comprehensive representation of his abilities; a pleasant intermingling of diverse musical influences which in turn showcase his virtuosic skill and range of musical expression. It is a fine balance between intellect and intuition. According to Ben, "This project comes the closest to representing the many aspects of who I am as a player. It is a very personal statement with a splash of academia. Get to know this music and you will get to know me."
Here is a very nice interview from, 'Guitarist', the latest Minnesota Guitar Society Newsletter. The article was published to help promote my CD release concert, part of their Local Artist Concert Series, which is set for: February 21st, 2010. Concert details are on my Calendar page. Enjoy!
Article is in .pdf format and can be found on page 5.
Article Link: www.mnguitar.org
As I am waiting for my new CD to be released, I have finally launched my new blog entitled, "Stepwise Motion: Music, Processes, Fingerstyle Guitar, and Otherwise". I am planning to add new writings at least weekly with content including but not limited to: days in the life of a working musician, various musical musings, memoirs, and all things finger-style guitar. I hope you check it out, read, and enjoy!
I have completed tracking the new CD - all instrumental finger-style guitar solos - and I am now in the final stages of artwork and production. It is my most expansive and musically diverse project to date featuring predominantly original compositions with a couple of arrangements mixed in - including a tune by The Police! Fun stuff. Check back here for ordering info and see my calendar for details regarding the release concert set for February 21, 2010.
I had the privilege of collaborating with the Buzza Brothers (from the band Kangaroo) earlier this Summer on a soundtrack project for the second installment of the online video game Wolf Quest. The official release is set for the later this year brought to you by, Eduweb. Here is a link to the preview video: http://wolfquest.org/preview_video_ep2.php
Ben is now available for online guitar lessons using the free, web-based, real-time, video conferencing program, Skype. Visit skype.com to download the software.
Lessons may be scheduled on either a regular or irregular basis. Subject material will be considered at the time of the student's inquiry. Ben will e-mail lesson materials as applicable.
"New Roots Duo, Roots Run Deep. Finger-style guitarists Ben Woolman and Dan Schwarz traded in their traditional guitars for an acoustic baritone and lap-steel guitar, and the result was a new kind of acoustic music that seemed to grow organically out of these strangely paired instruments. By turns fiery and meditative, their first album was, we hope, a hint of even greater things to come." - Tad Simons
My other project, New Roots Duo, has signed a distribution deal with CandyRat Records. They are becoming one of the most prominent music labels for finger-style guitarists and general acoustic music at large. We are in good company.
To purchase CDs or DRM free MP3s directly, follow this link: CandyRat Records