Music Reviews

"...hauntingly beautiful Americana picking."



"Ben Woolman's new recording, Many Moods, presents a universe of feeling on just six strings."

- Radio Heartland Host, Minnesota Public Radio, Dale Connelly


"...awesome acoustic guitar played like an ensemble."

- Nexus Magazine


"Generally, most instrumental guitar music is...pretty. Ben Woolman’s, Many Moods, is nothing as light or dismissible as ‘pretty'. This is a complex group of instrumentals that interweave and connect in highly imaginative, and accessible, ways...Highly recommended."

- Facing North: A Community Resource, Lisa Mc Sherry


"...self-composed Americana music with the gesture and the balanced temperament of a classical guitarist on the steel string guitar that is enchanting. And if it is that, what Woolman wants on his search for perfection, then with this album he has come close to reaching his goal."

- Akustik Gitarre Magazine


"Though the disc, Many Moods, produces a great ambient sound for non-simplistic atmosphere...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."

- Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Mark S. Tucker


"Woolman is a facile guitarist, able to keep both bass and melody going simultaneously while still touching our emotions...Whichever guitar he chooses to play, he coaxes music from it and makes them all sing in their own voice. Woolman's own production allows for no distractions. It's all guitar and his amazing touch. Gorgeous."

- Green Man Review, David Kidney


"...the entire album, Many Moods, is a great introduction to not only a proficient artist, but a wonderful musician that kindly restructures his challenging handiwork into uncomplicated and relaxing moods on our behalf."

- New Age Music World, John P. Olsen


"Finger-style acoustic guitar is among the most challenging of all guitar styles because it encompasses classical, jazz chord melody as as well time honored traditions like ragtime. All of the above can be found in abundance on Many Moods, the eleven track 2010 CD release from Minnesota based guitarist Ben Woolman...True to form, Woolman’s sonically pleasing guitar palate provides plenty of common ground for fans of guitar icons—as well as Woolman's own heroes—such as Leo Kottke, Pierre Bensusan, Michael Hedges, and other top practitioners of acoustic guitar wizardry..."

- Music Web Express 3000, Robert Silverstein


"For any artist, good songs are key. But for finger-style acoustic instrumentalists, superior tone and touch along with the ability to concurrently produce melody, harmony, and rhythm are also requisite, which is why there are so few great ones, I suppose. Minnesota native Ben Woolman is one of them. Throughout the disc, Many Moods, his clear, rich tone is striking. Outstanding tone is indicative of precise articulation, and even though that sort of perfectionism can lead to stiff performances, Woolman remains loose and fluid. In fact, it feels as if he is actually sitting in the room with you for an impromptu session. The only thing missing is a fine taddy porter and witty between-song banter."

- Guitar Edge Magazine


"The finger-picked, steel string acoustic guitar, if the instrument, player, and recording process are all top notch, has a captivating charm and idyllic, pastoral country-by-the-stream associations that appeal to world-harried ears. Ben Woolman’s CD Many Moods has all that going for it...This CD is not easily pigeonholed, but, it is decidedly NOT New Age pap."

- Gapplegate Music


"Ben continues to write and arrange rich, soulful music. As with all his albums, Many Moods, is best heard start to finish. Give it a listen and hear how powerful acoustic guitar can sound."

- iTunes Listener Review


"Woolman excels when he plays solo on his captivating, intimate and melancholic compositions. The album, Wisdom / Delusion, reflects a master of finger-style playing."

- Bridge Guitar Reviews


“From cascading melodies to mellow harmonies and occasional up-beat interplay, Woolman’s musical touch is brimming with introspective delight. Woolman, a featured guitarist on the Narada Records’ Guitar Fingerstyle collection, proves he is worthy of all the praise with this dynamic release.”

- Music Design In Review


"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."

- Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, Tad Simons


"A warm, crisp sound and clever, tight writing, clearly establish Woolman as a young guitarist to be reckoned with."

- Guitar Fingerstyle: A Narada Collection


"Benjamin Woolman's debut cd, lost in density, is a fun trip down a road first traveled by Michael Hedges and Preston Reed. But Woolman is his own man, and while this release will please fans of the aforementioned guitarists, there is enough originality here to warrant your attention!”

- Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine, James Jensen


“...the pensive, fireside melody of Soul Discovery(from his CD lost in density)reflect Woolman the composer, while Sweet Sound rocks with a catchy hook that sticks in the mind’s ear long after the laser beam leaves the disc.”

- Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Jim Olschmidt


“...Woolman’s, lost in density, is an emotional voyage led only by the complex, yet engaging, soloing of his six-string guitar. It isn’t really a manic collection, it just paints the peaks and valleys of moods graphically; engulfed in shades of beauty and feeling...his playing draws listeners in.”

- City Edition Metro Milwaukee’s News and Entertainment Voice, Geoff Trubow


“…The eleven tracks on Wisdom / Delusion shiver and surge with melodic and rhythmic intensity, involving and engaging the listener on several levels at once. Tunes such as Sunday Shine and Chasing A Melody are rhythmically buoyant numbers that can be heard numerous times, reflecting the artist’s experience and maturity as a songwriter and guitar player.”

- Guitar Nine Records


"The sheer power of American finger-style guitar proves that a) Jimmy Page and all those characters may as well make their axe collections into rec room lamps, and b) at the hands of guys like Ben Woolman and Michael Hedges and Billy McLaughlin there is life in that six-string paddle after all."

- Downtown Edition


"Dan Schwartz and Ben Woolman (New Roots Duo) are among the best musicians. They're such accomplished players, and in addition, bring a deep sense of emotion and artistry to their music. I have nothing but deep respect and admiration for these guys."

- Peter Mayer, acclaimed singer/songwriter


"My family and I heard Ben play up in Northern Minnesota on the North shore of Lake Superior at Lutsen Resort and he was fabulous! He has a great natural sound to his music and it was a pleasure to sit and listen to him live while we were on vacation. Sunday Shine is a very uplifting song that is a great way to start the day. We purchased this CD not really knowing what to expect, but it's filled with wonderful, uplifting music as well as deep, thoughtful compositions that take you on a journey during the album. Excellent music to have on in the background or to drive too. Every time we play the CD, everyone wants to know who it is and where they can get a copy."

- iTunes Listener Review


"Melodic, contemporary finger-style guitar at it's best. If you enjoy soul felt music and melody then this cd is a must have. Soul Discovery is one of the great contemporary finger-style masterpieces of our time. It, like many of the songs here digs down deep into the marrow of life and brings forth true beauty that demands appreciation."

- iTunes Listener Review

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