Review Roundup

Some more reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have popped up over the last few weeks. They’re all a good read!

JerryLucky.com (Canada)
Cosmos Music (France)
Classic Rock Society (UK)
Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK)
Progressive Area (France)
Babyblaue-Seiten (Germany)
Leicester Bangs (UK)
Get Ready To ROCK! (UK)
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (Holland)

And if you can, keep an eye out for the review in the new issue of Dutch print magazine iO Pages (#104). The one with Pink Floyd on the cover!

New interview for Yes Music Podcast

Early Wednesday morning (my time) I was interviewed by Kevin Mulryne for Yes Music Podcast. We had a nice chat about Great & Terrible Potions, Yes’s influence in my music and Roger Dean’s artwork. And of course he threw in a curly one towards the end about my thoughts on the current version of Yes without Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

You can listen to the interview here.

And be sure to check out Kevin’s other episodes of Yes Music Podcast if you’re interested in an intelligent analysis of individual Yes albums.

Free Single Download – No Specific Harm + Aquamarine

Now available for free download – for a limited time only – is the double A-side single release of No Specific Harm and Aquamarine.

This version of Aquamarine is a new edit unavailable anywhere else. It features a nice little acoustic guitar solo towards the end. I debated long and hard (with the other band members) about including it in the original album version. But in the end, the solo was sacrificed to give the album a rare moment of breathing space.

A single edit is different though. It’s an opportunity to cram as much information as possible into three minutes!

The single can be downloaded for free from bencraven.bandcamp.com.

What Happens In Vegas…

Ordinarily I go for Strats with maple necks.

While I was visiting Vegas recently, I stopped in at a “Center” that sells “Guitars”. I was on the lookout for something a bit different, perhaps a US-made Les Paul.

Imagine my surprise when instead I had an unexpected affair with a sonic blue blacktop Strat sporting a rosewood neck. From south of the border! I don’t know how it happened. It just did. And I walked out with it.

Blacktop Strat

Of course I’ll do my usual custom fiddling around with the hardware and electronics, but it really is a great-feeling neck and body combination. Unfortunately one or two of the harem will have to go to make way, but they knew the risks.

In the meantime, here’s some actual news.

– New reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have turned up at Progwereld (Holland), MLWZ (Poland), the Music Street Journal (USA), and JerryLucky.com (Canada).

– Keep your eyes out for the latest issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK). Word on the street is there’s a positive review of Potions in it, but I’m yet to see it.

Potions has moved up to number 7 on the Progwereld World 10, and is currently charting at number 4 at the Just For Kicks webstore (Germany). That’s right, David Hasselhoff fans. I said Germany.

– I recently recorded an interview with Don Cassidy at Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio. To hear it, head over to the site and find the Interviews link on the left hand side. Then enjoy, in all its glory, my seldom-heard “6am Saturday” voice.

– I’m still editing the video from the Potions album launch. Almost at the half-way point, and clips of Diabolique and Nobody Dies Forever have made their way to YouTube.

Until next time!

Link-O-Rama

Well I’m on holiday in the US in the moment, experiencing theme parks and Hollywood, visiting exotic dark rums, finally discovering the joys of zinfandel, and learning to deal with large portions. And we head to Vegas tomorrow!

Thanks to everyone who has bought the CD. The response has genuinely surprised me. In fact the first production run has almost sold out, and I’ve had to kick off another one.

In the meantime, two new reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have surfaced:

Neoprog (French)

And I’m shocked and terrified to report that Potions is currently at number 14 on Progwereld’s “World Ten” chart, and number 13 on the Gagliarchives’ Weekly Top 20!

Until next time..

New Reviews and Interview

Hi everyone. A couple more reviews here for the new album. The first one makes some really extraordinary comparisons!

Midwest Record
Ytesjam

Time Off magazine was gracious enough to interview me for their issue last week. I think it’s fascinating to read the interviewer’s interpretation of my comments..

Time Off – Ben Craven interview

Many thanks to everyone who came along to the album launch last Friday! I’ve just got hold of the raw video footage, and hope to post some clips soon.

Reviews and Launch Update

Hi everyone.  Just a few quick updates!

My new album, Great & Terrible Potions, will be released next Monday and will be available from this website. Some advance reviews have slipped out already, and I’m excited to say they read pretty well:

Muzik Reviews
Dangerdog Music Reviews

The album has also been featured on prog rock radio shows in the US:

Afterglow on WMUH
Epic Prog with The Lurker

In fact, if you’d like to hear a sneak preview of three tracks (Aquamarine, Diabolique and Nobody Dies Forever Part 1), you can even download the podcast from Epic Prog.

And finally, a reminder that the album launch is happening this Friday, that is if you’re in the Brisbane, Australia area..

Venue: Caxton Hotel, Cocktail Bar (upstairs)
Address: Caxton St, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane
Time: From 7pm
Entry: FREE

Support act Luke Sorensen will be playing an acoustic set from 7:30pm, and I’ll be coming on at around 8:30pm. Plenty of time to catch up and have a drink beforehand and afterwards! And of course, CDs will be available on the night, for $20 each.

Hope to see you on Friday night!

Press Release – ART MEETS MUSIC WITH BRISBANE/LONDON PROG-ROCK ALBUM LAUNCH

ART MEETS MUSIC WITH BRISBANE/LONDON PROG-ROCK ALBUM LAUNCH

BRISBANE’S BEN CRAVEN COLLABORATES WITH ROGER DEAN OF “YES” AND “ASIA” FAME.

August 12 sees the official launch of a progressive rock collaboration between Brisbane’s Ben Craven and renowned UK artist Roger Dean.

Craven’s new album, entitled “Great & Terrible Potions” is a modern day progressive rock album that has been 5 years in the making, however enlisting the assistance of Roger Dean seemed a natural progression given the heavy influences of 70’s prog-rock bands within Craven’s music.

Roger Dean, who rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s through his designs for prog-rock bands Yes, Uriah Heap and Asia is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.

Just one month after unveiling new artwork for the band Yes, Dean provided the artwork for up and coming prog-rock artist Ben Craven.

Craven’s music has been gaining interest from all areas including Beach Boys/The Byrds collaborator, Van Dyke Parks.

Describing Craven’s work as “seriously well distilled and blended”, Van Dyke Parks has become a fan of Craven’s work, “I’m an admiring audient of what’s certainly going to progress from prog rockers to a large audience beyond”.

Craven’s album launches on 12 August at Caxton Street Hotel, Brisbane and the album will be launched in digital format on iTunes on 15 August. Physical CD copies featuring a fold out booklet with Dean’s artwork is also available on 15 August and is available through the website www.greatandterriblepotions.com.