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!


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

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!




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.

There Be Potions Here

The promo cds have arrived! I think they look pretty sharp:

Promo CDs!
Meanwhile I’m having a tremendous time (re)learning the guitar and keyboard parts for the new tracks I’ll be playing at the album launch. It appears that ease of performance did not enter into any criteria for what appears on the album!

Don’t forget the Great & Terrible launch is at the Caxton Hotel on Friday 12 August, from 7pm. If you’re in the Brisbane area, please come along. Entry is free!

Album Launch

So we’ve booked a date and venue for the launch of my new album, Great & Terrible Potions!

Venue: Caxton Hotel, Caxton St, Brisbane (Australia)
Room: Cocktail Bar
Date: Friday 12 August
Time: From 7pm
Entry: Free!

I’ll be performing some new (and old) songs on the night. Mate of mine and fellow upstanding citizen Luke Sorensen will be playing a set earlier in the evening, after which he will probably retire to the bar. We’re planning to film the show, so be sure to wear your best sandals.

Meanwhile, Roger Dean is currently adding the final touches to the artwork and it really looks unbelievable. The cover painting has already fused with the music and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to imagine one without the other now. Innit.

Of course, the new cd will also be on sale at the gig. Remember that someone has to buy it first before it gets torrented. But if you can’t wait that long, you can catch a sneak preview (or even pre-order the thing) here:


Hope to see you at the launch! More details when they come to hand…


After 12 months of tweaking, Brisbane’s Ben Craven is finally ready to release his new album with the finishing touches being made by 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 like all good prog-rock (progressive rock) albums, the final touches are vital.

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 band “Yes” is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.

Uncovering and updating an unreleased piece of art, Dean has provided a cover that will go down in the halls of prog-rock history alongside his most famous work for musicians and bands such as “Yes”, “Asia”, “Uriah Heap”, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

Dean, whose bubble logo for the band “Yes” is part of rock history, also designed Craven’s new logo. Craven said, “It is an honour to be working with an artist whom I’ve grown up with and surreal to believe that he appreciates my work enough to put his name (in art) to it”.

To celebrate the release, Craven and Liquid Online Media will also be selling limited edition vinyl copies of the album complete with a traditional gatefold sleeve featuring the Roger Dean artwork.

To register your interest in the album, visit www.greatandterriblepotions.com

Craven’s album, Great & Terrible Potions, is scheduled for release in July 2011.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Shayne Locke at shayne@liquidonlinemedia.com.