Hey, readers! The more I read about Ben Harrison, and the amazing list of skills and talents this man owns, I feel as if I am reading about a “master of all he surveys.”
As we’ve spoken about over the past few weeks, Ben Harrison is a musician, author, and playwright. And in our last article, we introduced you to the incredible play, titled Clouds Over the Sunshine Inn. And your response was amazing. Yes, the basis of this amazing musical “dinner show” offers such humor, entertainment, and wonder that Ben Harrison truly did chalk up yet another “homerun” where his talents are concerned. But that is not the only show, people. Ben Harrison’s plays have been performed in many venues located in Key West to tremendous praise for over twenty years now. His words, characters and plotlines are completely and utterly funny, quirky, entertaining, and truly unforgettable all at the same time.
One that I have not mentioned as of yet, however, is Galactic Interface. This one-act play was written for The Studios Key West’s (tskw) “One Night Stand.” The Studios of Key West is a nonprofit charitable organization based at the Historic Key West Armory, and their mission is to support their local creative people, and celebrate the island’s unique heritage and sense of place – fostering new collaboration and artistic production. And Ben Harrison is certainly one of the Key West locals who are beyond creative. “One Night Stand” is TSKW’s program of creative offerings – a night of theatre and artistic mediums presented to the lucky viewers and listeners of Key West. Ben Harrison’s concert at TSKW will be held on February 3rd, and in the meantime he will playing and performing more around Key West. Not to mention, he has just finished a new song titled, “Meet Me Just After Midnight,” which all fans – including this one – are dying to hear.
Now, to briefly recap, Ben Harrison is also an outstanding author. Undying Love (originally released by St. Martin’s Press/True Crime division; now available through Ketch & Yawl Publishing) is an unforgettable book based on an incredible, hard-to-believe true crime…a very unique relationship. His other works include, Official Visit, which is a guide to college and professional baseball recruiting based on Ben Harrison’s first-hand experiences with his son. And anyone who loves the game of baseball, as well as anyone exhibiting the drive, passion and promise to be one of the greats on that ‘diamond’ one day, is offered a wealth of information including a tremendous amount of data on the opportunity to play after high school, either as a scholarship athlete or professional draft choice. Nope, we’re not even done there. Charlie Jones is an eBook that is coming very, very soon, and is Ben Harrison’s first foray into the world of fiction. A generational “coming-of-age” story that is set in south Texas where Ben Harrison grew up – this book is sure to go straight to #1 in the digital world as the characters and locations are truly very meaningful as well as a whole lot of fun!
Now, as we step away from the writing world, Ben Harrison is also part-owner of Harrison Gallery (harrison-gallery.com). As we have spoken about before, this is an extremely lovely business that appeals to all; and the beautiful work of locals, as well as the stunning talent of Helen Harrison, Ben’s wife, is available for all to see and enjoy!
And, yes…the music. Air Sunshine, as Ben Harrison explained in our past interview:
“was the name of the airline that flew in the 1970’s and was nicknamed, Air Sometimes. Key West has so much history and so many incredible characters to write about. Being from Texas and having a good friend in Nashville, we added peddle steel, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and piano to the basic tracks we laid down. I especially enjoyed writing good ole western “swing” pieces like “Betty Page,” the famous pin-up who lived in Key West for two years and was married to my drummer’s cousin. “‘Bum’ Farto,” the drug dealing local fire chief, is the subject of another song. I enjoy doing research because that is what makes my songs authentic.”
I have to say, Air Sunshine is still playing throughout my home on a daily basis. It is so very odd to find someone who can lift you up – especially in a world that is filled with constant bad news and has become downright physically oppressing. Ben Harrison’s musical journey takes people back to the time in Key West when the world made sense – before cell phones, digital media, a harsh economy, etc. Ben Harrison’s songs are absolutely wonderful and entertaining as he somehow, with just a few words and an amazing vibe, pushes any cloud you have hanging above you – out of the way.
Erin Elkins & Ben Harrison is also a stunning musical journey. This album has a beat that goes from sultry and provocative to fun and ‘jazzy,’ and makes the audience feel as if they’ve stepped back in time – when the world actually knew what good music was all about.
One that I haven’t mentioned in the past is Ben Harrison’s Duval Years. This incredible 3-CD set is an actual journey that Ben Harrison has taken over the past sixteen years being a professional entertainer on Duval Street.
I can not express how unbelievably talented Ben Harrison is, nor can I put into words the amount of time, entertainment, skill, humor, and class Ben Harrison brings to the stage, the literary world, and the art world – all at the same time! Ben Harrison has said that he thinks of himself as: “an entertainer who writes songs that tell a story—paint a picture. One of the reasons I have enjoyed writing musicals, is that the songs are needed to further the story line and convey the emotion of the moment. I think my music is a combination of country and folk, with a little Broadway and rock-n’-roll on the side.”
Let’s face it, readers. The Ben Harrison journey is an incredible one! And even being in the “World of Ben” for a short time is a true and utter gift.
Until Next Time, Everybody!
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