Ask anyone and they’ll tell you; I love a man with a beard. While his beard may be a little too intense for me to be romantically attracted to him, it’s impossible not to be intrigued by Halifax native Ben Caplan. I remember first making a note last year that he’d be someone I’d be interested in checking out, but as often happens during festivals you get distracted with other things/run out of time. While I was slightly disappointed I didn’t get to see him with his back-up band The Casual Smokers, I’m thrilled to have see him because even solo this charming man definitely knows how to put on a show.
With a east coast Tom Waits vibe, Caplan’s songs are fuelled with passion. It’s pretty magical when that happens because that night at the Rivoli it was hard to find someone in the audience not clapping, cheering or stopping their foot.
Caplan makes the audience part of the experience and its hard not to be caught up in it. Before you know it at a Caplan concert you’re singing back up vocals to songs like “Beautiful” (check out the video below). This inclusion clearly inspires a devoted fan base; even with all the shows going on during Canadian Music Week people came back two nights in a row to see him perform.
As it turns out I was unexpectedly one of those people as well. The very next day I caught a second performance from Caplan at the Audio Blood showcase and watching his second performance only confirmed to me what a gifted storyteller he is. Let’s hope there is a lot more of Ben Caplan to come.
Photos by Chris Zacchia for more Canadian Music Week Photos check out ForgetTheBox on Facebook