Ben Jarrell was born in Dothan, Alabama. He was raised on its outskirts in the kind of country where roads cut unexpectedly through fields – paths created over time that only the locals know – where lightning bugs seem to hang in the air, Spanish Moss flourishes, and where everyone really does know your name (that way they know exactly who to go if you get into trouble).
If you were to write out the story of Jarrell’s journey from then until now, it would read like the content of a country song - a damn good one, too, complete with the well-worn themes of love, loss, and redemption.
Perhaps that’s why Jarrell’s musical leanings have always skewed towards country music and the legends who helped build and uphold the traditions of the genre; from George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and John Prine to The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd to contemporary acts like Blackberry Smoke and The Steeldrivers.
Jarrell studied these songwriters, these bands, their records. He took what he learned and he applied it well. He created his first band. Then another. And another. He kept going until he got it right. He spun well-told stories in tightly wrapped chords. He toiled and tinkered and gave us a self-titled acoustic EP in 2018. That was followed by his full-length record, “Troubled Times” in 2019 – recorded with an all-star band at Southern Ground in Nashville, TN. The record inspired one reviewer to pose the question: “Hot damn son! Wondering where the hell all the hard-charging, kick-ass, phased guitar and pedal steel-filled . . . country music has gone in 2019, and without skimping on the songwriting…? Well, it all seems to have been sucked up and put to good use by Alabama native Ben Jarrell … and it’s one hell of a ride boys and girls.”
Then came 2021’s “Up and Headed West,” recorded in his home state of Alabama at the Alabama Sound Company. A record full of lyric-driven ballads and bangers with plenty of pedal steel to go around. A record that seems to be a weigh station of sorts on the road toward Jarrell’s current project. One that finds him firmly in the driver’s seat. He’s taking us into new territory as he recounts his time away from
home; a night in Oklahoma, a drive to Mobile, hard choices, hard drinking, the hotels, and all of the people in the honky tonks and taverns both across the US and across his whole life. There is love, there is loss and there is redemption coming through the speakers for the entire ride.