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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

Irish Artist Ben Reel Releases His Latest Single 'Inshallah Shalom'

By Stevie Connor.

The latest release from Irish artist, Ben Reel, is out on all platforms. Ben shares, "‘Inshallah Shalom’ is a song for peace, or you could say, a prayer for peace. Especially for what is going on today in the middle east. ‘Inshallah’ is Arabic for 'God willing' and ‘Shalom’ is Hebrew for ‘Peace’. So it means ‘God willing peace’."

In a solo career which now spans over 20 years, Ben has received worldwide critical acclaim with numerous high profile TV/Radio appearances like BBC, RTE and Dutch NPO Radio. Supporting the likes of Jools Holland, & The Cranberries and he has collaborated musically with such names as Hal Ketchum & The Blockheads. He has co written and performed live with his fellow countryman Tony McLoughlin and some of Nashville's finest such as David Olney, Nanci Griffiths & Irene Kelley.

Talking about his new track, Ben explains, "Inshallah Shalom (God willing peace) has received great response from DJ's worldwide and I was especially delighted that it has been played 4 times already on RTE Radio 1. Special thanks to Fiachna O'Braonain (Hothouse Flowers member) who really picked up on its message of peace and hope. I was told by people while playing this song live on tour in Germany last week that it needs to be heard Internationally. I am asking all you good folks DJ's out there to help me spread this message of peace. Thank you. Ben

This song is a co write collaboration with 2 of my great friends who have since passed away recently. Rainbow George Weiss (1941 - 2022) who wrote the lyrics way back about 15 years ago in which I tweaked and changed a little while arranging the music. Then my old bass player Paul Weatherhead aka Whipper (1974 - 2019) laid down the funky bass and added some psychedelic flute & DJ scratching samples back in 2018. It sat on my hard drive unfinished for many years until this crazy war erupted in the middle east between Israel and Hamas. This brought the song back in mind so I finally got to work on it and within 3 days early December 2023 I finished the track. I felt the presence of my 2 friends guiding me in the studio while I worked on the song. I got the feeling that this is what Paul McCartney and Ringo must have felt when they worked on the last Beatles track ‘Now and Then’.

The music is both powerful and spiritual and the lyrics carry a hopeful message. The song has a hypnotic vibe to it as the chorus chants a mantra for peace which i wish can help send out a healing energy to the world in these troubled times. I'd like to think that the song has the spirit of John Lennon & George Harrison within it and of course my friends - Rainbow George & Whipper. Peace & Love to you all & Happy new year."

Ben Reel released his 11th studio album 'Come a Long Way' in June 2023. The album consists of 11 brand new self penned songs. The album has so far charted at No.9 in the Euro Americana chart and No.28 in the IBBA world blues chart. This follows on the heels of 2 previous releases 'Live @JJ Smyths Dublin' (2021) & 'Locked In & Live' (2022) a hybrid double album which was a mixture of live songs & studio tracks recorded during lockdown.

Since his debut album `This Is the Movie’ back in 1999, Ben has reinvented himself from album to album, influenced by different styles of music over the years. As one critic said, " He's not afraid to throw in some in folk, soul, reggae vibes, which in turn call to mind John Hiatt at his best". Another describes him as “somewhere in the middle ground between rock and jazz or a sound that is sometimes reminiscent of Dylan and the Band”. He has also been described as the Irish Springsteen and comparisons have been made about his voice sounding like the ghost of Roy Orbison but Ben Reel is very much his own man.

The Nashville Calling` was the title of his 9th studio album which was released in March 2020. Produced by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack and featuring Garry W Tallent on bass from the legendary E Street Band. Recorded in Nashville this was a dream come through for Ben. The album went to No.1 in the Euro Americana charts voted by respected DJ's and critics all over Europe.

In the past Ben was selected to play an official showcase at Folk Alliance in Memphis and has toured as double bill with Tommy Womack (Nashville) in the U.S & UK and also with legendary American folk singer/songwriter Eric Andersen in the UK & NL. While in Nashville he was invited to play the famous Bluebird cafe on a number of occasions. He has graced big festivals such as Jamming@Hippie Jacks (USA), Musiktan festival in Bilbao,(ESP). Haarlem Jazz & Huntenpop (NL), Robin Hood folk festival (UK), Kilkenny rhythm & roots, Cork jazz & Electric Picnic (EIRE). Ben has built a loyal fan base in various countries around the world and continues to be be one of the hardest working troubadours around.



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