Pretty Little Dog
Ben McClelland is a versatile and veteran performer, with an evolving fiddle style that has colleagues talking. Reknowned fiddler Richard Greene called Ben's work "fantastic all around", and banjo legend Butch Robins has extended an invitation to play on an upcoming album. After only a year on the bluegrass scene, Ben is receiving repeat invitations to perform at Indiana area venues and festivals, as a solo artist or with his twin fiddle instrumental band, Stoney Lonesome. A recently formed partnership has Ben opening for and joining on stage Philadelphia's The Lowlands on their Chicago, Bloomington and Louisville tour dates. Ben McClelland is an artist comfortable playing in any musical genre. Whether backing up The Moody Blues or Ray Charles, playing in a punk band, an Austrian opera orchestra, a jazz quartet, or as a soloist with the Lafayette, In. and Billings, Mt. symphonies, Ben has gathered diverse performance experience. A dedicated teacher, Ben offers bluegrass, jazz and classical training to his students, and workshops in bluegrass fiddle and improvisational studies. In conjunction with Richard Torstrick, Ben's fiddle partner in Stoney Lonesome, Ben has also developed a semester-length class entitled "Bluegrass History and Styles for the Violinist/Fiddler". One area where Ben is innovating in is teaching improvisational skills to classically-trained players. And as a student of music history, he researches the improvisational practices of past classical masters like Beethoven and Paganini, as well as tracing histories of fiddle tunes. Although a relative newcomer to bluegrass, Ben's 32 years of playing the violin lend a comfortable and veteran stage presence to his act. He has been wowing audiences at jam sessions, local festivals, in churches and as a soloist on the concert stage. Ben can cater a show to an audience's needs, from flashy breakdowns to beautiful ballads, from Bill Monroe and Kenny Baker tunes to more modern fiddle styles. Ben proudly presents the original songwriting talents of Indiana's Terry White, Richard Torstrick, and Grey Larsen, as well as original songs arrangements of Amazing Grace, Dailey's Reel, Ragtime Annie, and other traditional tunes. Current projects include the release of his first solo album, "Pretty Little Dog", studio dates over the winter to finish up an album with Stoney Lonesome, and booking the U.S. and U.K. for '07-'08. Pre-touring MySpace buzz includes over 20,000 plays and 2500 friends in only 6 months' listing, inquiries for CDs from fans, and fan invitations to "play my town" from Pennsylvania to Edinburgh and London.