Ben Folds w/ the Nashville Symphony

Saturday, November 27  – Tennessee Performing Arts Center

When the flooding hit Nashville back in May, there were so many people affected by it.  Many artists had their gear stored at Soundcheck, where the Shure office is located.  I can remember walking through the “graveyard,” seeing various artists’ gear laying out to dry or deteriorate.  Ben Folds had a lot stored here as well.  Ben later approached the Nashville Symphony and offered to do a benefit show for the Schermerhorn Symphony center.  This would be that show.

This was also the first time I have seen Ben live.  Ben performed some of his fan favorites as well as some new tunes from his latest release entitled Lonely Avenue, featuring the poetry of Nick Hornby put to music by Ben Folds.   Ben is such an amazing talent and his lyrical satire is so refreshing.  His comedic personality shines through in his music.

Part of the way through Ben’s first set, he introduced a new talent that will someday take the world by storm – Ethan Bortnick.  Ethan is 9 years old and has been playing piano since he was 3.  He played a piece by Mozart and then sang and played a Little Richard tune.  Quite impressive and a great personality to boot.  Keep an ear out for him.

During Ben’s second set, he played 2 heart felt songs about his son and daughter, both drawing standing ovations.    This was one of those shows where you feel like you are in a different place and you wish it would not end.  I was very honored to be at this show and will not forget it.

I am hoping to get an interview soon with Ben and I am very much looking forward to that.  If Ben comes to your town or a town within 300 miles, it’s  worth your time an efforts to be there.

Thanks Ben, for entertaining us and for your efforts in helping to get the Symphony Center back in business!


Ryan Smith with Ben Folds

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Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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