This week on Centerstage MN, KAXE volunteer and independent producer Charlie Pulkrabek talks with Ben Kyle of Romantica:
Ben Kyle of Romantica by Charlie Pulkrabek
Ben Kyle has a lot going on these days. His band Romantica is set to release their highly anticipated third full-length record. And an album of duets with Carrie Rodriguez called We Still Love Our Country just hit the shelves in the states this month.
Why all the fuss over the new record? Well, all Romantica’s 2007 release titled America did was land at fifty-eight in Paste Magazine’s Top 100 Records of 2007. For a band that, at that point, had gained limited national and international exposure, it is a mammoth accomplishment. Hoopla aside, that just doesn’t happen unless the music is more than exceptional.
Who gives a record a gigantic name like America anyway? Someone with the talent, confidence, and humility possessed by Minneapolis musician Ben Kyle, that’s who. Ben Kyle has a giant stance, one that crosses the Atlantic Ocean. He grew up in Belfast, Ireland, and has lived in Minneapolis since his high school days. And such a unique and broad perspective bears out in the music of Romantica and Ben Kyle.
Ben Kyle is a true poet who really knows how to style his poetry to fit into the musical realm. His precise blending of the highly personal with the universal seems to allow him to embody any perspective that he wants to in an immediately convincing fashion.
The expectations for Romantica’s upcoming release, scheduled for April, are sky high. Ben Kyle’s personal expectations seem to be even higher. How do you follow up a great record like America? For Ben Kyle, the answer seems to be simply one step at a time.
We'll also hear from The Jayhawks, who were an early influence on Ben Kyle. And Germaine Gemberling, a new voice out of the Iron Range music scene.
Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at www.KAXE.org; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at www.KAXE.org. Centerstage MN is also heard on KSRQ in Thief River Falls Saturday nights at 11 & Wednesdays at Noon, and on WTIP in Grand Marais Thursday afternoons at 4. Often featured on MNartists.org.
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