Arts

Arts Q&A: Ben Glover on Fisherman's Blues, Dylan, Cohen and O'Connor

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Glenarm singer-songwriter Ben Glover

Ben Glover's new album Shorebound pulls together his favourite musical collaborators, including Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier and Anthony Toner

1. When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it? I wrote my first song when I was 13 and from that point on I knew I was going to pursue music as a career. My first steps were very much like everyone else – gigging in pubs, recording demos and basically learning how to 'do music'.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to? Front row seats at Bob Dylan at The Ryman, Nashville, in 2011. I’ll always remember Leonard Cohen at The Odyssey, Belfast in 2009 as it was an almost spiritual experience. Having backstage passes for Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price in Mud Island Amphitheatre in Memphis, 2007, was another surreal live moment.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers as his band.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island? Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys. It was the first album that made a deep impact on me. The mixture of Mike Scott’s voice, the songs and the sonic landscape never tire on me.

5. And the book? Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. It’s one of the finest novels about the search for meaning. It’s a story that always helps to remind me of some the important lessons in life.

6. Top three films? The Committments, Rocky and, I’m going to cheat a little here by saying the box set of Game of Thrones.

7. Worst film you’ve seen? A couple of months ago I was browsing on Netflix and stumbled upon Murder On The Cape. Awful stuff.

8. Favourite authors? I’m a big fan of southern gothic literature and two of my favourites are Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? I’ve supported Manchester City since I was very young, long before they got filthy rich. Since moving to Nashville, I've got into American football and follow the Tennessee Titans in the NFL and the Ole Miss Rebels in the SEC.

10. Ideal holiday destination? I love the desert and The Joshua Tree in California in particular. The times I’ve been there I’ve come away refreshed and reinvigorated.

11. Pet hate? Smoking.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Hot chicken from Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville.

Dessert? Something with a large degree of chocolate involved.

Drink? Guinness.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? My wife Emilie.

14. Is there a God? I believe there is a higher consciousness inside us and in the world around us. I believe that when we connect to that we connect to what many define as 'God'.

:: Ben Glover's new album, Shorebound is out now. He plays McGrory's, Culdaff on May 26, Larne Town Hall on May 31 and Belfast's Black Box on June 1. Tickets from Benglover.co.uk/tour.

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