Ben Kweller: Newport Folk 2009
After first attracting national attention as a teenager, Ben Kweller has grown beyond his early years as an upstart power-pop singer thanks to a developing infatuation with singer-songwriters of the '60s and '70s. His newest record, Changing Horses, makes good on both its title and Kweller's Texas roots by filtering his sunny, irreverent songwriting through a twang that offers up an acknowledgment of its debt to previous owners. In "Things I Like to Do," Kweller sings, "I like thinking 'bout the people who lived here before us / I like listening to my favorite music when I'm on the bus."
Kweller has said that he'd had plans to make a country record ever since he stumbled into the genre while writing 2004's On My Way, so Changing Horses marks the culmination of a long process. When he's not stretching his boundaries on solo records, Kweller has taken on many collaborations: He joined with Ben Lee and Ben Folds for a 2004 EP called The Bens, and he contributed to the soft-rock band America's 2007 comeback album, Here and Now.
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