From the Alberta ranchlands just east of Rocky Mountain House comes western country singer and songwriter Ben Crane. His love for the west country and the outdoors comes through not only in his music, but in his artwork as well. The western cartoonist and Leanin' Tree artist says "What I do beats the hang out of a real job!"
Ben is a family man (wife Sharmon and 2 daughters Stephanie and Jessica), whose music stylings are rooted in traditional country, with hints of bluegrass, jazz, blues and swing, and range from old cowboy ballads to recently-written songs of the western lifestyle to straight-ahead gospel songs that pack a punch; all delivered with warm personality and conviction.
Music has been keeping him busy for over 25 years. With six albums of his own and countless others under his belt in various capacities as producer, engineer, arranger, session player or vocalist, Ben is making a significant mark in the western music field. Several of his projects have been nominated for awards in the US where western music's current resurgence is at an all-time high, and these same albums are receiving airplay as far away as Europe & Japan.
Ben regularly performs at a variety of functions; ag societies, rural community associations, 4H fundraisers, gatherings and festivals, private and corporate functions, churches, and just about anything in between. His shows are concert format, agriculture-oriented and full of clean rural humour. Screen-projected artwork creates the most unique aspect of his show, while his daughter's accompanying fiddle and vocals illustrates his family values.
In his spare time Ben can be found visiting the west country.
"Super combination of visual and performing art. Sincere and very well received."
-Hudson Bay Allied Arts Council
"Ben Crane never fails to deliver with off the wall humour, clever concepts and some memorable serious songs that reach deeply into the heart of everyone who loves the west."
-Hugh McLennan, Spirit Of The West syndicated radio show.
"A great performance; down home humour, excellent rapport with the audience. When are they coming back?"
-Tisdale Arts Council
"You don’t often work with great talent the first time and feel as if you’ve known them all along. Ben brings wit, warmth and a professionalism that is rare. If you want a guaranteed performance with great music, great chat and a great guy…book Ben."
-Bryan Hill, Executive Producer, Madly Off In All Directions, CBC Radio
Ben's concert had a wonderful balance of humor, quality instrumentals, and meaningful songs. His blend of wit, visual imagery, spontaneity, authenticity, and professionalism presented a winsome combination that fully engaged the audience. Jessica's vocals and violin skills really enhanced the overall performance. On top of this, his relational warmth as well as that of [wife] Sharmon and Jessica made him a pleasure to work with.
-Paul Reich, President, Clearwater College
Ben is a member of SOCAN, Alberta Music Industry Association, Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta, Alberta Association of Ag Societies, and the Academy of Western Artists.