Benjamin Lee Paterson is a singer-songwriter that defies categorization. Deftly alternating between the harmonica and the kazoo while plucking foot-stomping ballads on the guitar and banjo and singing with a southern twang, Ben’s songs are the stuff barn-raising parties are made of— but wouldn’t be out of place in an Irish session or Appalachian wedding.
Born in Wales to an American folk singer mother and a Welsh carpenter father, Ben grew up listening to drunken music being hammered out from his perch under a bar stool.
After moving from Wales to Baltimore to Cape Cod, Ben went on to study sculpture on the North Shore of Massachusetts, where he was lucky enough to play with a lot of great musicians and get out on the road.
Though exposed to folk at an early age, Ben became a musician almost by accident: while recovering from mono at age 13, he learned to play the guitar from a book his mother gave him. With time to kill on the Cape, he soon began playing coffee house gigs and with high school garage bands.
He’s now back home in Woods Hole, a small drinking village with a fishing problem nestled in the armpit of Cape Cod. After stints at the helm of Blithe Hollow and Silver Still Shines, Ben finally hit upon a winning combination for a band in 2012 with Brother’s Rye, featuring Topher Maffei on percussion, Josh Dayton on upright bass, and Ben Riva on the fiddle. He’s the acting sound engineer for the band’s forthcoming studio EP.