BENJAMIN FOLKE THOMAS – Rogue State of Mind
aaamusic | On 06, Jul 2015
Bold and entertaining Swedish artist Benjamin Folke Thomas, known for alternative rock, country and Americana, lives in Stockholm. He’s influenced by the iconic sounds of artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen.
His polished second studio album Rogue State of Mind, available on Bucketful Of Brains, was recorded with his Gothenburg band at their studio in Sweden and released on in May.
Ben’s excellent band comprises Jonas Abrahamasson (drums, vocals, keyboards and percussion), Johannes Mattsson (electric and stand up bass, vocals and keyboards) and Henning Sernhede (electric and acoustic guitar, lap steel, pedal steel, keyboards, mandolin, banjo and vocals). Backing vocals are sung by Stina Grape, Hanna Sernhede and Linnea Eketrä.
His colourful album Rogue State Of Mind begins with rhythmical ‘Break The Border’, a rich, tight and confident number that’s followed by upbeat ‘Gettysburg’ about a liberated 60s folk singer who ‘danced beneath the rain like random rhythms that drive black dust insane’. Intimate ‘Bulletproof’ has a quiet and reflective feel, contrasting with the wild and angry ‘Futile Blues’. ‘Pauper To A King’ is a playful and inventive blues, whilst moody ‘Woman I Love’ develops as a dark and soulful tale with considerable sadness.
Ben has a warm and soft baritone reminiscent of John Stewart and Gordon Lightfoot. Rogue State Of Mind is a very direct album with considerable drive and some fine songs, sometimes subdued but often explosive. Some reviewers say they’d like to see a greater fire and power to his songwriting, but if you listen closely there’s depth, emotion and a hypnotic quality just waiting to be found.