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Ben Bullington / Press

“The first time I heard Ben Bullington’s music, I froze. His haunting vocals inspired a strange and inexplicable longing for home and kinfolk I’d never known. The small-town doctor was gritty and soulful, reflective and funny. In addition to being chief of staff of a twenty-five-bed Montana Hospital and a family physician for twenty years, the lanky, six-foot-five Virginia native (and former Vanderbilt student) was a scientist, geologist, and prolific singer-songwriter, poet, and guitar enthusiast obsessed with Nashville.”

“ Bullington's music gives the same kind of treatment to Montana that so many songwriters give to Texas, West Virginia and Tennessee. He sings about the road from Kanesville to Pray, about White Sulphur Springs and Montana girls. His most popular tracks are "Born in 55," which is a pedal-steel-infused litany of events about the JFK assassination and civil rights, and "I Despise Flies," a dark depiction of the house fly. There are prophetic songs, too, written years before Bullington's diagnosis, like "I've Got to Leave You Now," where he sings to his sons: "Our souls might mingle in the after torch/ like four friends smoking on a midnight porch./ I've always loved you the best I knew how./ I've gotta leave you now."”

“The former doctor from Big Timber doesn't fix what isn't broken on his fourth album, Lazy Moon. Simple guitar work and song structures carry his easygoing voice—even on the upbeat "Cup of Strong Black Coffee," Bullington maintains that casual, we've-got-all-day tone. Nearly a dozen collaborators on bass, mandolin and banjo breathe life into the poetry but never overpower. Then there's the reference to actual poetry: "W.H. Auden is lying open face down, a Miles Davis solo is floatin' around," Bullington sings on "Lone Pine." It might be the lack of percussion that makes a lot of these songs blur together like so many fields stretching across the Hi-Line. They all become variations on the same theme, which, if you've lived here long enough, you know is the truth about Montana anyway.”

“ BB: "Real art has a point of view and has a politic in it. It’s different than something being exactly topical. I value careful thinking and education, which is sometimes characterized as elitism. I believe in science — to allow this many people to live on the planet, we’ve got to get rid of an ideology where we’re unable to face facts."”

“Along the way, Bullington moved from heavy irony to tender details, story songs that embraced the tangle of reality with a pathos tempered with strength and a sense of truth that has torn edges, dog-eared corners and a solid core. (PLEASE READ THE WHOLE REVIEW BELOW!) http://www.nodepression.com/m/blogpost?id=2342817%3ABlogPost%3A871925 ”

“Helped out here by a cadre of talent (including Nashville songwriting legend Rodney Crowell) and some smoothly engineered sound, Bullington sings his way through his country and folk-styled compositions with the just-right dusty voice that comes with years of observation. Get a cozy table at the back of the room and let the singer spin out the visuals. The title cut is a gentle loper with cool lyrics; “The Engineer’s Dark Lover” has Bullington wondering, amidst silky viola, about the loneliness of a woman coping with her train-riding husband who’s never home. “Yankee Girl” is a pretty waltz with cool clarinet and mandolin (“Oh, Yankee Girl, I like your style; your razor wit and your brainy smile”); and “Two Headlights” ruminates on the discovery of a life-threatening disease, and taking a new look at life. Plenty more where these came from. Visit him at www.benbullington.com.”

“Must be nice to multi-task. In a seasoned baritone, ex-Virginian and Livingston-area physician, guitar player and singer-songwriter Ben Bullington sonically visualizes experiences soaked up from a long career in many professions. He mines comfortable territory on his third CD, offering up thoughtful story poems about the western landscape, lonely lovers and life’s curveballs and how we handle them. And some hopeful notes on love. His mature sound reflects the highway and bar life, desperate people, and rough-cut occupations he’s met up with. He sees them all with a critical eye and pens great storylines. ”

“Satisfaction Garage ...Four Stars "Album number three from the acclaimed Montana songsmith is more of those finely drawn portraits of people, landscapes, relationships and life experiences. Though recorded in Nashville, this album has little or no connection to the pop-country sounds you’ll hear on mainstream country radio."”

“Satisfaction Garage - Four Stars "What we have here is the pure essence of what has become known as Americana with such crack session players as Fats Kaplin, Will Kimbrough, Kenny Malone, George Bradfute and Rodney Crowell. The latter, no mean songwriter himself, co-produced the title song and Last Night’s Been Gotten Through. Anyone who has lost a close friend or relative through illness will instantly be moved by Lester Mays (He Lived The Way He Wanted To) with a lyric that is so real and close to the truth that it hurts. There’s a more light-hearted feel to Miss June a song that paints a convincing portrait in a little under four minutes of pure economical use of words. Though this has been out a while, I suggest that you go on a search for it, you won’t be disappointed.”

“Ben's eleven songs deal in a homely and gentle way with the world he lives in and the people in his life; he observes things with a sympathetic eye and tells stories of the lives being played out around him. There's beauty in Ben's own playing and bags of character in his singing.”

“Two years ago or so, Ben's CD "White Sulphur Springs" arrived and was relegated to the overflowing pile of singer-songwriter CDs I receive constantly. I didn't even look at it until Joanne e-mailed me seeking to get Ben on the air. I pulled it out and was floored. "Born in 55" hits a nerve for someone every time I air it. And "I'm a Stranger" is terrific at capturing that moment in history and the feelings many of us had. His songs are really good. ”

Terry O - Sly Dog Madtown Blog

“Bullington keenly delivers solid tunes. He also has good people on his side: The album features country great Rodney Crowell and Nashville multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin, who's played for Garth Brooks and Waylon Jennings. Bullington should have Montana on the country map any day now. ”

Erika Fredrickson - Missoula Independent

“Thank goodness for Ben Bullington. On Satisfaction Garage the White Sulphur Springs musician (and family practice doctor) hits notes with the same gritty ease as Kris Kristofferson or Bruce Springsteen with tracks like "The Engineer's Dark Lover." The album's strength is in the stories: songs of ponderosa pine on the Cheyenne Range, the road from Kanesville to Pray, Mont. and the way Clear Channel comes across the waves "like a weak cup of coffee when you wanted a strong one." ”

“There’s a subtle and gentle grace to this man’s music that warrants your hearing.”

“Montana songwriter Ben Bullington's songs frame “moments of the delicacy and poignancy of everyday experience,” and just as easily cross over to wryly document the absurdity of those random frat-boy drive-by yelps in the night or rampant political hypocrisy.”

“There’s the body language of “No Matter How Many Times” and “Come to Me,” and the reminiscences of youth in “Born in ’55.” And Nelson sings with him on the soft country loper, “I’m a Stranger,” with its “Will the Circle be Unbroken” overtones. Bullington doesn’t waste words."”

“His lyrics will take you through the countryside of area rich in character, variation as his lyrics speak of ‘dreams don’t come easy on seven bucks an hour and of how money don’t mean every thing’. Little wonder he has won glowing admiration and backing from one of his heroes, Rodney Crowell”

“This album is exactly what a folk-country album should be—straightforward, plaintive and perceptive. Bullington sings about America's working class, waitresses and drifters, but also Montana's wide-open spaces, ranch dogs and the ring around the moon.”

“I won't take responsibility if you listen to this superb CD in the car and end up sitting in the driveway until it ends. It's a very special recording.”

“He captures the essence of farmers, drifters, drivers and just plain working folks better than any songwriter I've heard in many a year, and he does so with poetic skill. He tells a narrative of the America most of us miss or only see in the rear view mirror.”

“When Rich Warren played "Twangy Guitars" on "The Midnight Special" last week he took the unusual step of urging his listeners to stop whatever they were doing and pay very close attention. I did. And now I urge my readers to keep a close ear out for Ben Bullington.”

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