Five years after Twin Cities alt/country band Romantica released their well-received album America, frontman Ben Kyle returns with his self-titled solo debut, a feat made even more rewarding considering the many starts, stops and reboots along the way. "For me it wasn’t about getting the next marketable product out to keep the train rolling and the career climbing, so I could spend more years on the road," says Kyle. "But it was about not settling for something that my heart wasn’t behind 100%, and making sure I made a record that I felt was beautiful and that I believed in." For that to happen, the Belfast-born husband and father of three opted to step out on his own from the band while keeping his feet still firmly planted at home. The resulting Ben Kyle (November 13) ended up using four separate pedal steel players, all of the member of Romantica and some guest fiddle from Carrie Rodriguez and Jessy Green to create an elegant album of hushed Americana and meditative folk. For starters, listen to the lustrous "Mercy" and "The Turf Club", a gentle ode to the St. Paul music venue.
Ben Kyle - "Mercy" (from Ben Kyle)
Ben Kyle - "The Turf Club" (from Ben Kyle)
Carrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle