Latest News

Columbus is Alive! 

First things first...THANK EVERYONE who came out last Saturday. It was the first full band show since January...and I must say, it was an amazing experience....and this time I still have a voice (last time, I lost it)! Playing alongside October Ember and Lydia Brownfield was incredible. So much talent...but also so much humility in the room. It's always an honor to be a part of these shows, with the main goal of creating connection 

Right I'm typing this e-mail, I'm casually eating some pizza, getting my computer greasy and observing the gleeful Ohio State fans. Ohio State is back in session, and the football season has kicked off. Although I successfully managed to not watch football all day, I was able to tell that OSU won today. 

Between you and me...I was born in Michigan (many of you already know this)...and have never been a hardcore Ohio State fan...but, I like being around happy people - so I'm a fan when OSU wins. When it comes to football, I consider myself a pacifist between the war of OSU and Michigan. I might think less of me...but FORGIVE ME! 

Needless to say, it's busy here in the Short North. And for a good reason! 

I'm here at the Donato's in the Short North, ready to play some music from 8 to 10 PM. If you're free tonight, stop by! It's the 1st Saturday of the month, which means it's GALLERY HOP! An Ohio State victory PLUS gallery hop PLUS BEAUTIFUL WEATHfER = "Hey, let's get out of the house!" 

That's all I have for you today. I've got some upcoming shows that I'll be sure to share with you soon enough...but, I'll save that for another e-mail. 

Just a final reminder - be sure to check out the new single, "I'm Ready to Begin", which I released last month. I will be releasing another single around November, so be sure to stay tuned! (on Spotify) 

As usual, please let me know how you are doing! I always love hearing your responses! 

Peace and love, 


New Single Alert!!!! 

It's busy over here, but I think that's the normal, default response. I think everyone uses the "busy" answer..because life does keep us busy! 

--- I just put the final touches on a NEW single being released this Saturday. It'll be available on Spotify, iTunes, AppleMusic...and whole lot more. Sign up for my e-mail list, and you can get a copy of this song now!

Back in February, this was the song that I was working on that convinced me to finally see a doctor regarding my voice. It was this chorus, shouting "I'm Ready to Begin", where ironically my voice was ready to end. Late into the night, I even attempted to utter a few conversational words and couldn't even do that. As many of you knew, this is what led me into my quiet, nonverbal February. 

Six months later...I'm proud to say that this song is done and ready for your listening pleasure. I sincerely hope you enjoy this song! It was a good lesson in perseverance, patience...and overcoming stubbornness. 

Here are the lyrics: 

Take a little sip of love, 
Find a way to boost this life again, 
You're my morning cup, 

I'll wait until I find myself alert, 
I know it takes some time, 
You're my morning cure 

I've yet to find a better way 
Reminds me that I'm still alive, 
I'll be ready for the day 

Dependent on your warmth, 
And the power of your love 
Brings me closer to the door 

I'm ready to begin, 
I'm ready to engage the heart within 
I'm ready to inspire 
I'm ready for the cause, 
even when I grow tired 

The fire in my step has slowed 
My energy is dissipating, 
What can keep my flow 

The battle of my apathy, 
I'll find way to make it through, 
Till the day is new 

I'm ready to begin, 
I'm ready to engage, 
I'm ready to inspire 
I'm ready for the cause 

My time is almost here, 
This rest I seem to fear, 
Renew my waning heart, 
Let tomorrow do its part 

I'm ready to begin, 
I'm ready to engage, 
I'm ready to inspire 
I'm ready for the cause 

Thanks for being a part of this journey! 

Please do keep me posted on what's going on in your life. Your response means a lot to me! 

Peace and love, 

It's Been TWO Months!! 

It's been almost TWO months since I've written you last...please forgive me for the delay in keeping you updated. I know it must have been tough for you, eagerly awaiting this e-mail to be sent...but here we are! 

So, I turned the big 30 back in April...and I must say, the last six months of 29 were pretty eventful. I'll recap some of the things that happened...good and bad. :-) 

1. First time out of the country. Canada. Yeah, I know it's next door...but it counts! 

2. First silent month of my life. Due to my vocal injury, February was pretty quiet. Literally. Although, I kinda wish it happened in March...since I could have given it a cool name like "Mute March", it all worked out. 

3. First house break-in. Apparently, we were giving some good vibes to some late night shenanigans. 

4. First car to be stolen. I guess when you see car keys in a house, the opportunity presents itself, right? 

5. First car to be set on fire. If you're looking to have a "lit" time, I guess that's the thing to do. 

6. First time talking with an arson detective. The job title just sounds cool. I'd imagine that would be a cool title to have at a dinner party....great conversation starter. 

---- If you didn't guess, 3-6 were all related. ---- 

7. First time being "officially" defrauded. PledgeMusic, if you just Google their name, you can learn more. They were a fairly successful crowdfunding option, like IndieGoGo or GoFundMe, but recently were found to be not paying their only goes downhill from there. 

8. First time attempting to learn French. Now, it was Canadian French, which I know is different. But, I must say, driving through Montreal, I was able to at least learn the word "Arret". 

9. First time playing music in Buffalo, NY! I ended up playing for a friends wedding in the Boston area, which was awesome! What was even cooler was that I got to do this with my dad - a little father/son bonding trip. Buffalo was as stopping point...because...why not? 

10. First time staying in Erie, PA!  Had the honor, although being mute, of staying with some family (Andrea & John), who I have not seen in a very long time! Great to see them again.... 

11. First time going back to my birth town...on my own.  I had the honor and privilege to visit good ol' Livonia (near Detroit). I was able to visit a family friend, see the rebuilding / renewal of Detroit. Thanks Mr. Al! He's a great tour guide. 

12. First time writing and recording a song for my nieces....and nephew. The songs "Something We Forgot", inspired by my niece in Columbus, and "Brother", inspired by my niece and nephew in Texas - both on the new album, "The Bear Minimum" 

Okay, I think 12 is a good stopping point. Needless to say, there were some better things...and some worse things...but they all were experiences. And experiences are life. What you do with those experiences are crucial for growth.. 

On another note, I'm STOKED. I starting to prepare for my first DIY US Tour. I'll be making my way to Texas in the middle of August and will be stopping through Cinci, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, and Dallas (perhaps another one in between). It's a learning experience for me...but, it's a lot of fun being a nerd and sending out a bazillion e-mails to venues in an attempt to secure a gig. 

That being said, if you are in ANY of these areas... let me know! This is the breakdown of where and when I'll be in certain areas: 

August 10th: Cincinnati - Bean and Barley 

August 11th: Louisville - Venue TBA 

August 12th: Nashville - The Basement (still pending confirmation) 

August 13th: Memphis - Java Cabana 

August 14th: TBA 

August 15th: Dallas - Opening Bell 

August 16th - 18th: Austin - DIY Conference 

Thanks everyone! AS USUAL, let me know how YOU are doing.

Peace and love, 

Benjamin Marshall

I'm Ready to Begin 

Last night was beautiful. 

For the first time in a while, I participated in a singer-songwriter round in a new, but old place called the Market at Flint. 

The establishment is a restored building off of Park Rd which used to settle in a city called Flint, as I learned. From what I gather, as Columbus continued to grow, it absorbed the little town of Flint, but still has its history with some of the citizens around the area. I was told it used to be a "speak easy" joint back in the day! 

Paired with two other incredibly songwriters, Dan Heidt ( and Kristen Gramza (, there was no shortage of talent in the room...and of course, nerves were gettin' to me. 

1. It had been a while since I had performed in an intimate setting such as this. I wasn't used to people listening. And... well, let's just say, I still need to work on the "story behind my song" dialogue. :-) 

2. I'm still walking on egg shells on what this voice will do in the future. It's tough to not do these performances though... I figured this might be a good transition gig, right? 

The nerves were quickly trumped by the power of music. 

These events always serve as a great reminder of how much we crave intimacy, connection and an avenue for community. In a songwriter round, we have the ability to talk about the inspiration behind the song, which sometimes allows to dive in to topics that are tough in casual conversation. 

Topics like: faith, life's meaning, relationships, love, mourning, heart-break, and other subjects that don't often casually come up in conversation, are often great song topics. Not only are you talking about it on stage, but it allows you to have a way to share a conversation OFF stage, potentially connecting with people you had never thought. 

During this round, I performed the last song I wrote prior to losing my voice, "I'm Ready To Begin". Back in January, it was during the chorus where my voice LITERALLY just stopped working. I couldn't even hold a conversation. This lead me to go to a doctor and have it checked out, eventually leading to my little silent retreat. Being able to perform this song last night was an honor and a triumph for me....and very fitting too, since "I'm Ready to Begin" is very true. 

Anyways, I highly recommend you come out to one of their events, hosted by Rich Sharick on a bi-weekly basis.The NEXT one is April 20th at 8:30 PM. I won't be playing, but it's a warm, welcoming place to hang out, have a date night, or just casually listen to music! Here's my next FREE Show! 

Friday, April 26th - 8:00, FREE SHOW! 
Live at Victory's w/Luke Johnson, Cynthia Miller, and Josh Brenneman 

Classics Victory's 
543 S High St, 
Columbus 43215 

If you've read this far, THANKS! 

Please let me know how you are doing! As I will always say, this is not a one-sided conversation. I love to hear from you and what is going on in your life, so don't be shy. 


Just Sayin' Hello! 

Howdy friends! 

Ben here - checking back in. It's Sunday evening, so I figured what better way to end the weekend than share time with you? ;-) 

For those who had kept up with my previous e-mail, I had previously been on "vocal rest", attempting the ambitious endeavor of "no talking" for about a month...which was really about three weeks. If you didn't know this, now you do! Yay! 

To elaborate, but not bore you too much, I'll say it was an interesting experience! It included a variety of different communication methods, including paper/pencil, smart phone, awkward body language, limited sign language...aka, MANY thumbs up and the occasional thumbs down, and the last resort of no communication at all. Many of you probably had a fun encounter with me doing this! 

About three weeks ago, I started giving my voice a shot again. I had my follow up from the ENT doctor and voice pathologist, which to their surprise did observe shrinkage of the vocal lesion/polyp. This was good news to hear. 

So what was the follow up plan/verdict? More waiting! 

At this point, I'm still "waiting" to see if this thing will completely go away. They made it seem like there was a high chance that it probably WOULD NOT completely go away. But, who knows, right? And at the very least, if surgery is a necessity, the smaller it is, the higher chance for success! Unfortunately, it wasn't realistic to continue with complete voice rest...since LIFE is DEMANDING! 

Now that I'm using my voice again, I must say, it was weird at first. Almost didn't want to say anything...scared of the strange voice that came out of my mouth. But after getting used to it, I also realized how easy it was to go back to the normal range of voice usage. Like many things in life, it seems you don't realize how much you use something...until you try to NOT use it. This was the case of my vocals. I also realized the importance of wanting to be understood, and how often we are misunderstood even when we're able to talk. There is so much beyond communication than the words we say. 

With all this being said, I'm learning my limits! I'm trying to keep my gigs at two a month, and staying away from the really long ones (2 + hours) until around summer time! That being are the gigs for April! I would love to see you at either show. If you see me doing more than two gigs in a month in May or June, yell at me. Please! 

SHOW UPDATES for April: 

Friday, April 5th - 8:30 PM, $10 
Singer-Songwriter Round - with Kristin Gramza and Dan Heidt 

The Music Room at the Market 
225 Park Rd, Columbus 43236 

Friday, April 26th - 8:00, FREE SHOW! 
Live at Victory's w/Luke Johnson, Cynthia Miller, and Josh Brenneman 

Classics Victory's 
543 S High St, Columbus 43215 

Thanks all for reading! 

Peace and love, 

Live from Montreal!! 


That's the "petit" amount of French I know right now. Merci! 

So, I finally did it. I made into another country. Sure, Canada is right next door, but I must say, of the Canadian cities to visit, Montreal seems to have a very "foreign" or "exotic" feel. As soon as I crossed the Quebec border in my tiny little Prius, fighting off the beastly winter storm, English and French no longer partnered with each other on the highway signs. From that point on, only French was what I saw in everything, including: signs, buildings, and advertisements, which understandably makes sense. French is the primary language of the province and was quickly revealed. Thank, God for the psychology behind graphic design. Without those helpful, self-explanatory symbols, who knows how many epic fails I would have. 

A few things right off the bat: 

1. 100 kph is a lot slower than it sounds. 

2. 90 cents p/l is a lot more expensive than it sounds. 

3. Right turns are not a thing in Montreal. 

4. It's only about an hour away from the northern New York border (the state) and an hour and a half from Vermont border 

So, you might ask, why Montreal? especially during this crazy winter storm? 

Well, I'm at the one and only Folk Alliance International Conference, which happens to be in this lovely city to the north. It's my second year doing it, and I continue to plan on going to it on an annual basis. Unfortunately, due to previously diagnosed vocal cord issues, I have had to practice my "silent" conversation on this trip. It's proved to be a bit difficult, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I've been doing a lot of writing! 

Music updates: 

1. I have cancelled most recent performances due to recent vocal cord issues, but it doesn't mean I'm not still playing music. I have handed off my happy hour performance to my dear friend, Cylia, over at the Shrunken Head NEXT Saturday who will be sharing a set with my friend, Matthew Neill. I would LOVE to see you. I'll be trying out some glockenspiel stuff along with some piano. 

Happy Hour performance at the Shrunken Head 

Saturday, February 23rd w/Cylia Queen & Matthew Neill 

251 W 5th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43201 

6 :00 - 8:00 PM 

2. I have a few performances scheduled in March, which are still ON right now, but will keep you posted after my next doctor appt! 

Thanks everyone! Respond to this e-mail to let me know how you are doing! If you don't know where to begin, answer this question: 

What is your current dream or project? (a new job, home remodeling, cooking, etc) 

Thanks for all that you do!

Voice Updates 

Warning this might be a long e-mail update! Skip to the bottom if you want to hear the silver-lining! 

So, I swallowed my pride finally, and saw a doctor. Let me tell ya, I'm certainly glad I did. 

Initially went to an urgent care, which didn't do much. They just saw me for two minutes and made a quick diagnosis of a sinus infection and laryngitis, prescribing me an anti-biotic and a steroid to hopefully reduce the swelling for a little while. 

I already had an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) appointment scheduled for two weeks out, but after waking up the following day, I realized I needed to get in sooner. I called an employee on the phone on Thursday at the end of the day, who said she would reach back out if there were any openings the following day. Sure enough, the customer service representative followed through and called back Friday morning with an appointment opening. -- Imagine that, someone with follow-through skills -- I honestly was shocked that she called back. She called me at 8:45 for a 9:30 AM appointment THAT day. 

After finding word about the appointment, I hustled to the ENT office and checked in, eagerly trying to figure out what's going on. I was introduced to Dr. Jeffrey Hall, who I quickly learned was Canadian and a previous opera singer. He was an incredibly personable guy who knew the importance of singing as a performer and a voice pathologist! After doing a quick test of my throat, they did discover a lesion (polyp) on one of my vocal cords.  --- If you want any cool pictures, I'd be happy to send...;-) --- 

We talked about strategies of what to do including voice therapy, surgery or vocal rest. He stated that therapy would not be any good at this point and suggested that "vocal rest" was the best option. If not improved, surgery may be considered, which is not the most ideal. Later in the day, I then met with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who confirmed the Dr. Hall's findings. Voice rest was the answer. 

This was unfortunate for a few reasons: 

1. I had a performance that night, and have several other gigs scheduled for this month as well. 
2. I'm heading to a Folk Conference this next week, which is a great opportunity for collaborating and meeting other musicians along with networking opportunities. 
3. I use my voice for my day job. 
4. I could not attend two interviews with employers because of this issue. 

It's frustrating. Singing is therapy to me. But not only that, I also realized how important verbal communication is. Last night, I still attended the gig I had to cancel. I wanted to show support but also wanted to practice not talking while being in social interactions. So, what did I do?? 

I brought my note pad...and used body language. As slow as it was to communicate, I wrote down everything I wanted to say on notebook paper and made it through the night without saying a word. Well, I'm sure a few slipped out, but I got away with not talking for MOST of the night. 

After getting used to being "silent" for a while, the weird part was that I actually kind of enjoyed it. No temptation to be the center of attention. I could just enjoy the company of others and listen while practicing more intentional body language. It also forced an element of patience on my end. If I wanted to ask a question, the important ones would stick with me, but the unimportant ones would slip away. 

Anyways, I'm still figuring this whole thing out as of now, but DO keep in mind that if I see you, most likely you will see this for the next month: 

1. I will not be talking/using my voice. (Hopefully) 

2. I will be communicating on notebook paper or text message (unless I can get a new iPad or Phone) 

3. I hope to STILL play music...but must do so by playing an instrument, not singing. 

4. I'm attempting to learn some sign language as well to potentially help with communication! 

Any prayers, thoughts or good vibes you can send me would be GREATLY appreciated. I know this will be a valuable experience for me, but it's also a tough one to accept. 

Thanks everyone for your love and support! 

Peace and love, 

PS: Here's an interesting read regarding vocal issues with pop singers, specifically Adele ( which I heard a few references to already, haha)

Thank YOU! 

Good morning, friends! 

I know I'm over a week late on this...but let me start this e-mail by saying... 

Thank you for the AMAZING CD Release Night on Saturday (January 19th)!!!!! 

As unpredictable as the weather was, I couldn't ask for a better turnout. The song, "Hurricane" turned out to be very fitting to start the show, which was inspired while driving behind/around the Hurricane Harvey storm in Fall of 2017. Last year's show at Shrunken Head was actually CANCELLED due to bad weather, so I was blessed to still put on a show! I must have a thing for storms, eh? 

This past week has been a restful one. Having lost my voice, I've been trying to spend the last few days resting...and listening. Not singing. I thought this would be easier...but MAN, it's tough. Singing is a beautiful thing....and I've come to realize how tough it is to NOT to sing. 

Most of this was a product of stubbornness on my I sang an event this past Thursday when I probably should have just rested...but... I didn't. And guess what? I came home eventually sounding like Tom Waits...or for those of you who don't know ol' Tom, I'll reference Louis Armstrong. As a result, I've been taking a break since Friday with hopes of sounding somewhat normal again. It's only been three days, but I can't help but be reminded of Ecclesiastes 3. 

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:.....a time to be silent and a time to speak," Ecclesiastes 3:1,7 

Now, this verse has MUCH more than what I just listed.....but I purposefully skipped to "a time to be silent and a time to speak". When you're not able to talk with ease, what do you do? You're silent. And when you're silent, it gives you more opportunities to listen. Because of this, I'm trying to embrace this time! I'm confident my voice will come back soon enough, however, I believe it's a good excuse to listen to some new albums, podcasts, heart-felt conversations, and... to have silence! 

Anyways, this is my short sentiment for today! I've been meaning to send this e-mail for several days now, and finally got to it....with the help of some coffee! 

Reminder: CD's have all been shipped out/sent through e-mail (for the Digital Download). Please let me know if you haven't received it yet! If you would like a copy, feel free to order it on my site...or you can e-mail me, text me, call me...get ahold of me somehow! 

Thanks everyone for ALL of your support. I hope you have a great start to your week! 

Peace and love, 

2019: I Thought it was 2007 Still 


I sincerely hope that 2018 brought in some good final memories...but now that we're in the beginning of 2019, let's be cliche and talk about our New Years resolutions. I'll go ahead and start by telling you one of my new years resolutions....well, when I say one... I really mean three. 

1. Hug more. Give at least one hug a day. It's a bit cheesy, but I continue to forget the value of a good hug. I'm not the most "huggy" person in the world, so we'll see how this one goes. Feel free to hold me accountable to this. :-) 

2. Read a book a month. I'm not gonna set the bar too high..since I don't read much. I go to the library quite often but for some reason, don't read that much. I even check out a bunch of books and have them for months on end...and still forget to read them. That being said, I think one book a month is doable. 

3. Get out of the country. This is actually already planned. I'll be heading to Canada in February for a Folk Music conference. If all goes well, I'll reach this goal within the first few months! 

I have PLENTY more goals for music...but I won't bore you with them. 

What are your plans for 2019? 

--- I'd love to hear what your plans are. Simply hit the respond to this e-mail and give let me know what you're up to! ----  


- CD's are officially printed and should be in my hands tomorrow. For those of you who contributed to the campaign, you SHOULD have received an e-mail LAST WEEK with the digital download. PLEASE let me know if you didn't get it. 

- CD Release Show: Saturday, January 19th, 2019 @ 8 PM  

Classic Victory's: 
543 S High St 
Columbus, OH. 

Lots of awesome music from PFC Pierce, October Ember and Paper Morning! 

- Be on the lookout for some future podcast episodes from "Just Play a Song" - a community music Meet Up group. Looking to start producing some music-related podcast episodes in a story-telling theme. Let me know if you're interested or have any cool ideas!

Previous events

Date Event Location
Benjamin Marshall: Opening Bell Opening Bell, Dallas, TX Opening Bell, Dallas, TX
Benjamin Marshall: Java Cabana Java Cabana, Memphis, TN Java Cabana, Memphis, TN
Benjamin Marshall: Sunergos Coffee Sunergos Coffee, Louisville, KY Sunergos Coffee, Louisville, KY
 —  — Benjamin Marshall: Bean & Barley Bean & Barley, Cincinnati Bean & Barley, Cincinnati
 —  — Happy Hour - Renaissance Hotel Renaissance Hotel, Columbus Renaissance Hotel, Columbus
Benjamin Marshall The Shrunken Head, Columbus, Ohio 4320 The Shrunken Head, Columbus, Ohio 4320
Benjamin Marshall The Summit / Cafe Bourbon, Columbus, OH 43201 The Summit / Cafe Bourbon, Columbus, OH 43201
Sunday Funday @ Jackie O's Jackie O's, Athens, OH 45701 Jackie O's, Athens, OH 45701
Happy Hour at the Shrunken Head The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
 —  — FOLK ALLIANCE Conference Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec
LIVE! at Craft & Vinyl Craft & Vinyl, Columbus, OH 43212 Craft & Vinyl, Columbus, OH 43212
Benjamin Marshall - CD Release Show Victory's , Columbus, OH Victory's , Columbus, OH
Private Event OH OH
The Big Room Bar w/Will Wood The Big Room Bar, Columbus, OH 43206 The Big Room Bar, Columbus, OH 43206
Noise for Toys w/PFC Pierece The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
Happy Hour at the Shrunken Head The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH The Shrunken Head, Columbus, OH
The Crest - Happy hour! The Crest, Columbus, OH The Crest, Columbus, OH
The Rambling House - HAPPY HOUR! Rambling House, Columbus, OH 43202 Rambling House, Columbus, OH 43202
Private Event Private Event, Ohio Private Event, Ohio