ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Ben Harold & the Rising

Arts @ Large hosted Americana rockers Ben Harold & the Rising for their “Music Under the Stars” series at Paliafito Eco-Arts Park in Walker’s Point.

Ben Harold & the Rising are a Milwaukee-rooted band although Harold currently resides in Sturgeon Bay. He was elated to be back in town.

“Man, this is beautiful,” he said. “I love this neighborhood and the people here…they love original music and really come out, man. It’s fun because you start playing and then everyone just walks over.”

Currently playing with him as “the Rising” are guitarist Ken Zabler, bassist Carl Crumbliss, drummer Joe Howard, and keyboardist Dan Kolesari. Harold met these guys through various musical outlets over the years; Zabler and Howard have known each other for over twenty years.

Their most recent album “These Days” came out last October. Harold said about it, “I really wanted to write narratives and about people and their lives. That’s what really affects me when I’m thinking about what moves me. I wasn’t necessarily going out to meet people to write about them, but I was thinking about all the people I haven’t met and what their stories were. Putting music to it was trial and error…this album was – for the most part – writer’s block. I wrote songs several times before I landed on the right one, and then when the pandemic hit, that sparked more songs. The whole thing just came together to just be about peoples’ lives and the times we’re in.”

The band released a music video for the single “Just A Ghost” featuring them playing on a downtown Milwaukee rooftop. “We happened to know somebody who worked at a law office right on the lake, and we got this weird idea to shoot this music video up there and they were totally into it. It was amazing; we had a great videographer who came in and made it come together.”

Harold shares what the band is working on now.

“We’re never done writing; we’ve got a bunch of new songs and did a few of them here today. We’ve got about twenty of them (laughs). We always want to keep pressing forward and love the direction that “These Days” sent us in. That really sparked something musically in all of us, so now we’re just following that down the road.”

Ben Harold & the Rising play Kiwanis Park Music at the Market in Horicon on July 6th, Appleton Beer Factory on July 14th, and Ayre in the Square here in Milwaukee on August 20th.

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