Singer-songwriter Ben Folds will appear next Saturday at the HullabaLOU Festival at Churchill Downs. Folds is best known for his wryly humorous lyrics, piano skills, and a knack for witty stage banter during shows, as well as the ability to improvise.
Folds began playing piano at the age of nine and performed with numerous bands growing up in Winston-Salem, NC and working as a session musician in Nashville for awhile. In 1994 he formed the band Ben Folds Five with bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee in Chapel Hill, NC. Released in 1997, their second album, Whatever and Ever Amen, reached #42 on the Billboard Chart and brought them into the limelight with popular singles, “Brick,” “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces,” and “The Battle of Who Could Care Less.”
The trio broke up in 2000 and Folds embarked on a solo career with the studio album, Rockin' the Suburbs. Notably in his career, he has produced, arranged, and backed up William Shatner on the album Has Been; he has written songs for several movie soundtracks; and he was the first person to perform an entire live concert on MySpace. Recently, his video from a live show in Charlotte this past March became a sensation on Youtube when he improvised several songs on the spot to respond to participants on Chatroulette. Folds has also performed with orchestras, including the Boston Pops and the Louisville Orchestra. He has a collaboration with writer Nick Hornby coming out in September called Lonely Avenue.
See Ben perform in Central Park with Guster below: