Ben Folds is set to tour the U.S. throughout November in support of Lonely Avenue, a collaboration between him and bestselling English novelist Nick Hornby, due September 28 on Nonesuch Records. Folds’ 13 tour dates feature performances at a number of beloved venues including Chicago’s Riviera and Atlanta’s Tabernacle. The tour concludes with a Thanksgiving weekend homecoming performance at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center to benefit the Nashville Symphony. Members of the Ben Folds Fan Club will have advance access to presale tickets and ticket bundle opportunities for Ben’s upcoming tour on September 15 at noon Local Venue Time. To become a member and find out more about these special offers as well many other opportunities throughout the year please visit www.benfolds.com/members-only.
With music and vocals by Folds and lyrics by Hornby, Lonely Avenue features string arrangements by the influential pop string arranger Paul Buckmaster (David Bowie, Elton John, Leonard Cohen). The idea to create an album of Folds’ unique pop songwriting sensibilities with Hornby’s insightful prose was conceived during a dinner conversation between the two friends one night in 2009. After that, Hornby began regularly emailing lyrics to Folds, who then turned them into Lonely Avenue’s 11 musical short stories. The songs touch on subject matter ranging from a mother with a child in the hospital over New Year’s Eve to the work of Doc Pomus, lyricist of countless ’50s and ’60s pop hits.
In addition to Lonely Avenue, Hornby and Folds, the latter of whom is known for using the internet as a creative instrument, recently collaborated with YouTube sensation Pomplamoose on a song titled “Things You Think” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G5JaicYuVU), which has garnered over 350,000 views in less than two weeks since its release.
In early May the Nashville Symphony’s concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, was inundated by floodwaters, ultimately causing an estimated $40 million in damage. A Nashville resident himself, Folds has designated that in addition to benefitting the Symphony, a portion of the proceeds from this show will go to two volunteer firefighting organizations in the Middle Tennessee region. “The flood happened in a matter of hours, but digging out of it will take years,” Folds notes. “This concert is an effort to help keep the recovery in the front of our minds and to help restore our great symphony hall, which was severely damaged. Of course, a donation to our first responders like our volunteer firefighters is in order too, because without them the Middle Tennessee community would have lost so much more.”
Ben Folds first found mainstream success as the leader of the critically acclaimed platinum-selling Ben Folds Five. He has gone on to have a very successful solo career, recording three studio albums in addition to a pair of records documenting his renowned live performances and a remix record. Folds also recently released Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!, a collection of his songs performed by college groups. In 2009 Folds was featured as a judge on NBC’s a cappella competition The Sing Off (a role he will reprise later this year on the show’s second season). Folds previously collaborated with Hornby on a song for the Folds-produced William Shatner album Has Been, which the Huffington Post called “one of the few records in recent memory that dared to tell the unvarnished truth about the human condition.” Ben also has a special relationship with symphony musicians, having performed with some of the world’s greatest orchestras including a record-breaking sold-out Australian tour in 2006 and repeatedly sold-out nights at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops with conductor Keith Lockhart, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Nick Hornby often writes about music, musicians, and music lovers in his fiction and nonfiction work. His six novels, some of which have been turned into successful films, are High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down, Slam, and Juliet, Naked (just released in paperback). He has also published several works of non-fiction, including Fever Pitch, Songbook (a collection of essays about songs that influenced his life), and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, as well as a book of short stories, Otherwise Pandemonium. Hornby wrote the screenplay for the film An Education for which he was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.
BEN FOLDS TOUR
November 5 - The Riviera - Chicago, IL
November 6 - The Fillmore - Detroit, MI
November 7 - The Orbit Room - Grand Rapids, MI
November 8 - LC Pavilion - Columbus, OH
November 10 - Bogarts - Cincinnati, OH
November 11 - Club Zoo - Pittsburgh, PA
November 12 - Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY
November 13 - Tower Theatre - Philadelphia, PA
November 17 - Orpheum Theater - Boston, MA
November 18 - Welmont Theatre - Montclair, NJ
November 20 - The Fillmore - Charlotte, NC
November 21 - Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA
November 27 - Tennessee Performing Arts Center - Nashville, TN