Thursday, May 24, 8 p.m.
Rozz-Tox, 2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
Known for both his individual alt-rock compositions and as half of the Brooklyn-based pop/rock duo KaiselCartel, singer/songwriter Benjamin Cartel performs a solo concert at the Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox on May 24, his 2015 album Gothenberg leading American Songwriter magazine to state, “Your heart will be haunted by the tunes, your mind will wonder about those complex lyrics, and you’ll soon be a fan.”
After earning considerable buzz as one of New York City’s strongest up-and-coming songwriters, Cartel put his solo career on hold in 2004, the year he co-founded the indie folk duo KaiserCartel with former John Mellencamp back-up singer Courtney Kaiser. Although he still performs with Kaiser and the pair has released five albums and EPs to date, Cartel also re-launched his solo career with the 2013 release of Money & Love, which inspired StereoSubversion.com to rave, “From the titular phrase to the strong melodic content within, Cartel’s attention to detail can be felt throughout … with its strong commitment to crafting catchy, memorable songs.”
Cartel's critical plaudits continued with the arrival of his first solo album Gothenburg, which Rust magazine deemed “a great collection of contemporary Americana-style songs with subtle songwriting and very personal instrumentation.” And with the December release of his most recent solo album Flickering Light, Cartel has earned some of the strongest praise of his career. Calling the work “a decidedly pleasurable listen,” NoDepression.com wrote that the recording “radiates with a glow that doesn't diminsh throughout.” The Huffington Post, meanwhile, wrote, "Cartel's sound merges a panorama of stylistic influences, including rock, psych folk, dream rock and even a bit of prog rock weaving through some of the tunes. It’s a prismatic sound with shimmering patience and musical wisdom, as if an imperturbable ambiance decided to enfold you.”
Benjamin Cartel performs on May 24 with an opening set by Seth Knappen, admission to the 8 p.m. concert is $5-10, and more information is available by calling (309)200-0978 or visiting RozzTox.com.