Ben Deignan’s great stage presence and smooth sexy sound was apparent from the very beginning of his show at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta as he jammed through Bump in the Road, a Johnny Lang song that Ben and his talented band played flawlessly. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him, he is a one of a kind with a twist of John Mayer, Robin Thicke, Michael Jackson, Rihanna and Maxwell – Are you interested to hear him now? You should be . He showed his creative side singing Cool as he mixed in a little of Rihanna’s Umbrella…..And their upbeat funky version of 80’s hit by Terence Trent D’arby’s , Wishing Well, showed how they can make any song their own. It’s not just Ben that has the talent, his band does too and they know how to jam….hard.
The night had a couple of surprises, one was Scotty Cram – he came onstage and together they sang Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, Scotty’s guitar solo blended amazingly well with Ben Deignan and his band – a WOW moment! (I heard Scotty and Ben might be working on something together for the near future….after hearing that song, we can only hope that’s true). They played a crowd favorite, Sexy Black Dress, a song that his fans would have been disappointed if it wasn’t included in the set. The grand finale was an amazing way to finish the night……Will Turpin (bass player for Collective Soul) came on stage and showed his own amazing talent as he ROCKED the keyboard to Stevie Wonder’s Superstition while the band collectively belted out the tune with their vocals and instruments.… Nothing like throwing in a little Motown to keep a crowd on their feet! (Will has been working on his own project and actually played a set of his own before Ben – he was awesome – I could go on and on about Will too – another day, another review!) Nobody could have possibly sat still during the entire song…. Yet another big WOW moment! Ben and his band are soulful and expressive and, by far, one of my personal Top 10 ATL bands!