Ben Bedford – Portraits

Album Review | Cavalier Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Portraits is a fine compilation made up of some of the best songs from the Illinois-based singer songwriter’s first three albums, Lincoln’s Man, Land of the Shadows and What We Lost, all released between 2007 and 2012.  Bedford points out that the selected songs are indeed like portraits, either of people, places, events or memories. 

Despite the album being a collection of songs written at slightly different time periods, Portraits has a  certain flow and can be enjoyed as a stand alone album. With strong, confident and accomplished performances throughout, from the banjo-led Civil War epic “Lincoln’s Man”, which takes us on a journey through the past like a Shelby Foote narrative, through to the concluding “Goodbye Jack”, a spirited ode to an old sea dog, the songs have a sense of place and time and evoke the true spirit of Americana.

Choice Track: The Only Story (NSV 509)