Ben Rudnick and Friends Live In Studio

Ben Rudnick  Live In Studio

Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.

On this Saturday morning’s Playground, WERS brought in local favorites Ben Rudnick and Friends to play a few songs. To start off what was a bit of an early morning for all, they played their self-proclaimed ‘Homage to Fromage’ as they called it “Macaroni & Cheese.” The song is relatable to any child who has once begged their mom to make this delicious meal. “Macaroni and cheese, is so good to me,” croons Rudnick, while partner in crime John Zevos jams on the mandolin. While kids are singing along, stomachs growling, parents can enjoy the musical talent that Rudnick and friends bring. Rudnick cites artists like the Grateful Dead and George Harrison as major influences in his songwriting and performance, a style that parents will both recognize and enjoy.

The second song that Rudnick and Friends performed, true to form, was “Here Comes the Sun.” Here, Rudnick’s friend John Zevos took the vocal reigns and displayed a strong mandolin presence once again. A popular hit with children and adults alike, it was an excellent choice for the middle of their set. They also cover this popular song on their newest album Love is a Superpower, which the group released in 2012.

The final number they chose was “A Frog Named Sam,” a popular song among their fans. Rudnick dedicated this song on air to his daughter who was listening at college. ”She introduced this song to her friends and they thought it was cool,” Rudnick said, eliciting a chuckle from everyone in the studio.

When they weren’t rocking out on this early Saturday morning, the band took the time in studio to answer a few questions for Live Music Week. They discussed many of their upcoming events, as they’re currently “gearing up for the holiday shows,” according to Zevos. The group will be in and out of the Boston area for the next few months, as well as New York. On November 16, the band will continue what has become somewhat of a tradition at Tico’s. This local restaurant has been partnered with Rudnick and Friends for over a year and a half now: the band performs, and their ticket proceeds are donated to a local charity of their choosing. Rudnick cites the Grateful Dead and their Rex Foundation as his inspiration for this project.

“You come to the show and we have artwork and supplies for the kids, so they’ll typically make cards to go along with the donations,” elaborates Rudnick. The band loves performing at Tico’s, and though they admit they don’t have the ticket sales of the Grateful Dead, they’re still happy that they are able to support charities like Cradles to Crayons and Catching Joy, both organizations that benefit young children and their families. “It’s fun to be able to go to this place we’re very comfortable with… It’s like home – it’s our living room,” says Rudnick. Another exciting event on the horizon is Ben Rudnick and Friends is the 12th Annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on December 14. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children for this event.

Another exciting announcement the band had was the addition of a new member – their new bass player, Chris. It was only until they were off air that it Chris was discovered to be the mandolin player, John Zevos’, son.

Though it was an early morning for everyone, a good time was had by all. Be sure to check out their website for more events around the area that both you and your child can enjoy!

By Madelyn Reese
Photo by Trevor Gage

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