Release Date: 2/15/2009 'Alakazam' is the 4th full length album released by Rock artist Ben Miller! 11 tracks with 2 instrumentals, 'Alakazam', is a very solid follow up to Ben's previous 3 release's 'Strumming With The King', 'Farther Than The Eye Can Stare' and 'Each and Everyday'. "It's a hard world to get a break in/all the good things have been taken." Those lines from the Animals' '60s hit "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" are even truer today for rock & rollers who try to grab a piece of the sunshine for their moment in the spotlight. Even when they're as talented as Ben Miller, it's still a constant struggle to find an audience for your music. Illinoisan Miller, like so many others like him, does it the only way he can: by making his own recordings and releasing them himself, and then doing everything he's able short of grand larceny to build an audience. Luckily for him, he's got the kind of talent that will someday take him to higher ground. His guitar playing holds the key. It's razor-sharp and full of a peculiar twists that not many others have been able to master. Mark Knopfler comes to mind, but Ben Miller is no copycat. He uses that style as a jumping off point, and then builds his own vocabulary of licks and lyricism to make an original stand. Vocally, it's the same way. There may be similarities to others, but on songs like "Angel in My Dreams" and "Elevation," there is a serious musician here, and you can feel all the passion that fuels a likely lonesome run for recognition. But, really, it's always been that way, and in the end the making of the music has to be the final reward, because it's the only one the artist has any control over. From the sound of Alakazam, this is a man who has no intention of going anywhere but straight ahead. - 11/12/2009 by Bill Bentley/Sonic Boomers http://www.sonicboomers.com/albumreviews/ben-miller Previous CD Reviews Nov.23rd,2007 'His guitar has the relentless fire of so many greats, and while the young musician continues the search for his own sound, he's found a musical path that will take him there with talent to spare'----------One to watch.---------------------Bill Bentley, Studio City Sun I got my Ben Miller CD 'Strumming with the King' in the mail a few weeks ago from CDbaby.com. It is an amazing piece of work!! Can't stop listening to it. Do yourself a favor and buy your copy now!! Highly recommended! Best, Doug Oh yeah. He's the real deal. Definitely hear the Knopfler influence, both in the voice and the guitar licks. He's got the Morrison 'otherworldliness' thing going. Really like it. ---Harp-Dude on Fuzz.com Sorta like The Watchtower meeting the Sultans of Swing Thumbs up ---Alix Azoff on Fuzz.com Great sound man, great guitar. I hear Knopfler in there as well, but I think you have your own sound. Enjoyed it. All the best ---Wes Gear on Fuzz.com It's time for an update. I remember at about that time I was in correspondence with a real industry pro, Bill Bentley who had already identified Ben as an artist to watch, as reflected in BB's review of Ben's work: author: Bill Bentley Ben Miller, Strumming With The King (BMR) Talk about fighting the good fight. Musician Ben Miller took ten of his best original songs into the studio, playing all the lead, rhythm and bass guitars himself, then added drum parts to the vocal tracks and sent them out into the world. Even in a time that's seen and heard just about everything, Strumming With The King still manages to catch afire. The mark of Mark Knopfler may be written in a deep groove on these songs, but Miller is and always will be his own man. His guitar has the relentless fire of so many greats, and while the young musician continues the search for his own sound, he's found a musical path that will take him there with talent to spare. One to watch. Ben Miller has the talent,and his new album is the strongest music he's made. Keep an eye on him. I mentioned to BB and then to Ben that, to me, what might be described as his basic "Chicago Rock" [if such a description is really useful] with his instrumentation and take had a quality of "jump" which seemed to cause a double-take in both of them; but I thought later that, hey, why not say it was so. "Ben Miller jumps!" Ben Miller's stated sources of inspiration range from notable quitarists such as Mark Knopfler [you can note the fingerpicking] and path-breaking icons like Bob Dylan. And there are echoes of Elvis and, to me, Johnny Cash's whiskey and smoke in Ben voice as well - not a bad collection to lean on as one moves on to find one's own distinctive voice. An intriguing question that occurs to me now, and perhaps it is an unfair one is: Does Ben's powerful guitar, sometimes finger-picking, sometime raging, go with his voice or does his voice and lyrics stretching for yet some more, go with his guitar? Maybe it doesn't matter since it all comes together and jumps. Let's see where this all goes. ---Capital Clinic on Fuzz.com.