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Ben Folds

Singer-Songwriter and Record Producer

Ben Folds played in a band name Majosha around early 1988 and they played their first gig at Duke University’s Battle of the Bands. They won. At that time, Majosha was Ben on bass, Millard Powers on guitar, Dave Rich (a friend of Ben’s from UNC-Greensboro) on drums and Rob Strictland (another of Ben’s friends…

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Ben Folds played in a band name Majosha around early 1988 and they played their first gig at Duke University’s Battle of the Bands. They won. At that time, Majosha was Ben on bass, Millard Powers on guitar, Dave Rich (a friend of Ben’s from UNC-Greensboro) on drums and Rob Strictland (another of Ben’s friends from Winston-Salem). For the purposes of historical completeness, it should be mentioned that at that time, Majosha was spelled with an accent over the o.

At some point that was dropped, mostly because people were too stupid to realize that the accent didn’t mean it was Muh-joe’-sha (it’s Muh-jah’-sha).

They played bars and frat parties for a while and eventually put out a self-produced EP sold at a few local stores called “Party Night: Five Songs About Jesus.” There were 4 songs, and none were about Jesus. I think the 4 songs were: Get That Bug (Outta Your System), Kalamazoo, Where’s Bohemia and Cool Whip. I’m not so sure about Where’s Bohemia. Gradually their popularity grew and they played larger and farther flung gigs. Some time in 1989, Rob left the band, and Dave Rich was replaced by Chris “Hound” Brown on drums. They recorded “Shut Up and Listen to Majosha.” They also borrowed Evan Olsen from Chuck Folds’ band, the DT’s at about the same time. Various tracks on Shut Up feature Dave, Chris or Ben on drums and/or Evan, Ben or Millard doing vocals. Shut Up contains, among others, the 4 songs from Party Night (remixed and/or re-recorded), Emaline and Video.

At about the same time they did some sort of dance mix of Get That Bug that was released somehow in Japan. As a promotional CD? At some point, Hound got sacked as well, and was replaced by Eddie Walker, who I think was also in the DT’s with Chuck and Evan (all 3 of whom eventually became Bus Stop with Snuzz). In early 1990 Majosha broke up, and Ben formed Pots and Pans with Evan Olsen (bass) and Brett “Snuzz” Uzzell (guitar & vocals). Ben played drums. They only lasted for about a month, after which Evan and Snuzz went on to form Bus Stop.

Ben’s name also appears on the band Barry Black’s debut album, along with Darren’s, playing either piano or drums on 9 out of 14 of the tracks. Barry Black’s music is a serene, jazzy-style; mostly instrumental. Ben also plays drums on a few tracks on Fleming and John’s debut album, “Delusions of Grandeur.”.

He makes a cameo appearance in the video for “I’m not afraid” as a drummer atop a huge cake. Ben has recorded with Whiskeytown, and his name also appears in various places on CDs by his brother Chuck’s band, Bus Stop. As a side project, Ben has been working with producer Caleb Southern (who produced their first two albums) on an instrumental (electronica, sounding “like Air or the Propellerheads”) album under the name Fear of Pop. Fear of Pop is finished and was released September 17th, 1998..

It contains, among other things, a track entitled “In Love” which features William Shatner doing spoken word.

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An Evening With Ben Folds

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Ben Folds' [#artstigators minute] at Duke University

Ben Folds: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

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