Ben Caplan

Ben Caplan is a Canadian folk musician from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He often performs with his band The Casual Smokers, and his first full-length studio album, In the Time of the Great Remembering, was released on October 20, 2011.[1][2] His second record, Birds With Broken Wings, was released September 18, 2015.[3]

Ben Caplan
Background information
OriginHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Genresfolk / roots
Years active2006present
LabelsCoalition Music (Records)
Associated actsGrizzly Bear, Blondie, Dirty Projectors, The Staves


Early years

Ben Caplan was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[4] He began writing music at the age of 13 with friends, but it was at the age of 19 that he started his journey as an independent singer-songwriter.[5] Although he studied at the University of King's College, he decided that in order to have a career in music, it would have to become his priority.[6] He participated in the Artist Entrepreneur program through Coalition Music (Canada’s Music Incubator) which helps emerging artists build their careers, businesses, and brands.[7] He has been a touring musician since 2006 and released his first full-length album in 2009.[8]


In 2011 Caplan toured across Canada, and performed some concerts in Europe as well.[9] In 2012, Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers toured the east coast of Canada, performed at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and performed at the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) Gala.[10]

Caplan performed live at the 2013 Byron Bay Bluesfest that took place from March 30 to April 1.[11]

From April to the end of July in 2013, Caplan played a number of shows that spread across Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, United Kingdom,and in Canada. Among these shows, he performed at Glastonbury Festival (UK), The Hop Farm Festival (UK), and Roots In The Park Music Festival (Netherlands).[12]

In December 2013, Caplan returned to the Netherlands for a weekend tour that consisted of dates in Tilburg, Arnhem, and Haarlem.[13]

From December 28, 2013 to January 10, 2014, Caplan played a series of shows in Australia and participated in the Woodford Folk Festival and Sydney Festival.[14]

From February 21 to April 1, 2015, Caplan toured the United States for the first time. He performed three times during South By Southwest in Austin, Texas in the middle of the tour.[15]

Between 2015 and 2016 Ben embarked on back to back North American and European Tours [16] While touring Europe Ben has received positive reviews major publications such as Independent UK and The Guardian UK who say "For all the fierceness of the Canadian's appearance, nothing quite prepares for his voice, both spoken and singing. An unmistakable presence. " [17] and "From Satanic hoedowns to swaying country heartbreakers, this evening with the larger-than-life Caplan makes for rollicking fun." ranking him – 4/5 stars[18]


Nova Scotia Music Awards (2012)[19]
  • WON Entertainer of the Year
  • Nominated for Digital Artist of the Year
  • Nominated for New Artist of the Year
  • Nominated for Male Artist Recording of the Year—In the Time of the Great Remembering
  • Nominated for Recording of the Year—In the Time of the Great Remembering
  • Nominated for New Artist of the Year
  • Nominated for SOCAN Songwriter of the Year
Hamilton Music Awards (2013)[20]
  • WON Roots Recording of The Year
East Coast Music Awards (2013)[21]
  • WON Rising Star Recording of the Year
  • Nominated for Folk Recording of the Year[22]
  • Nominated for Album of the Year
  • Nominated for Folk Recording of the Year
  • Nominated for Song of the Year[23]
Nova Scotia Music Awards (2015)[24]
  • Nominated for Entertainer of the Year



YearTitleRelease DateMembers
2011In the Time of the Great RememberingOctober 20, 2011
  • Ben Caplan: vocals, guitar, banjo, melodica, megaphone, piano
  • Ron Hynes: contrabass
  • Donald MacLennan: violin
  • David Christensen: clarinet, saxophone, flute
  • Matt Gallant: drums, except
  • Brendan Melchin: drums on "Beautiful" and "Rest Your Head"
  • Sasha Muise: vocals on "Seed of Love"
2015Birds With Broken WingsSeptember 18, 2015
  • Ben Caplan: piano, guitar, banjo, vibraphone, vocals
  • Socalled: piano, vibraphone, madness
  • Taryn Kawaja: piano, toy piano, vocals
  • Ronald J. Hynes: contrabass, bass guitar
  • Donald MacLennan: violin
  • Jaron Freeman-Fox: violin, pedals
  • Pemi Paull: violin, viola
  • JC Lizotte: cello
  • Erik Hove: alto saxophone, flute
  • Jean-Nicholas Trottier: trombone
  • Andy King: trumpet
  • Jason Sharp: baritone saxophone
  • Michael Winograd: clarinet
  • Sergiu Popa: accordion
  • Nicolae Margineanu: cymbalom
  • Jennifer Swartz: concert harp
  • Joe Grass: pedal steel, mandolin, pedals
  • Mohamed Raky: darbouka
  • Greg Woolner: drum kit, marching drum
  • Jamie Thompson: drum kit
  • Damien Moynihan: drum kit
  • Phil Bova: drum kit, percussion
  • Sarah Makonnen: backup vocals
  • Judith Little-Daudelin: backup vocals
  • Cyndi Cain: backup vocals, cocktail party
  • Lindsay Alcorn: backup vocals, cocktail party
  • Coco Love Alcorn: backup vocals, cocktail party
  • Sasha Muise: backup vocals, cocktail party
2018 Old Stock June 15, 2018


  1. "ALBUM REVIEW: Ben Caplan – In The Time Of The Great Remembering « Bring the Noise UK". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  2. Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers – In The Time Of The Great Remembering | Album Reviews | musicOMH
  3. Birds With Broken Wings. Exclaim!.
  4. (January 23, 2013). Singer-songwriter Ben Caplan’s old soul. CBC News. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  5. An Interview With Ben Caplan Archived 2015-03-27 at the Wayback Machine Taken by Soul. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  6. BAND STRIKES ROOTSY CHORD - Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers More Than Just a Party Band The Dalhousie Gazette. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  7. COALITION MUSIC (Toronto’s Music Incubator) – Artist Entrepreneur Program Music Ontario. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  8. Ben Caplan.East Coast Music Association. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  9. Ben Caplan’s towering success | Music Feature | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
  10. Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers to Perform at SXSW, CMW, ECMA, & TGE – Canadian and European Tour Dates Announced Audio Blood. Retrieved March 26, 2015
  11. Archive 2013 Archived 2015-03-21 at the Wayback Machine Byron Bay Bluesfest. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  12. Carroll, Erin (April 2, 2013). "Ben Caplan Announces Performance At Glastonbury Festival, West Coast Canadian Tour and A Busy Summer Filled With Festival Apperances [sic]". Audio Blood. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  13. Netherlands Tour: December 2013 Youtube. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  14. The AU Interview: Ben Caplan (Canada) Talks 2014 Tour! The AU Review. Retrieved March 26, 2015
  15. Exclusive: Ben Caplan announces upcoming U.S. tour in new video AXS. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  17. //
  19. Ben Caplan Wins Big At Nova Scotia Music Awards Sari Delmar | Audioblood. Retrieved March 20, 2015
  20. A voice as big as his beard Graham Rockingham | Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  21. Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  22. A voice as big as his beard Graham Rockingham | Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  24. Nova Scotia Music Week Music Nominees. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
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