Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ben Babylon Band to Preview New Album at Elton Expo
The son of the late Guy Babylon of the Elton John Band is among special guests who are slated to appear at the fan festival. Babylon’s band, the Ben Babylon Band, will perform at the Expo on October 5 and 6, with at least one member of the Elton John Band, percussionist John Mahon, sitting in during one of the shows.
The EP is comprised of original songs, including the already-released single “Contradiction,” which features members of the Elton John Band: guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson, and the late Bob Birch on bass. That track, which also features cellist Martin Tillman, was produced by Jesse Johnstone, Davey’s son, and Greg Penny, who produced Elton’s album “Made in England.” Some background vocals on other tracks are provided by Ken Stacey, who has worked with Elton and other leading artists including the late Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Phil Collins, Richard Marx and many more.
“My music could be classified as alternative rock, but I think you hear the influences of Elton and other classic rock artists and, of course, my dad,” Babylon said.
Babylon’s father was Elton’s keyboardist and arranger for 21 years, until his untimely death from a heart attack in 2009. Ben and his mother, songwriter Kathy Brown-Babylon, have remained close to Elton and his band. Ben’s band, the Ben Babylon Band, performs throughout Southern California, and has opened for such well-known artists as Little River Band, Ambrosia and Air Supply. On August 9, the Ben Babylon Band will open for Kenny Cetera, formerly of the band Chicago, at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California. In October, Babylon will perform solo as the opening act for rock legend Leon Russell at The Canyon Club. In addition to performing with his own band during Elton Expo, Babylon will sit in with Elton Rohn, a renowned Elton John impersonator, during a tribute show at the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas.
“I am looking forward to performing at the Elton Expo,” Babylon said. “It is an enormous opportunity for the band and me.”
Elton Expo will include panel discussions by members of the Elton John Band, record producer Matt Still (“The Captain and the Kid,” “Peachtree Road”), author Keith Hayward (“Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John”) and other associates and relatives of Elton. A silent auction at the event will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The event is being produced by the Elton John fan magazine East End Lights. Spaces are limited, so early registration is recommended. For more information, visit www.EastEndLightsMagazine.com or www.BabylonMusic.biz.