11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Ben Cramer (Old Sea Brigade)

Old Sea Brigade (Photo bySteven Mullan)Photo by Steven Mullen

Old Sea Brigade is the musical nom de plume of Ben Cramer. Since 2016, Old Sea Brigade has released several EPs including the just right for the season “Song for Holidays” which pairs Ben’s “Motel 6 and Christmas Eve” with some equally depressing Christmas cover songs.

On January 4, Old Sea Brigade’s brand of low-fi indie folk will hit the big time with a debut LP, “Ode to a Friend” on Nettwerk Records. The LP was recorded at producer Jeremy Griffith’s Destin, FL studio, and its title track was inspired by Ben’s loss of a best friend to suicide. Sad topic aside, this is a lovely-sounding record full of music that will relax your spirit and lyrics that will make you reflect.

Shortly after the record’s release, Ben heads to the UK to begin a headlining tour of Europe. He is fresh off a lengthy North American tour opening for Tall Heights that missed Music City. We appreciate Ben for taking time out from his road break to answer these usual 11 questions.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. I moved around for a few years in my early 20’s. Even though I grew up so close to Nashville, I had never been there. I was playing in a band back in 2011, and we came through Nashville to play a show at The Basement. We all ended up falling in love with the city, so we decided to move.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

I wish I had a cooler first record story, but it was probably a Backstreet Boys CD when I was like ten. The last record I bought was Neil Young’s Hitchhiker. Slightly cooler I suppose.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

First show was seeing Mark Knopfler with my dad. Most recent show was Gang of Youth’s here in Nashville at The Basement East. One of my favorite bands out right now.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Emmylou Harris

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

I usually go to Portland Brew for coffee, and Five Points or Bella Napoli for pizza.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen is always great.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

I’d choose: Angel Snow, Henry Brill, and Griffin House (They’re all my good friends and amazing songwriters.)

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Probably the OG Basement. I love how intimate it is. The sound is usually pretty good too.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

I can’t really think of one specifically. I’d love to run in to Bono getting coffee one morning.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

I’m putting out my first record Ode to a Friend on January 4, 2019, then will be touring a lot next year. Going over to Europe in January / February, and about to announce some new U.S. tour dates in April!

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