Ben Stalets Announces New Album Everybody’s Laughing out on WhistlePig Records Fall 2020 

Shares acoustic video of “Forbidden Fruit” 

"Exuding wide-eyed charms… Stalets’ familiar baritone is weathered in all the right places" - Live Eye TV  

Cracking the egg that is Ben Stalets is two yolks; the first is lyrically driven songs, and the second is a sweaty rock n’ roll show. However, you prefer it; you’ll end up full. 

Taking cues from 60s and 70s pop influences, Toledo native Ben Stalets addresses the thorns in his side: both personal and worldly on his third and upcoming record, Everybody’s Laughing.  He starts to pick them out one by one with songs like “Everybody’s Laughing,” “Forbidden Fruit,” “Rock n Roll,” and “Maybe Love’s Not All We Need.” Ben and his band holed up in Detroit with producer Bunky Hunt who called the sessions; “Mystifying….a cross between John Lennon’s Double Fantasy album and fellow Ohioan songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan.” Everybody’s Laughing will be released March 2020 on WhistlePig Records. 

The first single off the album is “Forbidden Fruit,” which is about feeling good; “What’s the harm in eating forbidden fruit if it makes you feel better? Wouldn’t you rather die happy then live with the perils of being a teetotaler? Maybe teetotalers are, in fact, happier, which is why they’re not writing songs like this, though. Joke’s on me,” states Ben. Video for the song was shot on location by Eric Kucinski at his trailer in Perrysburg Township, OH. 

Everybody’s Laughing is a reference to a quote from Mark Twain’s social commentary book, “Following the Equator”: “The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven. The way I look at it,” says Stalets, “everybody is laughing, which means everyone is suffering— we’re all in this together.” 

“The songs on this album are lyrically less cryptic,” Stalets explains, and yet another departure from the previous albums. “I feel more articulate in calling a spade a spade. I’m a lyricist first and foremost, and I had a bit of a breakthrough in how I feel about what I’m trying to communicate.” Thorns of love, acceptance, and participation are sometimes seen as sticky and bloody but can always be worked out through communication. 

“Oh, but really what’s the difference  

Between forbidden and what were given? 

Seems like we’re pissing into the wind” – “Forbidden Fruit” 

Ben enlisted his live band for the recording sessions giving the record some emotional fluidity from stage to studio.  Ben’s backing band includes long-time members Will Doremus and drummer Mark Poseler along with new-comers guitarist Justin Frey and Drew Rochette on the keyboard and harmony vocals. 

When asked about a proud or Zen moment from the past ten years, Ben gives it some thought. “I’m most proud of the certain effects I’ve had on people with the very deliberate messages I’m trying to get across. I’ve purposely offered myself up as an example, so I didn’t seem like a holier than thou preacher. I’m in this for myself, but I’m trying to not do all my selfish work in vain.” 

Ben just wanted to have one good song he could play for people that would blow them away. And humbly, he says, “[I’m] still chasing that.” 

For more info: 

For photo credit: Drew Rochette 

To watch the acoustic video of “Forbidden Fruit”: 

Whistle Pig Records:



Ben Stalets @ Ben Stalets @ Rambling House

Ben Stalets @ Rambling House, Columbus, OH

Ben Stalets is not a songwriter; he’s a song. Realizing he couldn’t wash the Toledo off, Ben leaned into it. Inspired by the blue collar underdogs and anti-heroes the rust belt surrounds you with. Talking to Ben is talking to an old friend, and that’s exactly how his songs are written and performed. As comfortable in a bar as he is in a listening room, by the 3rd verse of the first song, Stalets will have the room quiet enough to hear someone clutching their pearls, just before the refrain gives permission to laugh.
After almost a decade of songwriting and performing, it’s your civic duty to catch Ben whenever he comes within 100 miles of your town.

Ben’s medley of soundscape has allowed him to open for a wide berth of critically acclaimed acts, such as Justin Townes Earle, Damien Jurado, Valerie June, Whitey Morgan, Local H, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Cory Branan, and Daniel Romano. He’s also been a staple at classic music destinations like Nelsonville Music Festival, Wurst Celebration (wiener fest) in Mansfield, TX and as a return guest on Knoxville’s Blue Plate Special. 

“Ben Stalets is the folk hero Toledo needs right now.” - Jason Webber, The Blade

"Ben Stalets shares his tales of true love, police raids, friends, and good fortune through smart lyrics, humor, and euphonic guitar licks. Derived from his blue-collar roots in Toledo, Ohio, and honed through extensive touring, Ben's original music, charming personality, and quirky approach to storytelling are so uncommon that you're going to wonder if folks like Bob Dylan were influenced by his approach to songwriting. To experience Ben Stalets "live" is the very essence of Americana and an opportunity that shouldn't be missed." - Shane Finster, Producer, Press Room Recordings

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