Biography


Biography

Jody and Michael go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. Jody Benjamin’s singing style is an easy marriage of sincerity and humor that comes from her true love of the old country music she sings and her sense of humor. Michael Ball has a sweetness and tone to his fiddle playing with an ear for melody and space seldom heard from players who were born after 1940.

Together these experienced performers make up a sound fuller than you’d expect from only two musicians and reminiscent of something you would have danced to in your own kitchen before amplification made it possible for dance halls to exist.

Steeped in the traditions of old time, country, Cajun and bluegrass, their song list is varied, interesting and fun. From the Stanley Brothers to George Jones, from Roger Miller to Gillian Welch, from Hank Williams to Jody Benjamin herself, the songs are great and the delivery, lightly outrageous.

Jody Benjamin is the lead singer in the Toasted Westerns, Ottawa’s favorite singing sandwich. Their 1995 album Out To Lunch took the duo version of the ensemble out to the West Coast. They’ve been playing together since 1988 and are still going strong. Jody is also seen with the spin off group The Bovine Sisters. They are “Hilda and Mathilda Bovine”, the colorful elderly aunts of the Toasted Westerns. If you missed their ’97 Fringe Festival show Bovine Intervention, you really missed an hilarious yet poignant multi-media performance.

A student of the violin since childhood, Michael Ball’s first exposure to Cajun and Zydeco music was when he joined Danielle Martineau’s band, Rockabayou in 1992. The band toured Europe, Canada and the U.S. and recorded three albums between ’92 and ’97. Michael and Jody have been making annual trips to Louisiana since 1997 and the music from Southwest Louisiana and its cultural context continues to fascinate them. Michael also plays with other Ottawa based musicians including singer-songwriter Jennifer Noxon, party favorites, Zydeco Loco and (Prairie Oyster) Keith Glass’ bands the Twisters and Main Squeeze. Both he and Jody will be heard on Keith’s upcoming solo album.

Ball and Chain is a duo that understands the beauty of a simple style, where melody and groove can carry the music all the way to your soul. When Michael gets going on the Cajun tunes with Jody on the triangle, you can almost taste the jambalaya.

Photos

BALL AND CHAIN
Colour promo photograph
8 1/2 X 11 
PDF | high res
BALL AND CHAIN
B&W promo photograph
8 1/2 X 11 
PDF | high res
BALL AND CHAIN
B&W promo photograph
8 1/2 X 11 
PDF | high res


Promotional Materials

Printable flyers for Ball and Chain. You can choose PDF posters which are immediately printable, or high resolution posters if required. 

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader and cannot view the PDF files, download HERE 
BALL AND CHAIN
Colour poster
8 1/2 X 14 
PDF | high res
BALL AND CHAIN
4 UP colour flyers
8 1/2 X 11
PDF | high res
BALL AND CHAIN and the WRECKERS
Colour poster
8 1/2 X 14 
PDF | high res
BALL AND CHAIN and the
WRECKERS
4 UP colour flyers
8 1/2 X 11
PDF | high res

Technical Requirements / Stage Plot

Below are the technical requirements for Ball and Chain and Ball and Chain with the Wreckers. Please contact Jody and Michael for inquiries regarding requirements or if only minimal requirements are available. 

BALL AND CHAIN (duo only) 

Jody: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 direct line 
Michael: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 direct line

BALL AND CHAIN AND THE WRECKERS 

Concert Setting 
Jody: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 direct line 
Michael: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 SM57 or equivalent (for amplifier) 
Triangle: 1 SM58 mic or equivalent, 1 SM57 mic or equivalent 
Pedal Steel: 1 SM58 mic or equivalent, SM57 or equivalent (for amplifier), chair 
Bass: 1 bass amplifier (300W), chair or stool 
Drums: kick - D112 or equivalent, snare - 1 SM57 mic or equivalent, 2 toms - 2 senn 421 mics, hi-hat - 1 SN81 mics or equivalent, overhead - 2 SN81 mics or equivalent 

Minimum Requirements 

Jody: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 direct line 
Michael: Vocal mic SM58 or equivalent, 1 SM57 or equivalent (for amplifier) 
Triangle: 1 SM58 mic or equivalent, 1 SM57 mic or equivalent 
Pedal Steel: 1 SM58 mic or equivalent, SM57 or equivalent (for amplifier), chair 
Bass: 1 bass amplifier (100W minimum), chair or stool 
Drums: kick - D112 or equivalent, snare - 1 SM57 mic or equivalent, overhead - 2 SN81 mics or equivalent