Ben Tanner might not be a readily recognizable name, but he is the “honorary member” or recording partner of nearly every band from Alabama that we have featured on Country Fried Rock: The Pollies, Belle Adair (coming soon), Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil, St. Paul & the Broken Bones (coming soon), and TheBear, John Paul White (of The Civil Wars), Alabama Shakes, Dylan LeBlanc, Jason Isbell, the Live From The Shoals series, and even Country Fried Rock Vol. 2 For Nuci’s Space — Preventing Musician Suicide. Together with John Paul White and Will Trapp, Tanner formed Single Lock Records recently, launching with three Alabama bands: TheBear (whose songs from Overseas Then Under we have featured on this radio show), Belle Adair , and St. Paul & The Broken Bones (also the current band of Browan Lollar, who we featured here after he left Jason Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit). It’s a small world in Southern indie music.
Tanner and Corey Hannah have an incredible video series called “Live From The Shoals,” too. Tanner was not on the original recordings by Alabama Shakes, but he frequently sat in live with his friends, and when their popularity expanded exponentially, they wanted to replicate the keys on their recordings in their dynamic live shows, and Tanner came along for the ride, eventually touring relentlessly with the band and becoming an official member. In their short breaks between tours, Tanner still records the music he loves from his friends’ bands, and supports the music they are making through Single Lock Records. By his own admission, Tanner does not sleep much, and is a bit of a workaholic. What really makes Tanner special, though, is his commitment to great music coming from his home region and using his own success to bring their albums to a broader audience. He’s one of the good guys.
Ben Tanner is involved in a lot of music projects. These are just a few he is directly and indirectly connected with, for this week’s playlist.