Ben Slotnick: 19 Nov 2014 on Rocket Shop

Words by Jess Slayton. Photos by Joey Lord.

Ben Slotnick, mandolinist, joined Jim in the Radiator Studio for Big Heavy World’s ‘Rocket Shop’ local music radio hour this Wednesday night! He is originally from a Long Island suburb and moved up to Vermont for school. Slotnick joked that much to the chagrin of his parents, he is a music junkie pursuing a degree in philosophy. He has been playing mandolin since age 15, and when asked how he got started with that, he told us that it must have been something in the water, because a surprising amount of mandolin players are Jewish and hail from New York City. I found that Ben was extremely animated throughout his time on Rocket Shop, and that this absolutely was an irreplaceable aspect of his music. He tends to play bluegrass and American folk music, and likes to mix it up between original, modern music and classic, old timey-folk  In creating his own personal style, Slotnick finds himself torn between the purists and the progressives, always starting from “roots” music but ending by incorporating his own spin. One of the songs from his up and coming EP, titled “The Darkness” comes from a personal place, inspired by the nights one spends lying in bed unable to sleep due to the thought of something he or she did years ago that no one else would remember. Although his music is one of the most defining aspects of his life, Ben’s end game with it is simply to play—unlike many artists, he will not be disappointed if he doesn’t make it big, but is instead enthralled by the ride itself. Check Ben and his band, Right Coast Leftovers at or see them live at the Brewster River Brewery on December 13th, or Moogs in Morrisville on December 14th.

Ben Slotnik [powerpress]