The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Ben Rector Returns to Charlottesville

“The coolest town I’ve ever been to.”


Ben Rector returned to Charlottesville for the second time Wednesday as a part of his 12-show tour around various college towns. In his interview with Arts & Entertainment, Rector spoke on his anticipation for the upcoming show and his strong affection for Charlottesville.

Arts & Entertainment: Tell us about your current tour. What is its inspiration and vision?

Ben Rector: For this tour, I really wanted to go to some places that I didn’t hit on my last tour for my most recent album, “The Walking in Between.”  It’s a short tour — about 12 shows — and we get to go back and play some of the towns we didn’t get to play on my initial tour.  This year, I was taking a little bit of a break to start a new record, but didn’t want to take a complete break.

AE: So other than Charlottesville being a B-Market stop for you, why did you choose to come here?

BR: I played in Charlottesville about two years ago. Before that show, I had honestly never been to Charlottesville, but my booking agency wanted to route me there. When you travel on a tour bus, you typically wake up right in the city of your final destination and when we got to Charlottesville, I was like, “What is this place?! It’s the coolest town I’ve ever been to.” We loved all the restaurants and coffee shops and it was seriously the coolest place ever. This isn’t something I say in every interview — “That town is incredible.” So when we planned this current tour, I said that we had to go back to this awesome place.

AE: What is your biggest inspiration in songwriting?

BR: My biggest inspiration just in general is normal life: my wife, friends and family. I really enjoy and respect the people that I get to spend time with, and I think I learn a lot from them in how they handle situations.

Musically, I really like old singer songwriters like James Taylor, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.  Those are influences that I can go back to time and time again. I also love pop music now. A lot of people write it off as simple, but its producers have flawlessly used a few elements and made it efficient and catchy. I like it because those artists make great choices with very few things.

AE: What is challenging about touring? What do you love?

BR: [The challenging thing is] probably pretty obvious: touring is a costly thing energy-wise and relationship-wise. Being in a different place everyday sounds on one level exciting, but every day also feels like you do at the end of a long road trip.

On the other hand, I enjoy getting to see a lot of different places. If you can be in the right mindset, you get to see and experience really cool things in a way that many people don’t.

AE: What’s next for you?  What are you excited about for your musical future and your future in general?

BR: I’m pretty pessimistic so I think, ‘Probably nobody is going to buy this record,’ but people seem to be more interested than I thought they would be.  What’s next is releasing the record, promoting the record, and getting to play shows in different places.  We’ll probably release it next year sometime and we’ll figure that out [the release date] based on what touring looks like.

Ben Rector plays at The Jefferson in Charlottesville Oct. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m.


Latest Podcast

From her love of Taylor Swift to a late-night Yik Yak post, Olivia Beam describes how Swifties at U.Va. was born. In this week's episode, Olivia details the thin line Swifties at U.Va. successfully walk to share their love of Taylor Swift while also fostering an inclusive and welcoming community.