Ben Sears and Brad Conner
WWI Centenary
American Classics
Smart Set

Ben & Brad - Reviews

Photo of Ben and Brad"Sears and Conner are perfect together." (Quincy Patriot Ledger)

"These are people you want to hear." (Richard Buell, Boston Globe)

"Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner appear to take particular delight in performing the songs of America's pop masters, and they dig deep into their catalogs to make even the most knowledgeable aficionados happily surprised." (Irv Lichtman, Billboard)

"...Our best local archivists of the heritage of old show tunes and popular songs." (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe)

"This homespun enterprise offers pleasures. There is attractive and interesting repertory, including some chestnuts, but also five first recordings of songs by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and others that the duo has enterprisingly rediscovered. Conner's arrangements are much more sophisticated than they used to be, and Sears puts over every word, making it clear and meaningful, and his sense of rhythm is unfailing. Sears can deliver a Christmas song with unaffected intelligence and feeling." (Review of Rest You Merry by Richard Dyer, Boston Globe)

"If the team of Joan Morris and William Bolcom has ever given you a tingle, then you surely should know about our own estimable team of Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner. American popular songs and show tunes are veritably coursing in their blood. And they positively seethe and bubble with enthusiasm. Sears does have a lot going for him -- a voice that's part musical-comedy juvenile but can also muster a heroic ring when required, perfect diction (no printed texts required) and an engaging, boy-next-door manner that hasn't worn out its welcome at the end of the evening. As for the partnership with Conner, this registered as hand in glove, telepathic, intuitive, highly musical and other such needful things. One gathers that it has been a lot of fun. There was a potent sense of everything coming from a time and a place." (Richard Buell, Boston Globe)

Photo of Ben and Brad"A class act of the cabaret world. For the love of a good lyric as well as the magic of an intimate cabaret, this is a must see (hear)!" (Brad Hathaway, Arlington (VA) Connection)

"Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner got up a cabaret studded with durable standards and sprinkled with rarer tunes that deserve the limelight too. Both Sears and Conner are helplessly gaga over this music. They just radiate happiness when they perform it, and you get happy too. They love the lyrics, too, and work hard to make you hear every last glorious word. The duo's tune-counter-tune duetting in George & Ira Gershwin's Mine brought down the house. And while it was still prostrate, the two administered the coup de grace with Rodgers & Hammerstein's Hello, Young Lovers, Kern's All The Things You Are, and the Gershwins' swan song, Love Is Here to Stay." (Susan Larson, Boston Globe)

"Ben and Brad do for a Gershwin and Berlin ballad what Ken Burns did for the Civil War. Where some performers emphasize comedy, Ben and Brad exude elegance and style, and an inordinate knowledge of the masters." (Beverly Creasey, Theater Mirror)

"Singing the standards that warm the heart" Boston Globe

"Boston's favorite song duo." Boston Globe

"The rare tunes they play are well done." Boston Globe

"...The delightful cabaret team of Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner." Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Phoenix

"Sears and Conner click in cabaret performance. . . Sears has a sunny, uninhibited performing personality and an attractive, vibrant baritone. He sings with clear unaffected diction and a nice sense of personal style and of the different styles of different composers. He's bursting with talent but is at his best when he's holding a little back, singing lightly and remembering how singing was, for Fred Astaire, a different way of dancing. [Conner] works hand-in-glove with Sears and his arrangements are full of wittily observed period detail." (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe)

". . .There are always new songs in a Ben & Brad program, and sometimes they have gone back to handwritten manuscripts in order to get things right. Anyone that dedicated could easily turn out to be empty of small-talk or stultifying bores, but that is not the case. In performance, they are proud of their work, but dedicated to letting the music and lyrics speak for themselves than to trumpeting their own key roles in bringing it back to an eager public. They're enthusiasts, and that enthusiasm is as informative as it is unassuming." (Larry Stark, Theater Mirror)

"Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner have made a career out of resurrecting old songs and bringing to life forgotten standards." (Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline)

"[In Begin the Beguine] you could almost feel Ginger and Fred swaying to Ben's smooth phrasing and Brad's delicious accompaniment." (Beverly Creasy, Theater Mirror)

"Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner are masters of two worlds. Not only do they perform and record the works of songwriting greats such as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, they are also top-notch historians, who track down rare pieces and play them during their shows." (David Wildman, Boston Globe)

"Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner are Boston-based cabaret performers who share the conviction that our classic songs deserve the art song respect that goes to the music Schubert and the poems of Goethe and Schiller." (Art Hilgart, Broadway Revisited, WUMK-FM, Kalamazoo)

"As those who have sampled albums devoted to Irving Berlin and the Gershwins know, Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner are adept at excavating lost treasures." (Max Preeo, Show Music)

"Sears has a sunny baritone and a theatrical temperament counterweighted by an ironic self-awareness; Conner... knows how to put patter across." (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe)

"Can it be that Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner, who help make cabaret happen in the Boston area, are tuning up to be the next John Wallowitch & Bertram Ross? They sing the oldies - and even sing the 'verse'." (Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline)

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