Show Review: Ben Cosgrove at Lamp Club Light Shop (Burlington, VT)

The music-delicious food compound that is Radio Bean-Lamp Club Light Shop-Duino Duende has become our favorite little spot (even if we are over an hour away). We are never let down when we go to catch music there and if we aren’t necessarily feeling whats going on in one venue, we can hop on over to the other without even having to step outside. Luckily this past Friday evening we had no intention of leaving our cozy couch confine in the LCLS as piano master Ben Cosgrove swooned us with his musical stylings.


Cosgrove is no stranger to us. His last release Solo Piano was hailed by Ken as “stunning” and “expertly played”…and witnessing his live performance just further establishes that fact as I am left sitting there in the audience a mere 7 feet away from him completely dumbfounded by his talent. His fingers seem to blur across the keys as he performs, at times seeming concentrated beyond measure and at others eyes closed or starting off into the darkness of the crowd. There is a push and a pull with his arrangements that create this sort of high tension which draws you in. In some ways creating an almost anxiety but truly making you feel something.

I love instrumental tunes but watching a full 60 or 90 minutes of most artists leaves me wanting something a bit more. This isn’t the case with Ben’s music. He is in some way able to paint visuals with each note that force you to actually feel the songs he is performing. One song in particular, called “Grace Harbor”, had Cosgrove referencing the most isolated national park in the US, Isle Royale. To get there you need to take a 6 hour boat ride and he said the experience leaves you feeling almost abandoned, but not in a frightened kind of way, more of a realizing just how small you can be in a vast and wide open space, surrounded by water, alone. The way in which the song exemplified that feeling was awe-inspiring and breathtaking.

Throughout the evening he wove his way through songs from “Solo Piano“, “Field Studies” and more. A favorite being a cover of what I originally assumed to be Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” but which he confirmed was indeed “Boots of Spanish Leather”…to which he also added, but it probably could be “Girl From the North Country” too. Regardless, the prowess in which he performs those songs don’t necessarily need to words. Each note representing the poetry that Dylan spouts in its own way, speaking where words are not being used in this surreal and magical way. Brilliant and beautiful all around.

We were treated to something special, so if you missed it you have more opportunities to catch Ben up this way soon with a performance at The Skinny Pancake in Montpelier on October 30, Radio Bean on November 11 and back at the Skinny Pancake on November 27th.