Uncle Ben’s Remedy is a hometown band that doesn’t fit into a single musical slot. Their unique sound is rooted in the small town of Versailles where community still matters and music is a part of every event. Three of the five band members learned to play and sing in this small town atmosphere, giving their music the honest, back porch feel of the country music they love.
Uncle Ben’s Remedy is Ben Westlund, singer and guitarist; Harmony Griffin, guitar, banjo and mandolin; Shawn Huestis, piano, accordion, fife, vocals and more; Brendan O’Connor, upright bass; and Jimmy Royce, drums and vocals.
Ben, Harmony and Jimmy grew up hanging out at family band practices, soaking in the sounds of the Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Hagard. Even today, every family party ends in a big traditional sing along, often with Ben and Harmony’s grandmother taking the lead.
“We sort of took the long way home” laughs Westlund when talking about UBR. “We all paid our dues in rock bands while coming up”, he adds. This rock and roll background is quite evident in Uncle Ben’s live show and the audience reaction. “It’s sort of like the old time country, says Jimmy; “that rock and roll energy kind of gets in your blood and it ain’t easy getting out.”
“We knew what we needed to put some honky tonk and get this band moving”, says Harmony. “We knew Shawn was the best piano player around. The fact that he played 27 other instruments was a nice surprise. There was no way we could do this without an upright bass player. I knew Brendan from a punk band we used to play in and I knew he could sort of hold his liquor.” Shawn later admits ”to be honest, after one practice, we knew he was the guy and basically kidnapped him”
The recently released their debut record, “Yesterday’s Clothes recorded at Robbie Goo’s GRC Studios. The first single; “Little Devils” has been featured on 107.7 Alternative Buffalo and gained airplay on several other Western New York radio stations. It is available on iTunes and Google Play and is available for streaming on RDIO, Spotify and other outlets. “Yesterday’s Clothes” themes include leaving home (with a nod to Dr. Seuss), the evils of moonshine and the refrain, “the grass is always greener when you fertilize.”
UBR won the summer 2014 Battle of the Bands at the Canalside Concert Series in Buffalo that earned them an opening slot for Lake Street Dive. The guys also opened for Artimus Pyle and have played extensively throughout the bars and around the bonfires of the great north east.
In the summer of 2015, Uncle Ben’s Remedy brought home the grand prize, winning 1st place in the Artvoice sponsored Battle of Original Music contest. The finale included a raucous performance at packed house at Buffalo’s famed Tralf, where UBR notoriously filled 3 buses full of fans to cheer on their boys.
As grand prize winners UBR were featured performers at the Alt Buffalo Sponsored, sold out Kerfuffle concert on the Buffalo Waterfront. UBR is currently putting finishing touches on a full length LP, at GCR studios.
For UBR, the magic happens when their blend of original songs and cover tunes bring audiences to their feet to dance and clap their hands. So join them, and bet you can’t resist stomping your feet and singing along. The band’s enthusiasm is contagious and at some point, you’ll realize you’ve stayed way too long!
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