Though Ben Caplan has just one album under his belt so far, the Canadian singer-songwriter carries the aura of a much older soul, especially with his impressive beard and stories of his international travels.
An artist with a theatrical background who loves to be on stage, Caplan is touring his 2011 debut In the Time of the Great Remembering, a collection of klezmer-tinged folk, while working on new material. His current tour will take him through the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec ahead of a return visit to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, this spring.
Expressing himself with an admittedly "older" sound is "just a personal preference," he told Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's Q cultural affairs show.
"I like acoustic music better than I like electronic music. It's not that I have anything against it. It's just not the aesthetic that I'm interested in exploring."
Though born and raised in Hamilton, Ont., Caplan has become a cultural fixture in the East Coast, especially in his adopted hometown of Halifax. He is currently nominated for multiple East Coast Music Awards and the Chronicle-Herald newspaper described him as a "cultural ambassador" for Nova Scotia.
"I hate to be so cliché, but there's a je ne sais quoi. I just fell in love with the town [of Halifax]," Caplan said. "The more I've spent time there, the more I've sunk my roots into the community."
Caplan performed his songs Down to the River and Stranger on Q and talked about his musical epiphany moment, the regular open-mic night held in his Halifax living room and why he spends so much time on the road.