Session & Touring keyboardist for Dr. John, Grace Potter, Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis, Better Than Ezra, & more. Over a decade of recording session and production experience. I love to explore with sound and tailor my work to the music. Real Yamaha C3 Grand, B3 & Leslie, Wurly 200a, Mellotron 4000d, Vintage Roland synths, effect pedals, & more.
I started my career touring with 6 time Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. John. Since then I’ve had the unique privilege of working with some of Rock’s most revered artists.
I believe music should always be emotional, vulnerable, and real. These are the pillars I've based my musicianship on and what I bring to every musical situation I find myself in. Making complimentary statements inside the music is what I do best. Whether it's a lush atmosphere to round out the mix, simple accompanying parts tailored to the vocal, melodic hooks, or a solo with attitude - my focus is to bring taste and tonal colors to any recording. This is why I keep a wide selection of real/vintage keyboards, effects, and amps to experiment with.
My music has been used in "Shameless", multiple fashion campaigns, Gimlet podcasts, I've been on late night TV 7 times, mentioned in Forbes and Huff Post, and my band Pet Fangs has garnered 820k+ Spotify streams & curated playlisting. I've become a trusted musician for those that require excellence.
As a multi-instrumentalist I am able to make fully produced tracks for your project with real instruments. I can also call on my many fantastic musician friends to play on your songs. I'm a graduate of Berklee College of Music and credited as a string arranger and producer on studio albums.
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6 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse T'Ben Alleman
I've used Ben for Pianos now pretty exclusively because I know he delivers exactly what I'm looking for on the first takes. This time I wanted to try him out on some B3 and Wurli, and he once again exceeded expectations. Gave me exactly what the song needed and the engineering of his live instrumentation is stellar. No better player on here!
More stellar tracking from T'Ben. Tones that you can't compete with.
Stellar tracks as always. Still the best tone I've ever gotten for live Piano's. Always plenty of option and his feel brings the song life.
T'Ben has given me some of the best piano tracks that I have ever received. I had a song that the Keyscape sounds just weren't delivering on and it needed that "truly real" room and mic feel. His playing and engineering are beyond what I had hoped for. Multiple takes to be able to pick and choose the movements that you want. On top of that, he squeezed it in his schedule for me due to a last minute deadline. I'll be back for sure.
Ben is one of the most hardworking and talented musicians I've ever met. He's always the first person I reach out to for any piano/keys work, and is one of the easiest people to collaborate with that I know. He's a truly tasteful and masterful player and a top-tier professional musician. I feel fortunate our paths ever crossed in the first place!
Ben is simply one of the best keyboardists in the industry. Don't believe me just check out his bio and who he's played with. I'm always blown away by the sounds he gets and how clean the quality of his recordings are whenever I mix a record that he's played on! He also has an incredible understanding of theory and the way sounds can really compliment each other to take a song to the next level. Long story short Ben is top notch!!
Interview with T'Ben Alleman
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is critical listening. I am a multi-instrumentalist and approach everything with a producer mindset. I am constantly paying attention to what the other instruments and the vocals are doing in any musical setting. I know how those instruments work and I know how I can marry with them to create cohesiveness in grove, tone, and feeling. I look for ways to interact and still be supportive to the vocal, finding areas within the music where I can add something tonally or interactively that isn't already there.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring my musical and emotional sensitivity, experience, and taste to a song. My goal is to highlight the emotions that reside within the lyrics, chords, and melody with complimentary additions. I don't ever want to step on what's already there, and I don't want to ever play bland emotionless music. So striking a balance between serving the song and adding to the music's emotional scope is my goal.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical work process varies greatly depending on the projects requirements and scope. If I am adding keyboard tracks to someone else's music, I approach this in a few different ways. If the musician sending me songs to work on is very specific about what they want, I will stay very close to their guidelines. If the musician is more open to interpretation, I first start by listening critically to their music, I try to get a sense of what they want this to feel like and then begin to imagine what I can do to heighten the interest within the music. This is usually me asking myself things like "What can I do tonally that isn't already represented in the mix?" "What rhythmic subdivisions are being covered and what can be added for more momentum, and where?" "What types of feelings can I add to what is already here?" "Which areas of the music can be more effective if I DON'T play anything, and which areas could be more effective with more motion from me?" and so on. I then write out a complete chart and begin to audition different sounds and parts. Some of these will turn into final parts. Some of these will turn into layers that work with some of my other layers as well. In then end, I want to do something that pleases my clients and adds something to the music that makes them light up when they plug my tracks into their mixes. Maybe even something they weren't expecting but now can't live without.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm committed to recording on real instruments as much as I can. I go through extra care, costs, and maintenance to be able to utilize these instruments because it's at the core of my ethos as a musician to play on real instruments. The music is always better for it because music is supposed to be a tactile experience for the musician and the listener. If we don't feel what we are playing how can we expect others to as well? I take pride in owning and recording on a real life Yamaha C3 Grand Piano, 1958 Hammond B3 & Leslie, Wurlitzer 200a,1974 Fender Rhodes, Mellotron 4000d, Roland JX-3P, Crumar Orchestrator, Roland RS-09, Hohner Accordion, and many effect pedals. Some of my limited but choice mics are: Neumann KM184 (2x), Stager SR-2N Handmade Stereo Ribbon, EV RE-20, SM-57's & 58's, Sterling Audio ST-77 LD FET Condenser. My studio revolves around getting the right sound upfront, then using UA Pre's and plug-ins, Audient Pre's, Soundtoys, to complete the sound.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My heroes in no particular order: Brian Blade, Benmont Tench (The Heartbreakers), Daniel Lanois, Neil Young, Richard Tee (Stuff), Dr. John, Art Neville (The Meters), James Booker, Emmylou Harris, Garth Hudson (The Band), Bill Evans, Ellis Marsalis, Ruben Gonzalez (Buena Vista Social Club), Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers / Rolling Stones), Billy Preston, Steve Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miller, Ian McLagen (The Faces), Buddy Miles (Band of Gypsys), and so many more. My music tastes are wide and varied.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I don't think about music and musicians as clients and products. I like to think about us as people and art, and I treat other musicians and their work accordingly. The most common type of work I do for other musicians is recording all kinds of keyboards for the songs and projects they send me. This ranges from simple lush analog pads to very intricate piano parts, B3 organ work, responding to the vocal melody, and even solos. I also get asked to compose and complete music for podcasts, fashion campaigns, commercials, and short films which I really enjoy as well. Another big part of what I do is helping musicians arrange their songs. This can sometimes turn into a full production or co-producer role. Many times a musician will have a fully fleshed out song, and they'll come to me for recommendations on how to heighten their music by changing chord progressions around, adding a bridge, cutting out the fat, or adding production and layering ideas that will help build a their piece.