Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Ben Fugate is a Country Music singer from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in Hazard, Kentucky. He and his band are up and coming and have played several local shows already, including the North Forth Music Festival.
(Photo from North Fork Music Festival Facebook Page)
Ben and the boys have an EP released on streaming platforms titled “Pronounced App-Latch-Uh” that includes four beautifully written songs that describe life in Appalachia, heartbreak, drinking the pain away, and much much more.
I was lucky enough to get to ask Ben a few questions about his journey and experiences so far and to just let his local fans get to know the man behind the music a little better.
Q: What got you into country music and made you fall in love with the genre to the point you wanted to pursue a career in it?
A: I got into country music through my dad. As a kid he had an old 90s ford pickup similar to the one I drive now that I named “ The Green Goblin.” He would always play the good stuff whether it was Waylon, John Prine, Conway. He always had a great selection of country music for us to listen to and I remember it hooking me from a young age. I didn’t start playing music until I was 16. I had broken my leg and it was summer, since there was no getting out to go wade fishing or get into trouble with my buddies I figured I would try to learn to play the guitar. I played through the callouses and it really just went from there.
Q: Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to country music artists that really made you love the genre?
A: My biggest inspirations are tough since there are so many. If I had to narrow it down to three it would be Dwight Yoakam, Hank Williams, and Sturgill Simpson.
Q: How would you describe your music to someone that may not be familiar with what you do?
A: I would describe my music as neotraditional country with a big emphasis on the honky tonk. Me and the boys can pretty it up if need be as well.
Q: What do you and the band plan on doing for the next few months?
A: In the next few months I plan to keep on playin shows and hopefully start making another album. Gods blessed me with some awesome folks in my band that are super talented and really envision what I want to sound like. I want to make an all Kentucky country music album. All Kentucky musicians, all Kentucky engineers/ producers, and record it here as well.
Q: Who are the artists that you consider yourself to look up to and maybe compare your music to?
A: I look up to several artists but one in particular is Luke Davis. He works for the arts alliance here in Hazard and really has done a lot for me whether it’s been recording me for a studio session or just giving me advice about the music industry. He’s a great feller.
Q: If you could have a show with anyone, who would you pick?
A: If I could perform with any artist it would definitely be Jerry Lee Lewis, the killer knows how to put on a show.
Q: How has your hometown helped you along the way beginning your career in country music?
A: People from my hometown have definitely supported me along the way. Whether it’s been wymt interviewing me, or the broken spoke making a sign for me, my hometown has definitely had my back.
Q: What would you consider your coolest moment so far in your career?
A: The coolest thing in my career so far was getting to headline with Sundy Best for Oktoberfest in downtown. It was by far the biggest crowd I’ve played for and the crowd definitely had me grinnin ear to ear.
The Burning Trash Band Members
Kevin Howard- Lead Guitar
Travis Fugate- Rhythm Guitar
Mike Howard- Bass
Derek Mullins- Drums