Welcome to the website of Ben R. Atkinson. Ben is a writer, musician, and presenter who can be heard broadcasting on radio stations around the world, is known for his novels, radio dramas, and who writes and performs his own music in the country/folk genre. Ben is currently studying for his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Lincoln in the UK.
As a presenter, Ben is a familiar voice on independent radio across the UK and internationally, having hosted his syndicated radio programme, Ben’s Country Music Show, since 2008; the show now being broadcast on stations in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. Starting his radio journey as a teenager, Ben trained at the University of Lincoln, graduating with a BA(Hons) in Media Production and an MA in Digital Media. He then went on to be part of the prestigious BBC Production Talent Pool, where he honed his craft with placements at BBC Local Radio and the World Service.
Ben’s love of music started at an early age, and he was encouraged to pick up the guitar by his primary school music teacher. Since then, he has discovered that music runs in the family, with a piano teacher, two opera house orchestra musicians, and an armed forces band member in his family tree. Ben developed a love for American roots music, including country, blues,, and Americana early on and later taught himself to play the mandolin. In 2020, during the lockdown, Ben recorded and produced his debut album, Cold Hard Shoulder, which consists of songs written over the past decade as well as new songs composed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A second album will be released on the eve of his 30th birthday in September 2021 and named for the Phil Vassar/Tim McGraw song: My Next Thirty Years.
As a writer, Ben has written two novels which were both published independently while he was still in his early twenties. The Kraken’s Curse (2008) is a YA story of fantasy and intrigue set on the beautiful Devon coast, while Walking on Cinders (2010) is a dystopian tale of a bitter global conflict and those who are fighting in the closing days of war, both in London and France. Walking on Cinders is notable as being one of the first novels by a British author to be promoted widely on social media, selling 1000 copies as part of the ‘1000 Books to Sell Project’ in 2010/11. Ben has been working on his third novel throughout 2019/20.
For many years, Ben was self-employed as a web and graphic designer – running his own design agency, Tall Lime LTD, which was named a finalist in the ‘Best Digital Startup’ category at the Lincs Digital Awards in 2013. You can find out more about this and his other projects, in the previous work section of this site.
In March 2020, Ben combined all his interests together to embark on a new challenge, a PhD study in Music, that will see him observing female country performers and establishing the extent to which social and technological changes since the new millennium have allowed women in country music to circumnavigate traditional gatekeepers.