Welcome to the website of Ben R. Atkinson. Ben is a writer, musician, and broadcaster known for his radio programme, Ben’s Country Music Show, which airs on stations around the world. In addition, Ben has written two novels, released an album and EP of original music, worked extensively in the media industry and Higher Education in the UK, and is currently studying for his PhD in music and American studies at the University of Lincoln, UK.
As a broadcaster, 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, Australia, and the US. Ben learnt his craft at the Lincoln School of Film, Media and Journalism, Ben graduated with a First Class degree in Media Production, a Masters Degree in Digital Media and the school’s award for Outstanding Contribution. He went on to train as part of the prestigious BBC Production Talent Pool at both MediaCity, Salford and the World Service, London.
Ben’s love of music emerged 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 has a passion for American roots music, including country, blues, and Americana and he plays the guitar and mandolin. In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nationwide lockdown provided the opportunity for Ben to record his debut album, Cold Hard Shoulder, which consists of songs written over the past decade as well as new music composed specifically for the project. A live EP followed to mark Ben’s 30th birthday in 2021, and a second album is in the works with a release planned for later in 2022.
As a writer, Ben has written two novels which were both published independently. 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 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 continues to work on a third novel.
In March 2020, Ben combined all his interests together to embark on a new challenge, a PhD study in Music. His thesis will examine the experiences of women in American country music during the period 1993-2023 and considers the impact of cultural change, new technology and campaign movements on the success and opportunities for women in the genre. The study is ethnographic, and to that end, Ben spent six weeks in the summer of 2022 living and working out in Nashville to support his research. In addition to his PhD, Ben is the Digital Networks Manager for the British Association for American Studies (BAAS) and lectures part-time on the BA Music programme in the Lincoln School of Creative Arts.