Ben Atkinson is a writer, musician and broadcaster. For over a decade he has been making, consuming or writing about music; whether through his independent radio show, Ben’s Country Music Show, his academic research, which will soon cumulate in a PhD thesis on the women of 21st century country, or his own artistry as a songwriter and performer. In addition, Ben is the author of two novels, and numerous radio dramas and documentaries.
Learning 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 has a lifelong passion for the culture and history of America and in particular the musical traditions of country music and Americana. He has been writing and presenting his weekly independent radio programme, Ben’s Country Music Show, for fourteen years. The programme is broadcast on stations around the world and Ben has been lauded for his knowledge, attention to detail and sheer passion for the music that he loves.
In addition to his country music programme, Ben is an experienced broadcaster and public speaker. During his career he has presented a diverse range of programming on the radio in the UK, including Drivetime, Breakfast and specialist shows on culture, arts and politics.
Ben is the author of two novels, The Kraken’s Curse (2008) a YA fantasy novel and Walking on Cinders (2010), a dystopian yarn set in a near-future alternate reality. For Walking on Cinders, Ben became one of the first authors to utilise social media for his ‘1000 books to sell’ project in 2010/11 which received National and international press coverage. He is currently working on several new writing projects, including a novel and a non-fiction title.
Since 2020, Ben has been engaged in a new passion, working towards the completion of a PhD in music and American studies. 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.
Ben released his debut album, Cold Hard Shoulder, in 2020. Recorded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nationwide lockdown provided the opportunity to revisit songs from the past decade alongside new material. The internet became integral to this project, with collaborators sending in recorded parts from their own studies around the world, including a harmonica player from Argentina, a French horn player and a Ukrainian accordionist. In 2021 Ben released a live EP, 3-0 Live, to celebrate his 30th birthday and his sophomore album is due for release in late 2022.
Ben lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, with his young son and two grumpy Lionhead rabbits.