Nearly half a decade ago, I first became aware of a local artist named Ben Suchy. At the time, I was performing as a magician, and was working as a table magician at an area restaurant. As I was finishing off for the evening, Suchy was setting up for a night of music.
It wouldn’t be until a couple of years ago though that I would have the chance to see him perform. Joining his family at their annual Suchyfest event, I first became acquainted with his music. It was clear that the Suchys were a talented family of musicians.
Recently, Suchy released his fifth album, “Fields of Bliss,” which breaks away from his usual style.
Described as, “an experimental album written and recorded in the Bakken oil fields. Suchy steps out of his acoustic roots and dives into a colorful realm of synthesized orchestration.”
Having only heard Suchy live once, Fields definitely has a different sound. However, and importantly, his sound still permeates throughout the album.
The album begins with an instrumental track, “My People,” which helps set the tone for what is to come.
“My People” blends a bit of the old and the new. While Suchy’s acoustic roots are present, it also begins to introduce the synthesized orchestra.
By setting the tone from the very beginning, Suchy is able to really form a complete album, that has a solid connection that runs throughout.
The second track in the album, “One Smoke,” sets a second theme that is present throughout. Bringing in John Eagleshield, a tribal health leader on the Standing Rock Reservation, Suchy is able to allow a bit of traditional Lakota music into the mix.
Bringing in such a mix can be a bit risky, but Suchy is able to work it all out. Balancing all of the various elements, Suchy is able to create a very strong album.
However, the album does have a few hiccups. The synthesized orchestra is a bit heavy in places. With the experimentation, it seems as if Suchy pushed a few of the tracks too far.
Instead of a nice smooth sound, the electronica, at times, overpowers rest of the track.
Rounding out the album, Suchy does return to his roots with the final track, “Last Clean River.” It is a nice clean song, that works as a great finish.
As a whole, Suchy offers quite a bit with this album. While there are tracks that feel a bit more country, as well as hip-hop, it is clear that Suchy has taken quite a bit of inspiration from a variety of different genres.
In the end, what Suchy has produced is an album that has a little bit for everyone. “Fields of Bliss” is a strong work that can easily be listened to over and over again.