Ben Nugent was born into an artistic family (that doesn't include a Ted). Ben is known for his studio work in Portland as a "songwriter's drummer", has toured and/or recorded for such folk rock heroes as Dolorean and Damien Jurado, and psych/folk groups as Holy Sons and Grails.
Ben grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, a near-boys choir recruit, an all state percussionist, a percussion major on scholarship to UNCG. Nugent had a group of close friends growing up who transcribed Charlie Parker solos and researched Jazz. "I quickly fell in love with jazz and fusion for their improvisational opportunities." A brief stint living in Little Rock gave Nugent an education in gospel and hip hop drumming. "Then I played psych, folk, and country music in clubs and theaters from age 18 on."
In his 20's Nugent worked for 8 years as a residential counselor at a behavioral healthcare company. "Out of school I got a job where I counseled chronically homeless and mentally ill folks who were trying to reintegrate into a community after years of institutionalization in the Salem psychiatric hospital. It was humbling, and involved a great deal of creativity, patience, and compassion. There was levity in it, too, for sure. You can't dream up some of the things people do and say. I did burn out several times, but did that for 8 years. I was able to take paid and unpaid leave in order to go on tour, which made it all work. It wasn't exactly a relaxing way to spend my 'time off', but it offered me an opportunity to share art with people."
"I had a blast on the road meeting people/bands like Deer Tick, Richard Buckner, Johanna Newsome, Beck, Chan Marshall, Will Oldham, Jason Molina, Nuerosis, Om, so many others. Eventually I realized I was just spread too thin, needed to recalibrate. I had gone through a bad car accident, and had tendonitis in my wrists which forced me to quit playing drums with sticks for a year and a half. I was beat, but still determined. I just needed to find a path that was sustainable."
Nugent made some changes: less road-dogging it, more writing and recording. "I focused my creative energy in the studio, wrote melodies and hooks in my head then learned to play them on whatever instrument they needed to be played on. I pulled in a few friends here and there to help add their personality. A group of songs crystalized around the moving targets that keep us humble during our brief time in this world."