Former EC Man Ben Helson Now Touring With Dierks Bentley, Recently Appears On Jimmy Fallon, TODAY Show
Darren Doyle, story
It should come as no surprise that the amazingly talented guitarist Ben Helson, a 2004 graduate of Edmonson County High School has moved up the ladder in the entertainment industry once again. Helson is currently touring with platinum country artist Dierks Bentley as lead guitarist and back up vocalist.
He appeared Thursday night on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon," and also NBC's "The TODAY Show" the next morning.
Ben had been on tour with pop country artist "Maddie and Tae" and was told about the job opening with Dierks Bentley's band from Bentley's lead guitarist who was in the process of leaving. Ben said the band offered him an audition which he said was an amazing experience within itself.
"So a couple weeks after my audition, I'm in Italy with Maddie and Tay and I'm at my hotel," Helson said. "I don't have an international phone plan so I don't get any calls or texts unless I'm on wifi. After my phone connected to wi-fi, I got a voicemail from Dierks that he wanted me to call him. I thought that I'd either gotten the job, or he was being really nice by taking the time to call me to let me know he'd hired someone else."
Ben finally returned Bentley's call and got the news that he had been hired as the new lead guitarist. He joked about not remembering anything else about the rest of the conversation. "I think I blacked out."
He said the experience with Bentley has been all he imagined plus more. "He's just the coolest guy ever. He's surrounded himself with a great team and he goes above and beyond what it takes to make everyone happy. It's like we're all adopted into this big family."
Ben said the experience on The Tonight Show was something that was so high up on his bucket list, that it didn't seem real at the time. "I'm a huge (Jimmy) Fallon fan anyway, so when we played this show, of course it was awesome, but if felt like I was pretending like I was on the show and not actually on it. Jimmy talked to all of us before the show, and afterwards, he was saying stuff like, man, you guys are awesome, or dude, I loved that guitar riff, it was crazy! He was a great guy."
Ben said this is the type of gig that a traveling musician dreams about and he couldn't be happier. "The great thing about touring with a country artist is that you're not gone months at a time. It's still mostly weekends and we get to stay home during the week."
Dierks Bentley just released a brand new album, "Black." He currently holds the number 3 spot on Country Billboard's Top Forty with his hit single "Somewhere On a Beach" that hit number one just a few weeks ago.
Ben and his wife Danielle currently live the Nashville, TN area.