April 19, 2018 – Acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and playwright Benjamin Scheuer will release a limited edition 7-inch single featuring two new songs, “Hello Jemima” and “Silent Giants,” on April 20.
The tracks were produced by Geoff Kraley and, in addition to Scheuer on vocals and guitar, feature Chris Morrisey (bass), Josh Dion (drums) and Julian Pollock (keyboard). “Hello Jemima” was written after Scheuer’s first meeting with his future wife, British artist Jemima Williams. “I saw her across the room and went over to say hello,” he says. “We spoke for maybe four minutes, and the next day I returned home to New York and looked up Jemima’s work. I fell completely in love. We sent hand-written letters back and forth for months. I wrote the song ‘Hello Jemima’ for her and when I was back across the pond, I played it for her the same day I told her ‘I love you’ for the first time. We got married last summer.”
“Silent Giants” was inspired by a day with Jemima under the redwood trees in California. Scheuer notes, “Jemima and I, newly engaged, visited Muir Woods outside San Francisco, where we were awed by the giant redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens—some of which are more than two thousand years old. We had been on tour together, and were feeling rootless; Jemima was missing the UK, and we were both were struck by the patience required of the trees to grow tall trunks and deep roots. I wrote ‘Silent Giants’ about it that night.”
Following the release of the single, Scheuer is set to perform his award-winning one-man show, THE LION, at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York City on April 30. Proceeds from the special one-night-only performance will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Tickets and info available at sheencenter.org/shows/lion/.
In THE LION, Scheuer and a supporting cast of six guitars tell, sing, and play the turbulent story of Scheuer’s family and his own brush with mortality. The show won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance when it premiered Off-Broadway, where it was named among the best musicals of the year by Playbill, The Huffington Post, and The Stage. The New York Times praised Scheuer’s ability to “get to the heart of the matter” with his “reflective pop-folk songs with catchy choruses and just the occasional burst of angst.” The London production went on to win the 2015 Off West End Award for Best New Musical, where Time Out London raved, “[Scheuer] makes his guitars whisper, laugh or roar alongside the ebbing roll of his singing. The effect is spellbinding—sad and joyful. It will creep under your skin and bring you near to tears.”
Having played more than 500 performances in 13 cities to sold-out theaters and widespread critical acclaim, Scheuer gave the final touring performance of THE LION at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in February 2017. The Sheen Center performance presents a rare opportunity for audiences to revisit the show live.
Scheuer’s debut album, Songs from THE LION, premiered in 2016 in the Top 10 of the Billboard Cast Albums chart. He has performed with Mary Chapin Carpenter and played major venues including New York’s Lincoln Center and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
With photographer Riya Lerner, Scheuer is the creator of the book Between Two Spaces, from which 50% of proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Photographs from the piece, called “an important work” by the Los Angeles Times, have been exhibited in the Leslie Lohman Gallery’s Prince Street Space in NYC, and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
With British animator/director Peter Baynton, Scheuer created animated films for the songs “The Lion,” “Cookie-tin Banjo,” “Weather The Storm” and “Cure.” The films have played at festivals on five continents and garnered accolades including Best Commissioned Film at the Annecy Film Festival, Public Choice for Best Music Video at the British Animation Awards and Best Music Video at London’s Encounters Film Festival.
In addition to the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the Off West End Award for Best New Musical, Scheuer is the recipient of a Theatre World Award, the Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Songwriting. He has been a nominee for two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Lucile Lortel Award and an additional Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics. He lives in New York City and is currently working on a new album, a new musical and a children’s book with his wife, illustrator Jemima Williams.