Benjamin Rupe is Swingin Hammersm he pens songs with the seriousness of writing an epitaph. “I’m made to carry the heavy things, I can’t handle a feather, but I can handle a tombstone.” The music of Swingin Hammers is meant to demolish the walls we build up to ignore our pasts, hide from our pain, and remain lifelessly safe. You might sense, when you listen to the music of Swingin Hammers, that a weapon is being placed into your hands to join the fight.
Swingin Hammers walks a loose line between folk, country, and rock. Yet while these songs do share much in common with the big-voice Americana of Chris Stapleton and Parker Millsap, there’s a rich texture and accessibility to Rupe’s singing that’s more aligned with the blue-eyed soul of modern crooners like Sam Smith and Gavin DeGraw. Mixed with a warm rhythm section, varied playing on electric guitars and lap steels, and the occasional keyboard, the final product of Swingin Hammers’ music — whether on recording or in concert — packs a punch that crosses genre lines, while still fitting snugly within the growing resurgence of Americana, roots rock, and traditionalist country music.