Ben Howard is a young acoustic troubadour who will make you feel as though he is the first young acoustic troubadour you have ever heard. He brings freshness to the form, gives it lustre, making it all seem brand new even as his songs have about them a quality of wisdom and a rootsy authenticity as old as the hills.
He is something of an acoustic guitar whiz, having mastered the art of strumming, plucking and hammering the instrument for rhythmic purposes. And he's only 23 but already - minus any of the usual army of public relations people and pluggers behind him - can sell out a 400-capacity venue, including some of the capital's coolest venues, at the drop of a plectrum, having amassed a secret society of fans via the UK's fiercely loyal surfing community that has already spread over the water to Germany, France and Holland.
Devonshire based since a young child (his parents now live in Ibiza, where his granddad has lived for about 50 years), Ben was steeped in music as a child. His mum was "a bit of a hippie" who played guitar and flute and appeared at open-mic nights around Dartington's music college whilst his dad, an interior designer, would strum a guitar every now and again too.