Ben Kweller: Boy Genius

While most 20-year-olds are holding thankless jobs or going to college, Ben Kweller is on the right path to rock and roll stardom.

The multi-talented solo artist mixes rock, pop, and folk into the beautiful, catchy songs that make up his full-length debut album Sha Sha, released last month under ATO Records. Currently he is on the middle of a cross-country tour with fellow future superstars The Anniversary and Dashboard Confessional, which already have large fan bases.

However, this is not the first time Kweller shares the stage with relatively big names in the music world. Over the past year, he toured with Juliana Hatfield, Evan Dando, Eels, Jeff Tweedy and Creeper Lagoon, among others.

What makes Kweller excel from the crowd of young singer songwriters is his skill and utter control over various instruments, specially the guitar and piano, and the emotional outburst in his voice and lyrics. These are clearly visible in the standout tracks from Sha Sha, Wasted and Ready and In Other Words.

In 1993, the Texas-native lead the grunge-oriented trio Radish, but after touring, recording and creating a name for themselves, they disbanded in 1999. Shortly after the break up, Kweller moved to Brooklyn to work on a solo career.

After releasing Freak Out its Ben Kweller and EP Phone Home, Kweller decided to go into the studio and, with friends backing him in the instruments, record a less acoustic and more rock- focused album. Critics and music fans welcomed Sha Sha warmly because of its creative, eclectic and oddly pleasant sound.

The Dashboard Confessional, Anniversary and Kweller will be performing next Wednesday, April 17 in Boynton Beach, Fla. as part of their U.S. tour.