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Benskuba is #Flyah

 
Canadian band Benskuba provides sonic evidence of Kevin Cholerton's hard won musical evolution. Although Cholerton began as a ska musician from Saskatchewan, Canada, he now creates sophisticated pop-rock music Devon Jackson, a Rolling Stone Magazine writer once accurately described  “New wave meets New age.”
Perhaps it's a little misleading to term Benskuba's latest CD Celebration a 'band' release; multifaceted Cholerton actually played all of its instruments. This new work is also personal in more than just its uniquely individualistic musical configuration because tragedy struck the act after Benskuba had already released three mini CDs. 
“In 2012,” Cholerton sadly recalls, “our drummer Blair Polischuk developed ALS and later that year passed away. I guess the CD is somewhat of a tribute to Blair (Spike) as we were best friends and played together in bands since we were 10 years old.” This has led to creating songs emphasizing Cholerton's awareness of self in the greater scheme of things, and expressing reflection without regret. 
Benskuba was initially birthed out of another band, Mad Shadows, which included Cholerton, Polischuk and Randy Reibling. In addition to its three commercial releases, the act also toured Canada for eight years performing a mixture of punk, ska and pop. But when Reibling relocated to Dubai, it left Cholerton the lone band member. 
Although Cholerton's Benskuba is now a one-man-band, what he sacrificed in losing the friendly camaraderie of his band mates, he makes up for with much more creative control. “Maybe being a mulch-instrumentalist allows me to hear all the parts in my head without having to have a part played by another musician for context while writing,” he notes. While the process may be a little lonelier than it once was, Cholerton nevertheless enjoys making music just as much as he always has. “I love the creation of music and various steps involved from start to finish,” he explains. “Also, I appreciate the way it evokes a wide variety of different emotional responses from people.” 
Unlike a lot of guys -- that may only discover music's mysterious powers when being in a band begins to attract the opposite sex -- Cholerton was well aware of its high at a tender age.
“I started playing drums at 9,” he recalls. “At school for show and tell, while most kids brought their cat or hamster, I brought a band. We played surf music. At 10, I started another band playing bass with Spike, which continued on through high school and well into adulthood.”
One reason why Cholerton's music has become increasingly more sophisticated may be because his influences have evolved beyond the more simplistic punk, ska and surf of his youth. He points to The Clash, U2, Rush, Beck, Tom Petty, Coldplay and Teenage Head as music that inspires him these days. Such are primarily rock icons, but Cholerton also looks up to jazz great Kenny Burrell. Although he calls Regina, Saskatchewan home, Cholerton's family is more exotic than his home country might lead you to believe. “My mother was born in Belfast,” he explains, “and my father is from England. So Celtic music was played all the time growing up. 
When he's not making music, which can be especially time-consuming when self-created, Cholerton stays physically active. He enjoys playing all sports and spending time at the beach, which is likely where his love of surf music began. 
Cholerton is realistic and pragmatic when it comes to career expectations. “Goals are always funding the next project and touring,” he explains. “Traditionally, “making it” in music means fame and fortune. I'll just settle for the fortune,” he jokes. 
It's never easy to move on after the loss of a best friend. But sometimes the best thing a man can do is use his creative abilities to transform pain into artistic gain. Benskuba's Celebration is Kevin Cholerton's valiant and successful attempt to do just that. 

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