Ben (Benjamin) Mink. Producer, songwriter, violinist, mandolinist, guitarist, composer, b Detroit, of Polish parents, 22 Jan 1951, naturalized Canadian 1967. Ben Mink was raised in Cleveland and taken at age 11 to Toronto.
Ben (Benjamin) Mink. Producer, songwriter, violinist, mandolinist, guitarist, composer, b Detroit, of Polish parents, 22 Jan 1951, naturalized Canadian 1967. Ben Mink was raised in Cleveland and taken at age 11 to Toronto. A self-taught player, he began his career at 18 as a guitarist with the group Mary-Lou Horner, house band at Toronto's the Rock Pile club. He later played violin and mandolin in turn with Stringband, Murray McLauchlan's Silver Tractors, FM, and CANO.
Collaborations with k.d. lang
In 1985 Ben Mink began a songwriting collaboration with k.d. lang and subsequently performed as violinist, guitarist, and mandolinist with her band, the Reclines. The pair co-wrote the 1992 mainstream-pop hit album Ingénue (Sire 26840; by 1994 it had sold 2.4 million copies), including its hit single "Constant Craving." Lang and Mink also co-wrote Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and co-produced lang's Hymns of the 49th Parallel (Nonesuch 2 79847, 2004).
Ben Mink also has played on recordings by Dan Hill, Geddy Lee, Anne Murray, Ronnie Prophet, Raffi, the guitarist Ken Ramm, Rush, Sharon, Lois & Bram, Sylvia Tyson, and many others. He has produced or co-produced recordings by Susan Aglukark, the Barenaked Ladies, Finjan, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Geddy Lee, the Romaniacs, and Stringband; Israel's Chava Alberstein; the US klezmer band the Klezmatics; and US rocker Ann Wilson. His own 1980 LP of instrumentals, Foreign Exchange (Passport PB-2024, recorded with members of FM), mixed the colouring and melodic influence of Eastern European folk music with the rhythms and technology of rock and the improvisation of jazz, heralding an uncommon ability to move seamlessly among genres as varied as easy-listening pop, klezmer, and country. Working in conjunction with FM, in collaboration with other composers (eg, Ramm, Allan Soberman), or on his own, Mink has composed themes or full scores for feature and short films and for TV and radio series. His Male Chauvinist Jig (recorded in 1975 with Stringband) was a popular theme on CBC radio and his "Turn Me Round" was chosen as the closing song (performed by lang) for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
Ben Mink and k.d. lang shared Grammy nominations for "Luck in My Eyes" (1990) and "Anybody Seen My Baby" (recorded by the Rolling Stones, 1998). "Constant Craving" won lang a 1992 Grammy. Mink also collaborated with Leslie Feist on "1, 2, 3, 4," which in 2008 had four Grammy nominations. He holds Juno Awards for songwriter and producer of the year (1993) and SOCAN's William Harold Moon award (1994). Mink's score for the TV series "Terminal City" won a Leo Award.
McGrath, Paul. "Ben Mink: electric gypsy conjures up new visions," Toronto Globe and Mail, 29 Oct 1980
Jones, Craig. "One on one," Canadian Musician, Aug 1994
Bateman, Jeff. "Absolute Mink & lang," Words & Music, Dec 1994
Bateman, Jeff. "The ballad of Ben Mink: From k.d. to klezfests," Applaud!, Mar 2005