Benjamin Grant Mitchell is an Australian author, singer-songwriter and actor. He has published two novels, The Last Great Day and Zippin Pippin, acted in television, theatre and film, and currently makes his living playing live gigs and releasing albums independently (the latest, Summer Lover, through his label Beautiful Mess Records).
Mitchell began writing songs as a teenager and, as ‘Ben Mitchell’ released his debut album independently in 2006, The Stars Can See (MGM), a collection of recordings made while living in London for six years. Of The Stars Can See AMERICANA UK wrote “His songwriting puts him in a league above” and described Mitchell as “A major talent”. After returning to Australia Mitchell independently released Chance To Love in 2015, an album of indie-pop/folk, alt-country/blues, Chance To Love. All 17 songs received radio play in Australia (one track getting picked up in Ireland and UK) with Jeff Jenkins from The Music describing Chance To Love as “A late night gem.”
Mitchell’s latest album, Summer Lover, is out 21st June 2016 (iTunes) and 1st July (physical through MGM). Summer Lover features the first single, Ocean Road, which has already been described as “A new Australian anthem” (Southern FM).
The Last Great Day (2011) is a family saga based on the true story of Mitchell’s early life growing up in a fundamentalist Christian doomsday sect. Mitchell spent the first ten years of his life being taught the world would end before he was a teenager. The Last Great Day is the story of a family’s journey from fear to hope and from ignorance to knowledge.
Zippin Pippin (2012) is a comedy/romance/road-trip about Elvis’ unknown Australian son. Zippin Pippin features all original lyrics as part of the story about a stage-shy roadie’s transformation into a sensitive singer-songwriter as he learns the truth about his parentage, all while falling in love on the road-trip of a lifetime.
Mitchell has dabbled in play-writing, penning two short plays both of which were staged at Carlton Courthouse Theatre in Melbourne during the late-nineties. ‘Mad Cows & Yoghurt’ was a black-comedy meditation on Generation X’s lack of motivation (in the face of flying cows and ominous meteors) and ‘Darren & Greg’ was a two-act/two-hander about a couple of suburban boy-men coming to terms with infidelity, brutish bosses and just how to organize a proper garage sale.
When not writing songs, plays or novels Mitchell can sometimes be seen on stage and screen, having been a regular on Australian Television in his early career as an actor, with regular roles on Neighbours, Blue Heelers and the ill-fated cop show, Skirts. In 2013 he had a cameo in indie film, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla and his last appearance on television was as Margot Robbie’s mean-spirited father, Senior Constable Matt Freedman back on Ramsay Street.