Funky retro-soul musician Big Ben Hillman was born in Boston, MA and spent some of his formative years living in Hudson, NH. After graduating from Alvirne High School in Hudson he went on to study music at U Mass Lowell. Also known as The Professor of Funk, Hillman has played and shared the stage with a wide variety of local and national acts over the course of his career, such as D-Tension, The Boston Horns, De La Soul, select members of the Wu Tang Clan, Jimmy Buffet and Les Claypool of Primus. In the early 2000s Hillman formed a band called The Royal Family and penned the hit song It Must Have Been the Music, which received worldwide airplay. Relocating to Philadelphia in 2007, a new band was formed and Hillman scored yet another hit single with the blues-tinged hip hop track I’m Sorry, which was also accompanied by an award winning video.
After briefly touring with blues artist Greg Luttrell in China, Hillman returned to Boston with a mission to spread the gospel of the funk and to keep soul music alive. It was then that he began writing the songs that would become the album The Friday Night Consortium, a collection of twelve original funky compositions, containing the single Friday Night and the duet with Lydia Harrell called Beautiful Stranger.