Stephen Bennett

About Stephen Bennett

Whether playing his great-grandfather's harp guitar, his 1930 National Steel or a standard 6-string, Stephen Bennett is a musician to hear. His playing has won awards and critical praise. In live performance and on record, his diverse musical influences and interests are joined with a lifelong love affair with the sound of guitar strings.

Author Archive

Concert on December 17th

November 5th, 2022

I’ll be playing for the Connecticut Guitar Society at the Asylum Hill Congregational church in Hartford @ 8PM. It should be fun and you should be there!

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Thank you very much, Pandora listeners!

October 7th, 2022

My 37th track to pass the million plays mark on Pandora just did so today!

Years ago, I had a friend named John Tekinder. He took guitar lessons from me for, I don’t know, maybe 15 years. John just wanted to play electric blues guitar and so that’s what we did every week, every Tuesday specifically. He’d often tell me stories about when he was in the Navy in World War II and one story he told me often was about the day he and a sailor named Joe LaMastro (that’s how I heard the name although I would later find out it was actually Joe LoMastro) were on the deck of the USS Essex, an aircraft carrier. He and Joe were talking when they looked up to realize that a kamikaze Japanese plane was headed right for them. They scattered. John lived to tell the story; Joe did not.

John died of asbestosis in 1999 but the week before he passed, I went to his house and played a tune I’d written for him. We sat in his kitchen and I played Tuesday Blues. Not long after, I played at his memorial service too, just before the military honor guard did their thing. And I composed a tune called In Memory of Joe LaMastro (again, which should have been correctly spelled Joe LoMastro). That tune just passed the 1 million play mark.

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August 13th Concert with Bill Gurley in Falls Village, CT

July 23rd, 2022

The show starts at 7:30 but doors open an hour before that. You can bring in food and drink as you like. The address is 103 Main Street. Falls Village is tiny so you can’t miss the venue. It’s the Center On Main. Which used to be a church and is now used as an art center.


I think it’s 2 dozen times that I have performed at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas over the years, after attending for some years before that as a contestant in the guitar championships. It’s a wonderful festival. I was asked to play there this year – which happens to be the 50th anniversary of it. I agreed to do so and also asked the festival to hire my friend Bill Gurley. Bill had played the festival with me several times over the years and like me, thought it would be fun to do so again. Somewhat to my surprise, the festival agreed. The last time Bill and I played a show together was probably 15 years ago and we hadn’t recorded since 1997. That period of time – 25 years – is also referred to as a quarter of a century! How did THAT happen? So we had some work to do. Bill lives in Virginia and I have lived here in Connecticut for a dozen years.
We started working regularly via FaceTime for a while and made a lot of progress. But it is, of course, very difficult to do music that way; there’s just no substitute for being face to face. So I went to Bill’s house in May and we worked for several days straight made much more progress. We’ve continued to meet online since and now he’s coming to my house in a couple of days to rehearse again. We’re looking forward to playing our material for a live audience next Saturday night! I’ll go to Virginia again in a few weeks and we’ll rehearse again there, spend a day recording an EP and then play another show down there. That should have us in decent shape for the big festival next month!


Here’s a tune of ours from that 1997 recording. Enjoy! We wrote the tune together, Bill’s singing the lead and playing mandolin, I’m playing harp guitar and singing harmony.
So if you have a hankering for some live music in a relaxed atmosphere, then come on out!
Best wishes,Stephen

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Heading to Winfield!

July 23rd, 2022

I’m about to head out to play at the 50th anniversary of this great festival. I’ve got some solo sets there and also some sets with my friend and playing partner Bill Gurley. Looking forward to it! And I hope to see some of you there! Here’s a link to the festival.


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At long last, a live show coming up!

January 29th, 2022

Greetings. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. Much has happened since I last did, personally and out in the real world. Nancy and I have moved to our new house in the beautiful northwest corner of Connecticut.

The snow just stopped (for now anyway) and so I went outside and took a picture from the hill in front of the house. That’s Music Mountain across the Housatonic River – which looks quite narrow here because of the ice building out from both sides.

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Anyway, I’ll be doing a solo show a few miles away from here in tiny Falls Village, CT on Saturday, March 26th at the Center on Main. I’m looking forward to playing live again! Details are on the Calendar page

Also, I will be playing at the 50th Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. That takes place September 15-18. I’ve asked my old friend and playing partner Bill Gurley to join me. It should be great fun!

Following that, I’ll be teaching at Tommy Emmanuel’s “camp” in Nashville, as well as recording an EP with him. This was supposed to happen in September 2021 but —— covid. At the time, Nashville was a hotbed of coronavirus and my doctor strongly advised me not to go. I’m glad it will be able to happen this year (fingers crossed!).

Though I won’t be traveling to play music as I once did, I will likely put a few more live shows on the calendar this year as the pandemic (hopefully) winds down.

Stay safe and well!

Stephen

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The Rights Of Coral

February 11th, 2021

My newest release goes live in a few hours. Inspired by the book The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina, The Rights Of Coral was created for the Outlaw Ocean Music Project. It consists of 10 tracks of music I composed, played and recorded that also incorporates material from a large audio archive made available to me. It’s different from anything I’ve done before and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I hope you’ll check it out. This is digital only; there are no cds.

Here’s the link. If you happen on it before it goes live on Friday, Feb 12, it’s a way to pre-save the music in your streaming platform(s). Once it’s live, it’s a link to stream the music.

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Dec. 18, 2020

December 18th, 2020

Greetings to all. I’ll be doing a couple of finger-style guitar workshops in March for the Walnut Valley Festival (often just referred to as Winfield). If you’re interested, click here.

Also, my rendition of Because was included on an upcoming compilation on Wagram, a French label. It’s entitled John Lennon in Jazz. It appears that the vinyl version has just been released within the last week. It’s also already listed on Amazon but without any info as of today.

Now get back to your day, already in progress.

Best,

Stephen

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