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.

August 7, 2020

This bizarre year continues on. My country seems to have lost its mind. The insanity that is donald trump continues unabated. I thought the man was a lying sack of manure as a private citizen and my opinion of him has only gone down. His supporters in the Senate and House repulse me. I have respect for precisely one Republican Senator, Mitt Romney. The rest of them have broken their oaths to uphold the Constitution. The disconnect between what America says it stands for and what reality looks like grows ever wider. The Coronavirus Pandemic continues on with 715,555 deaths worldwide (as reported by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center) and 160,111 deaths here in the US. As I said, a bizarre year…

I saw a yard sign yesterday that spoke for me quite well. It read: In This Home We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Love Is Love, No Human Is Illegal, Feminism Is For Everyone, Science Is Real and Kindness Is Everything. I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve been busy making music. Two projects have occupied my time. One is a YouTube channel named KarmaCovfefe which allows me (and some of my friends) to vent about our poor excuse of a president. There are 6 songs posted there and more coming.

The other project that has occupied my mind and time began on May 14 when I was contacted by an investigative reporter named Ian Urbina. You can read an amazing story he reported just a month ago here. Several years ago he did a series of pieces for The New York Times on illegal activities on the world’s oceans. That led to a book called The Outlaw Ocean and then to a music project. Ian wrote to invite me to be a part of that project. Though the subject matter is pretty depressing (and probably not really what I needed mentally – another depressing reminder of our species’ mistreatment of each other and the planet on which live) but nonetheless it promised to be an interesting and intelligent topic with which to attempt to create music. I could choose to create from 2 to 10 tracks so I contracted to do 6 pieces. As it happens, I wrapped up the first version of a 10th track yesterday. I’ve had a blast with this project. What I’m doing is creating music that’s inspired by the investigative reporting. It’s not just music however. I also add in elements as I care to from a large audio archive that Ian compiled over the course of years spent on the waters of the world. Sometimes I incorporate pieces of prose to help paint the picture. That might be Ian or someone else reading a sentence or two. It could be a couple of ship’s captains speaking to each other. If you’re interested, you’ll be able to hear what I’ve come up with in the form of an album released onto the usual digital platforms sometime later this year. I think it’s pretty damn cool! Your mileage may vary. Stay safe, wear a damn mask and be kind. sb

August 7th, 2020. Written by

2 Responses to "August 7, 2020"

  1. Edward C Wilkinson stated:

    Thank you for venting in the same sentiment I have expressed in poem and upon sudden moments of realization that all of this is real, each day and middle of the night.

    I wrote to you in the Summer of 2010. I had just lost my guitar playing Dad, and was missing him. I came upon some of your music, which reminded me of him. You answered with some comforting words of your own Father.

    Today, you express my own…is it grief? …over current events. I have no words to comfort you in return. Except that, in love of music, guitar, and mercy you and I are as brothers. I am 65 years old. Old enough to recognize a kindred spirit, certainly.

    I am glad you are very busy. It is the best way to hold on to your humanity.

    Edward Wilkinson

  2. Stephen Bennett stated:

    Thanks for you note, Edward! Indeed, it’s all too real. Stay safe and well.
    sb

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