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.


An album by Stephen Bennett, digitally released in September 2023

Greetings to all who happen upon this digital place. Since CDs are heading the way of the dinosaur at this point, this album is being released in digital form only. One downside of this is that there is not really any good way for the listener to read liner notes. That’s too bad because I always think it’s a good idea to have them. Liner notes are a way for an artist to explain the inspiration for a particular piece of music as well as to list a wide variety of particulars that might be of interest to the listener. While some digital music platforms do allow for a bit of info about a particular track to be accessible to the listener, it’s not the same thing. So I am putting this page up for those who might find their way here looking for answers. Thank you for listening!


1. Miserlou

I’d seen this title many times in songbooks but it wasn’t until hearing a posthumous radio interview on NPR with legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale that I knew I had to experiment with it. His version was used in the film Pulp Fiction. It’s an old folk song from the eastern Mediterranean, the title of which translates as The Egyptian Woman. I played my Collings guitar in Drop D tuning.

2. Build Me Up Buttercup

This great tune was written by Mike d’Abo and Tony Macaulay. It was a big hit for The Foundations in 1969. I loved it and bought the single. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned F A Bb C D G, low to high)

3. A Wedding Processional

I composed this for my son Will and daughter-in-law Erin upon hearing the news that they were engaged. As it turned out, Covid-19 got in the way of their having the wedding that they originally hoped to. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned E A B C# D G, low to high).

4. When The Moon Comes Up Over Music Mountain

My wife Nancy and I live along the Housatonic River in the beautiful northwest corner of Connecticut. Across the river is Music Mountain. One evening I noticed the moon coming up over the mountain and realized I needed to write this tune. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned E A B C# D G, low to high).

5. Cabin Joe

I played 12-string guitar, fretless bass, mandolin, banjo, electric guitar, National steel guitar, drums and sang this song that I wrote for, well…just listen! 

6.  Who Knew A Man Of Honor Would Be So Hard To Find

I composed this in honor of Senator Mitt Romney after his vote to convict during Trump’s 1st impeachment trial, the only senator from his side of the aisle to have the courage to do so. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned E A B C# D# F#, low to high) With my Telecaster, I also played the twin electric guitar parts. My friend Alex Lifeson (formerly of the band Rush) added the subtle textural elements that you hear.

7.  Interesting Times

I composed the music, and my friend Stephen Bennett (it’s a long story but no, he’s not an imaginary friend – we just have the same name, are nearly the same age, and both live in Connecticut) wrote the lyrics, other than the post-Uvalde verse which I added. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned E A B C D G, low to high), my Collings mandolin, and sang the song. Other SB added some harmony.

8.  According to Jerome

Meet Jerome. He was created by Maria Macri, organic farmer extraordinaire in Milford, Connecticut. Jerome seems to have absorbed much of the same calm approach to the world that radiates from Maria, who I sometimes refer to as the Zen princess. I played my Eastman banjo and fretless Fender bass. Jerome likes the tune, in case you were wondering.

9. Beate

Beate Redberg was a dear friend of mine in Germany who, along with her husband Kent, assisted me in countless ways when I was in their country playing. They loved me and my music and I grew to love them too. Whenever I was at the Redbergs, there would be an American flag was flying in their backyard. Sadly, Beate passed away very unexpectedly a few years ago.

As I thought about composing something in her honor it occurred to me that 3 of the 4 letters in her name were musical notes – B, E, and A. So I wondered if substituting a note in place of the letter T might prove compositionally interesting. I settled on C. The repeating phrase that opens this piece is made up of the notes BEACE (Beate with C in place of the T). The bass line that emerges underneath that phrase is also BEACE. This sort of thing happens throughout the piece. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned E A B C D G, low to high, although I have sharping levers on my subs and the C and D string each were raised and then lowered a half step during the tune).

10. Back To You

When I’m away from my wife, I want to get back to her. This tune is unusual for me in that much of the melody is very low. I played my Collings guitar in Drop D tuning.

11. Now That I’ve Found You

This song was the debut single and a big hit for The Foundations in 1967. It was written by Tony Macaulay and John Macleod. I played my Kathy Wingert harp guitar in standard tuning (the sub-basses were tuned F A Bb C D G, low to high).

12. Sometimes On Thursdays

I wrote this tune about 40 some years ago. I found it along with a bunch of other tunes on a cassette tape that until a few years ago, I’d not listened to in decades. I don’t remember what, if anything, the title refers to. A few of the tunes I found on that cassette went on my last album (Passages); now I’m putting this one out into the world. I played my old Guild 12-string guitar in open G tuning – except that I tuned it a 4th lower, essentially turning it into a baritone 12-string guitar (and thus sounding in open D).

13. For Heather (Cox Richardson)

Composed in appreciation of this historian whose wonderful overview of the previous day’s news and how it fits into the flow of American history is generally the first thing I want to read in the morning. It’s called Letters From An American. You can find it at:

I played one of my Morris guitars tuned C#,G#,C#,G#,C#,D# — (which is D Sus 2 tuning, a half step down)


For once again infusing her voodoo on tracks that I recorded, thanks to my friend, engineer extraordinaire Kim Person.

Speaking of great engineering, thanks to Greg Lukens for the superb job he did mastering this album.

Thanks to Alec Rios for the great cover graphic.

Finally, thanks to my wife, Nancy B.


This album was recorded in West Cornwall, Connecticut during late 2022 and early 2023 and released in September 2023.

All tracks published by Greased Pig Music, except for: 

Miserlou, Build Me Up Buttercup, and Baby Now That I’ve Found You.

My music is available at the usual downloading/streaming platforms.

I can be contacted at

Catalog Number  C/RR 088 Cimirron/Rainbird Records

This album © 2023 Stephen M. Bennett