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.

A Note From Stephen

August 20, 2020

Hello there. And thanks for stopping by.

As of late, I’ve adopted a new approach to life – and now by extension, to my website. I’m no longer actively trying to advance my career as a solo guitarist – and thus have decided to take down from here the assortment of nice quotes, reviews and superlatives I’ve collected over the years. That sort of thing has been a mainstay of the site since I created it back in the 1990s. It’s part and parcel of the self-promotion that any independent artist must undertake to survive. But at this point, I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone other than myself, only more music to create. So the self-promotion I’ve never been all that good at anyway is going to occupy if not exactly zero space here from now on, at least very little.

My career goals have always been relatively modest. They have consisted of just a few things: to earn a good reputation among my peers – first, as a good player of the various guitars I use – and secondly, as a composer of quality music for those guitars.  In recent years, I have written a lot of music for instruments other than guitar – full symphony orchestra, for example. It’s difficult to get that work heard but I’ve written a bunch of it anyway. Lastly, I have hoped that the music I’ve created over the years has had meaning for those around the world who’ve taken the time to listen to it. Many affirmations of that have come my way, for which I am grateful.

It is now August 2020 and I have made the decision that I am done playing live shows.  Covid-19 removed the few shows I had scheduled from this year’s calendar anyway.  I am sorry not to be playing the music festivals next month that were scheduled but after I personally cancelled my appearances with both of them they eventually cancelled too.  I was supposed to receive a Legacy Award at one of them so I’m particularly disappointed about that. Nothing is on the calendar for next year either.  And that’s ok.  

 It takes playing one’s repertoire regularly to keep it in sufficient shape to be able to perform it.  As I’m just not interested in sitting around the house playing my repertoire for myself to maintain it for the few shows I might opt to play, I’ve made the decision not to worry about it any longer.  I’ll be spending lots of time making music but it’ll be because I’m composing new music.  Since I am generally happier and healthier when I’m at home, home in Connecticut is where I’ll generally be.

Over the years, I have had the good fortune to play in many places and with many wonderful musicians. That’s been great – but I’ve done enough of it so that I no longer feel any burning need to go too far afield.  I’ll miss doing live shows, of course.  But I won’t miss it enough to tie up my time keeping my repertoire in performance condition.  

Plenty of new music is still swirling inside me, for my various guitars as well as for other instruments. I absolutely look forward to getting that music out of my head and onto new recordings – and then out into the world for people to hear. That part doesn’t change!  A new album which will be part of The Outlaw Ocean Project is coming this fall. That recording is finished and being mixed now.  I played all sorts of guitars and a bunch of other instruments on it as well.  

Best wishes to all.  Stay healthy and well!