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Ben Stevens
Musician and teacher of traditional and modern
finger-style blues and Americana music

Ben Stevens is a revivalist of traditional blues who delves deep to bring those styles into the present. His experience includes touring as a solo blues act and opening for folks like Chet Atkins, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Etta James and more. Currently based in Austin, Texas, Stevens has lived many places around the world and brings the flavors and textures he's picked up along the way to his music.

Since relocating to Austin, Stevens' has performed at Antone's, The Brass House, The Skylark, Ski Shores, Uncle Billy's, Lambert's and more. He won the KUTX Cactus Cafe - Stage to Studio competition in 2013. And he was the winner of the 2011-2012 Heart Of The Blues Challenge and represented Austin at the International Blues Competition in Memphis in 2012.

To many music fans, Stevens' name is familiar from the days of Bleecker St., one of Colorado's most acclaimed blues bands. The duo's jug-band/retro-blues sound became popular across Colorado, then spread through much of the United States and parts of Europe.

However, it was as a solo artist that Stevens really got to dig deep in the well, travel and learn first hand from some of the very best bluesmen to ever live. Blues great John Hammond taught Stevens the finer points of slide guitar. He spent time on the road with ninety-something Homesick James. Stevens also had the pleasure of working alongside "Robert Junior" Lockwood, the only one Robert Johnson ever taught. Stevens passes that knowledge on to his students in workshops such as The Telluride Blues Festival and the prestigious Port Townsend Country Blues workshops.

Stevens' earlier years at film school at NYU also influenced his musical journey. It was here in Greenwich Village that he jammed and connected with such greats as Jorma Kaukonen, Jaco Pastorious, Papa John Creach, and Taj Mahal - who would later played banjo on one of Stevens' Bleecker St. albums.

Also an entrepreneur, Stevens paused his solo touring to launch several food businesses in Colorado - Jamaican Joe's coffee truck and Outer Spice natural cooking spices. Now based in Austin, Stevens blends his music and entrepreneurial interests. His amp sales and repair shop, Joe's Amps, was voted in the top ten repair shops in the Austin Chronicle's '16-'17 Austin Music Awards during SXSW. And his Magnecord Studios is one of the few remaining fully vintage analog recording studios.

Stevens plans to release a new album in 2018. Previous recordings include the Charles Sawtelle-produced album, Reservation Blues, which won a Media Choice Award in 2000. Other recordings include, 2008's, "Down Home" featuring Stevens' favorite classic blues tunes recorded live in the studio, all in one take. It showcases both Stevens' gruff vocal talent as well as his seamless guitar playing.

 

Ben at the crossroads

Festivals
Breminale Blues Fest,. Bremen, Germany
Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland, OR
Port Townsend Country Blues Festival, WA
Telluride Blues and Brews
Davenport Blues Festival
Roots of the Blues Festival, Swallow Hill, Denver, CO
Denver Blues Fest
Boulder Blues Fest

Opening Acts/Tours
Etta James
Albert King
Chet Atkins
Dave Von Ronk
Honeyboy Edwards
Robert Jr. Lockwood
Taj Mahal
J.J. Cale
Keb Mo
Hot Tuna
Odetta
Leon Russell
Gatemouth Brown
Bella Fleck
Sarah Mclaughlin
Philadelphia Jerry Ricks
Cyphis and Whiggins
Leo Kottke