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Ben Brandt Biography
One could say Ben Brandt was born with a guitar in his hands and this would not be far from the truth. The son of professional musician/guitarist/singer Garry Brandt, Ben cannot remember a time when the guitar was not a part of his life. As a baby he was fascinated by the instrument and by the time he was three he was picking out riffs on his father’s guitars. His dad began teaching him at a very early age, but by the time he was 9 he had surpassed his father’s skills and started taking private lessons with Chris Buono of Tru-Fire & Guitar Player Magazine. He would impress his teacher with his skills and fly though the lessons leaving time for them to jam together. He also studied music theory and put away the electric for a summer and focused solely on classical guitar. By the time Ben was 10 he had started his own band and his talents were discovered by a local radio station in NJ, WDHA. They promoted his music and featured him in festivals where he shared the stage with the likes of Savoy Brown and Billy Hector. At that age he even played a two hour set at Giants Stadium where he entertained the visitors at a ski trade show.
Ben’s influences include a very eclectic mix of Blues, Prog and Rock from Chris Cain, Gary Moore and Eric Johnson to Andy Timmons, Robin Trower, Steve Vai and Alex Lifeson. These different genres and playing styles provide Ben with a broad palette to pull from to hone his craft. Dynamics and phrasing are key components in Ben’s playing where every note has meaning and purpose, and his beautiful tone is sought after by many guitarists both young and old.
In 2010 Ben moved to Harrisburg, PA and started the Ben Brandt Trio. He immediately became involved with the Central Pennsylvania Blues Society (BSPA) which he is still involved in today. They partner with Blues musicians in Mississippi and bring them to the area to play. This has given Ben the opportunity to play with many notable Delta Blues men. Over the years Ben and his band have had the opportunity to open for a number of well known acts such as Jimmy Thackery, Doyle Bramhall II, Bobby Parker, Coco Montoya, The Record Company, etc. His skills are well known in the Harrisburg area and he is frequently called on to perform. He has also shared the stage with Davy Knowles, Artur Menezes and Albert Castiglia.
In 2019 Ben teamed up with singer/songwriter Kevin Koa and formed the Soul Miners Union. This project was roots and blues based and featured original songs with catchy lyrics and great rhythm and groove. Their debut album was recorded and produced by legendary guitarist/producer Josh Smith at his Flat V studio in California. The album was released in September 2020. Blues Rock Review wrote, “Brandt brings a gritty, seasoned approach to the songs he captains.” At times Ben provides “crisp licks and understated solos” whereas other songs allow Ben “the space to stretch out and cut into some aggressive playing” with “riff driven rhythm and ominous lyrics” The album contained “deft playing, seamless transitions and memorable choruses” and was a “fresh take on a few different blues areas.”
Ben continues to play all around the mid-Atlantic region and is currently involved with a number of different projects including a new lineup of the Soul Miners Union as well as a progressive style/jazz band and Blues trio. Ben is not one to be put in a box and always strives to learn new things and grow, pushing himself and the musicians he plays with. At 32 years of age and over 20 years of playing live Ben has acquired a lot of experience yet he has truly only begun to show the world what he is capable of so keep your eye on this amazing guitarist.
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