Ben Rice has been leaving huge impressions on audiences around the Northwest with his voice and guitar playing for the last seven years. In 2014 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee he left the audience speechless with his raw emotional delivery of his version of “Key To The Highway.” His return to the finals in 2015 with in a duo highlighted his voice and guitar playing again with a set of all original music.
His debut on the international stage in 2014, was a landmark step forward in his career from being a regional act playing primarily around the NW to a national and international touring artist. Captivating audiences and presenting himself as someone who has a lot of depth in the various soundscapes of American music. Ben is gaining fans all over the world who love his playing, singing, songs, and stage performance.
His original music blends Soul, Delta-Blues, Rockabilly, Jazz, and Funk into a Roots Stew. Influenced heavily by his parents record collection from Al Green to Alice Cooper, Teddy Pendergrass to Marshall Tucker. Ben at a young age began investigating into Blues and it’s history. Starting with B.B. King and going through the various regions and time periods he is inspired and influenced by historical figures like Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Skip James to name a few. Ben spent his college years studying Jazz Guitar at the University of Oregon as well as classical music. Playing in the Celtic Folk ensemble and Mariachi group on campus. He has been well versed in a lot of musical styles that all contribute to the unique sound of his originals.
As a performer Ben looks to the greats for inspiration. Looking to connect the audience with his music he tells stories about how his songs can be reflections of his experiences. He also has an interesting arsenal of guitars playing resophonic guitars and homemade cigar box guitars. More important than the visual appeal Ben has an amazing way of making these guitars sound, often bringing audiences to tears with his slide playing.
Ben Rice has been a growing talent in the NW, winning awards for his singing, guitar work, writing, and performing. He is stepping into the national and international scene. Using his vast influences of American music to fuel his music and performance.