Ben Rice has been leaving huge impressions on audiences around the Northwest and winning awards for his vocals and guitar playing for the last seven years. In 2014 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, he left the audience speechless with a raw emotional delivery of his version of “Key To The Highway.” On his second consecutive trip to the International Blues Challenge, he made the finals in the solo/duo category and was awarded the St. Blues Guitarist award for best guitarist.
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 Northwest 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, at a young age Ben began investigating blues and its 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 while also playing in the Celtic folk ensemble and Mariachi group on campus. He is 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 and is always striving to connect with the audience through his music and stories. 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 the vast influences of the American music to fuel his music and performance. For more information, check out www.benricelive.com.
Timothy James is a 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Portland, Oregon, who’s guitar playing has torn across stages from Portland to Anaheim to Memphis. Although he has roots in the blues, his passion is mixing R&B and soul with pop music. He is currently working on his second studio album, a followup to 2017’s “Love = Chaos”. For more information, log on to www.timothyjamesmusic.com.