Get this crazy baby off my head!


Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett - In-A-Gadda-Da-Stephen - 2010 - Harp Guitar Music

15 covers of rock classics by the master of the harp guitar, Stephen Bennett. This guy is talented beyond belief. Listen to Stephen's "Reflections" album, and check out his sensational "Beatles Acoustic Guitar Solos" album @ STEPHBENN/BAGS For more great acoustic guitar, check out Laurence Juber on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 126 Mb]


1 Light My Fire - The Doors - Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger
2 Incense and Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock - John Carter & Tim Gilbert
3 The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix
4 A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum - Gary Brooker & Keith Reed
5 Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Mars Bonfire
6 White Room - Cream - Jack Bruce & Pete Brown
7 Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones - Keith Richards & Mick Jagger
8 Can’t Find My Way Home - Blind Faith - Steve Winwood
9 The Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson - Ian McDonald & Peter Sinfield
10 Teacher - Jethro Tull - Ian Anderson
11 Behind Blue Eyes - The Who - Pete Townshend
12 Theme For An Imaginary Western - Mountain - Jack Bruce & Pete Brown
13 Time/Breathe - Pink Floyd - David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright
14 Soon - Yes - Jon Anderson
15 You Really Got Me (baritone guitar) - The Kinks - Ray Davies


"OK, we admit there are lots of former rockers who are now playing acoustic guitar. Age has a way of mellowing even the most die-hard metal heads. But if you want to merge the sonority of steel string acoustic guitar with the classic rock sounds of the 60’s and 70’s, where can you go? To the wizard himself, Stephen Bennett, on his latest harp guitar CD "In-A-Gadda-Da-Stephen." It’s Bennett’s paean to the halcyon days of all those great bands we used to listen to in high school (dating myself here). In 15 shimmering tracks, Bennett takes us back while keeping our eardrums intact. The fact he does this on a harp guitar makes this release even more impressive, using the bass strings to add another voice to his ridiculous renditions of timeless tunes. The disk begins red hot with "Light my Fire" by the Doors. This cut opens the window to the key to the entire CD -- not only does Bennett nail the melody and bass lines and middle voice, he captures the vibe of each classic song. I’m not sure how he does it, but he captures the haunting smokiness of Hendrix’ "The Wind Cries Mary" with a funky backbeat. On Procol Harum’s ageless "A Whiter Shade of Pale," all the melancholy of the original rests on your soul; such a simple yet lovely melody. We get two servings of Clapton, once on Cream’s "White Room," then on the Blind Faith’s "Can’t Find My Way Home." On "White Room," Bennett begins almost Spanish flavor, but quickly settles into the bass grove while picking out the lyrical melody. Jack Bruce makes an encore on "Theme for an Imaginary Western" by Mountain. Bennett was "Born to Be Wild" with a driving version of Steppenwolf’s hit. We get Jethro Tull ("Teacher"), Pink Floyd ("Time/Breathe"), The Stones ("Honky Tonk Women"), even King Crimson (a killer version of "Court of the Crimson King"). If you like acoustic guitar and pine for real rock and roll, buy this CD -- it will take you back 40 years and put a smile on your face." © Kirk Albrecht, Minor 7th

"Now that the baby boomers are aging onwards, it’s a good time to reflect back on some of the great songs that shaped our various childhoods. A fitting place to start is with a 2010 release from the pioneering Harp Guitar Music label, started up by guitar guru Gregg Miner. Miner and his label strike harp guitar gold with the 2010 CD from guitar icon Stephen Bennett, appropriately entitled In-A-Gadda-Da-Stephen. A mix of late ‘60s classics from the dawn of the golden era of ‘60s classic rock, the 15 cut In-A-Gadda-Da-Stephen might be missing the classic Iron Butterfly track for which it’s named but there's plenty more here including solo instrumental acoustic harp guitar covers of classics made famous by The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson, Rolling Stones, Cream and more. Such is Bennett’s authentic command of the acoustic harp guitar that he sounds like a virtual one man guitar army, filling in the melody and rhythm with some propulsive percussive backing—all played simultaneously on his famous acoustic harp guitar. As great as the music here sounds, one must also applaud Miner and his label for packaging the CD quite appealingly in a nostalgic ‘60s style, adding in track by track liner notes and psychedelic poster." © Robert Silverstein, Music Web Express 3000

Stephen’s latest CD is a guest release on the Harp Guitar Music label, and an amazing, unprecedented work in every way. It’s one of the coolest “concept albums” one could imagine – Classic Rock tunes on harp guitar! Most are covered here for the first time ever as solo instrumental acoustic fingerstyle arrangements. This is the CD that Stephen Bennett was born to make and that Baby Boomers (and their children) everywhere will fall in love with! Stephen cut his teeth in various rock bands, and these tunes are in his blood. But they’re more than nostalgia; they are great, classic tunes. And so he’s arranged 15 memorable songs by many of his favorite rock bands and performers. And not just his – a lot of us grew up on these songs, and they play them to this day on “Classic Rock” stations for new fans the world over. It was high time to revisit them (no pun intended). Amazingly, the acoustic Dyer harp guitar proved itself the perfect instrument to capture and distill all the guitars, bass, drums, organs and vocals of the original classics. But of course, only master Bennett could pull it all off! Go ahead and download it (soon) from your favorite Internet service, but you don’t want to be without the groundbreaking (and authentically psychedelic) CD itself. It even comes with a “mini Rock poster” inside! You will find no better mood-enhancing drug (and natural!) than to immerse yourself “in the garden of Stephen.” © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Harp Guitar Music http://www.harpguitarmusic.com/listings/listing_sb_rock.htm

“Punny” title and trippy graphics aside, this is a great concept, executed brilliantly. It’s also a ton of fun. Bennett is nothing if not prolific. In his mid 50s, he has released an album or instructional CD-ROM per year, more or less, since 1992. Once the opening strains of “Light My Fire” blast out of your CD player, you can’t help but wonder why it took him (or somebody) so long to do a complete album of classic-rock tunes arranged for solo harp guitar. In doing so, Bennett not only displays his formidable playing and arranging skills, but illustrates how varied rock music from the late ’60s to mid ’70s was – from psychedelic (“Incense And Peppermints”) to pre-metal (“Born To Be Wild”), encompassing the rootsy (“Honky Tonk Women”) as well as the pseudo classical (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale”). There’s an extra helping of progressive rock, via King Crimson (“The Court Of The Crimson King”), Pink Floyd (“Time/Breathe”), and Yes (“Soon”), and Bennett explains that there are no Beatles songs because he already devoted an album to the Fab Four – Beatles Acoustic Guitar Solos, 2005. On the guitar side, all songs are played in standard tuning except Jethro Tull’s “Teacher” (DADGBD), while the Dyer’s six sub-bass harp strings’ tuning varies, usually on just the lowest string, with the exception of “Wind Cries Mary.” And on the CD’s bonus track, “You Really Got Me,” Bennett plays an acoustic baritone guitar tuned a fifth lower than standard (but he passed up a royal opportunity to re-create Dave Davies’ teen-angst solo). There’s not a clinker to be found here. So, in addition to the aforementioned, the collection’s highlights include everything else – Cream’s “White Room,” Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” the Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes,” and Mountain’s “Theme For An Imaginary Western.” © Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar Magazine


Stephen Bennett is an extraordinary musician, an acknowledged master of the harp guitar, a challenging teacher, a gifted composer, and a performer of astounding sensitivity. The Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association calls him “the Jedi Master of Fingerstyle Guitar”… Stephen has traveled the world and performed with the best. From California to Maine, Texas to Tennessee, as well as around Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, Stephen has played all sorts of venues and events. He has released 20 recordings of music, along with a couple of DVDs, books and other instructional materials – and he’s always working on something new! The testimony of those who hear Stephen is that his work is the product of both mind and heart, intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying – - and it is deeply personal, even as it is universal. Listeners have a feeling that they have stepped into the world of the musician, and for a short moment in time, there are only the two of them there. Says one reviewer: “With his ear near the body of the harp guitar, Mr. Bennett gave the impression of a father cradling a newborn baby . . . His performance was imbued with heart and grace.” The producer of a Texas music Festival writes, “Stephen’s music draws the listener in. He has the ability to make you feel as though you are a part of the music he is making. From France: “Stephen’s compositions are so beautiful, filled with great emotion and great sensitivity. He is one of those musicians who serve the music, and only the music.” “When I first heard him playing a few years ago in France, I felt like I had been pushed into a different world, where the lost emotions come back to your heart and make it beat in a different way. What Stephen can do, and few artists have this gift, is to speak directly to your heart and to move your best feelings!” Pierpaolo Adda, music journalist and festival promoter, Italy.“The image of Stephen Bennett embracing his harp guitar is the one that tends to linger. The fact that Stephen is only too happy to champion the cause of the harp guitar may inadvertently obscure his abilities on the six-string instrument. In what is becoming known as the Golden Age of Guitar Luthiery, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this is also the Golden Age of Guitar Playing. With six strings or more, as one of the most original and prolific composers and arrangers for the guitar on the current scene, Stephen Bennett is clearly a part of the latter heritage.” S. Rekas – Mel Bay Publications Stephen is also is the founder of the Harp Guitar Gathering, an event that celebrated its seventh season in October of 2009. The HGG seeks to celebrate all things harp guitar as it brings players, luthiers, scholars and fans together for a weekend of performances, workshops and camaraderie.Whether playing his great-grandfather’s harp guitar, slide on his National resonator guitar, or a standard six-string, Stephen Bennett is a musician to hear. His music has won awards and critical praise. In live performance and on record, his diverse musical influences and interests are joined in a life-long love affair with the sound of guitar strings. © 2009 Harp Guitar. Conforms to W3C Standard XHTML & CSS 2.8.6, http://truefiretv.net/sites/harpguitar2/?page_id=51


Stephen Bennett is one of the greatest performers and songwriters that we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His music moves and inspires us to no end. Guitarist Stephen Bennett was born in Oregon, grew up in New York and has lived in Virginia for the last twenty-five years. Since his 1987 win at the National Flatpicking Championship, held in Winfield, Kansas, USA, he has come to be known as a guitar master, one who consistently garners critical praise and audience enthusiasm for his recordings and live performances. He is the only person to ever win awards in both flatpicking and fingerpicking styles in the nearly 30-year history of the National Guitar Championships. His arrangement and performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite has been played on radio stations around the United States and is regarded in some quarters as the alternative version. As one of the world's only performers on the too long neglected harp guitar, Stephen has created arrangements of classic tunes and composed new music as well. Three of his harp guitar compositions have been included in compilations on the Narada label, with the latest due out in March of 2001. Three other of his pieces have been licensed by the Bose Corporation. Stephen performs regularly around the US and recently in Europe as well, including a recent performance on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. Armed with a standard six-string, an old National steel resonator guitar, his harp guitar, a broad repertoire, and thirty-five years of guitar playing experience, Stephen Bennett engages his audiences with an entertaining show of first-rate musicianship. © http://www.pick-uptheworld.com/featuredartist.html


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w if required is aoofc

ratso said...

I adore the play list here, and the idea of the playing having merit as well makes it irresistible. Thanks muchely Mr F.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,ratso. This guy is a one-off. TTU soon...P

Danneau said...

Harp guitarists are, perhaps, the last of the independents. Bennett is fabulous. Thank you.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Danneau! I find it amazing the sounds that Stephen Bennett pulls from these old instruments. He is a wonderful player. Thanks...P

zappahead said...

Argh!!!!....Ive fallen for it again....yes.....I came on this blog and.....I cant get off.....Help!!!!...nah.....thanks again for another superb selection of music....so much information you give out that I find it hard to leave.....thanks once again ....cheers.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey,zappahead. You've overdosed on Fingal Cocoa...more addictive than heroin. You gotta stop now! (lol). Thanks a million, & TTU soon...P