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Ben lives in Santa Cruz, California.  He grew up in the swampy wilds of south Florida. Ben’s granddad started him on harmonica around age eight. Granddad was a guitar, mandolin and harmonica player intent on passing on some of his talent to his grand-kids and played gigs with a band out of St. Petersburg, Florida called "The Rhythm Ramblers" who played on the "Ted Mack TV Show".


Ben picked up an old Gibson J-50 acoustic guitar and harmonica rack at age 16 and started learning rock, folk and blues songs and jamming at every chance. At 19 Ben joined various projects like “Blue Midnight” and “The John North Blues Band”. He worked the circuit in south Florida playing gigs places like The Captain's Cabin, The Oyster Shanty and The Open Hearth.  Decades have passed since the days of The John North Blues Band, there have been musical projects too numerous to list all of them here. 

Ben moved to north central California in 1982 and in 1995 moved to Santa Cruz, California on the Monterey Bay. He released his first CD in late 1995 on the Starlight Records label. The project was recorded and produced by Grammy award winner Bill Hare at Astral Sounds in San Jose entitled "A Life Of Its Own". The next CD "Second Life " was released May 1998 also produced and recorded by Bill Hare.


Subsequently Ben produced two live CDs "Live At 1000 Trails" and "Oasis."  Recently released a new live CD "Buskin' Loose".  More to come....

Copyright © "Ben James" Yokel 2022 All Rights Reserved
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