The Undiscovered: Ben Bowen King

Ben Bowen King


Roots Gospel Guitar

Sidewalk Saints is unique guitar CD that delves into the gospel music played on America's street corners before World War II. Using a slide/resonator guitar, Ben Bowen King ambles through familiar songs such as "Amazing Grace", "Shall We Gather At The River", "Old Time Religion", "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "In The Sweet By & By." The album has a solo guitar feel, but King is actually backed by the spirit-filled sounds of a "sidewalk symphony orchestra," which includes instruments like tambourines, spoons and rub boards. You'll also pick up distinctive vocals in the little-known "Baptist moans" style - not quite breaking the instrumental barrier, and very appropriate to the music at hand. This is a true 'feel good' release - you can't help but be uplifted by these melodies and sentiments expressed by the music. Excellent choice for fans of the old National Steel Guitar sound.


Ben has recorded three albums for Smithsonian Folkways in addition to recording an album for Vanguard, produced by noted Blues author and producer Sam Charters. He performs around the U.S., including Lincoln Center, and has been a featured "live" performer on National Public Radio and KCRW in Los Angeles. King's live performances are filled with jokes and stories about the music and the original Sidewalk Saints. In addition to his performing and recording, King has run Talking Taco Music for the past 15 years, which includes an extensive catalogue including everything from Native American flute music and Spanish Colonial choral music to cowboy guitar releases.

Sidewalk Saints is the latest in a string of releases by King exploring various aspects of America's music.

Contact Information

Talking Taco Music
United States

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