Stephen Bennett and his harp guitar.

Stephen Bennett and his harp guitar.

Stephen Bennett was born in Oregon and grew up in New York. He is a well-known harp guitar player who sings and plays original acoustic guitar songs as well as covers of popular songs. Bennett spent about thirty years in Virginia, but now makes his home in Milford, Connecticut, with his wife, Nancy.

Bennett inherited his first harp guitar from his great-grandmother’s second husband, Edgar Pierce, whom Bennett always thought of as his great-grandfather, though they had no biological relation. Besides the harp guitar, Bennett also plays a resonator guitar, six string guitars, and a baritone guitar. Stephen Bennett works with other musicians, both in terms of collaboration and as a teacher. At this writing, he has released twenty recordings, a couple of DVDs, and has written several books and instructional materials.

I discovered Stephen Bennett’s music when I worked at a restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was very fortunate to get to hear him play live many times. He has released a number of albums over the years and has performed worldwide. I had never heard of a harp guitar before I met Stephen Bennett, but having seen and heard him play, I remain enchanted by its unique sound. Watching him play is a real treat, because you can see how much joy he gets out of making music. He plays with expression and emotion and I count a couple of his albums as favorite chill out music, even though he can definitely rock when he wants to. I would recommend Stephen Bennett’s CDs to anyone who likes to relax by listening to acoustic guitar. I would also highly recommend seeing him live if the opportunity ever presents itself. Not only is the harp guitar a unique instrument, but in Stephen Bennett’s hands, it is truly mesmerizing.

Stephen Bennett explains how a harp guitar is tuned and performs a song called “Oregon”.