Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons

American Roots & Blues Songsters

Seattle songsters Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons give life to voices that have long been silenced in American culture. Their award-winning performances are highlighted by story-telling that, rather than bringing the past to life, vividly shows how the past still lives in the present. 

Through their songs, audiences witness current issues crop up again and again in folk songs, dance tunes, acoustic blues, and prison ballads. Ben & Joe bounce from fiddle & banjo breakdowns to a cappella field hollers, early jazz to gospel songs featuring Piedmont guitar style and rattlin’ bones.

With the same versatility that won them the International Blues Challenge in 2016, and allowed them to record with National Heritage Fellow Phil Wiggins, the duo celebrates the ways Americans have triumphed over oppression through the vitality of their art. Audiences walk away from Ben & Joe’s concerts and workshops inspired to learn more of their own history and engage more deeply with their communities. 

 

 

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the scuttlebutt

Their deep explorations into roots music inhabits every performance and identifies what they do as the real deal.
— Patrice O'Neil, Wintergrass
I was totally blown away with Ben and Joe - I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to shout from the mountaintops!
— Lisa Husted, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
The sparkling, stripped-down, all-acoustic album (A Black & Tan Ball) features the multi-instrumental talents of Hunter and Seamons...
— Rick J Bowen, No Depression
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons aren’t so much a throw-back to the music of the pre-war era songster tradition as they are alchemist-shamans, seemingly sent from those times to the 21st century to wake us up to the music that is embedded deep within us. It is our national heritage. They have been the same wide-eyed children caught by the magic of the songs they learned from their elders. They have grown to be today’s songsters.
— Terry Roland, No Depression
Convivial, relaxed roots music like this seems hyper-relevant… especially when it is played by a multi-racial trio at a venue that celebrates historical black-and-tan clubs, which ‘offered a haven for people of all races in an era when segregation dictated social boundaries.’ A Black & Tan Ball is righteous stuff.
— Songlines Magazine
These are musicians who would rather you clap your hands, or see you dance, than play in such a way that holds up the invisible wall between performer and audience. Hunter and Seamons have cast a huge net around traditional songs from a variety of genres . . . What I thought would be a folk album sounds more like a blues album played with folk instruments.
— American Standard Time
Hunter and Seamons expertly perform with a joyous missionary zeal.
— Steve Hunt, fRoots
Hunter and Seamons present the kinds of songs that invite participation, and they give lots of indications of the various forms participation might take. A hand slapping a knee on “Some of these Days,” a gloriously goofy kazoo on “Jungle Nights in Harlem” a pair of bones on “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues,” the solo callouts on “Jazz Fiddler” – whether you actually do grab something and play along, the point is made that this is not music for the stage, it’s music for the living room, specifically your living room, not just theirs. The very sympathetic production across the album underscores that idea. For those of us who aren’t able to be in the room with them, this disc is so inviting, so intimate, that you’ll feel like you were.
— Glen Herbert, Sing Out!

upcoming appearances

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons on instagram