One Man Band Perfection Ben Prestage’ blues music
Ben Prestage is a one man band musician from Indiantown Florida who can easily be compared to Memphis great Joe Hill Louis. Growing up in rural Florida, on a 14-mile-long dirt road, near the headwaters of the Everglades Ben was born to play the blues.
Ben Prestage Deep down in Florida
If Prestage wanted to go to a bar or possible every living thing it was 7 miles either direction to the nearest paved road, and when you got to pavement, you still weren’t near a town. It was panther, gator, and cottonmouth country.
If you want to do something out there in deep down Florida you get quickly to playing music. There was only one kind of music in the house. Whether it was being played on an instrument, or on a recording, it was Blues.
Playing Banjo music at a young age
Ben Prestage came from a musical family. Not only his mother and father made their mark, his grantparent too. He recalls: “One day though, in my early teens, I went to help a neighbor build a chicken-coop on his property. When we went inside to eat lunch, I asked him about a banjo I saw in the corner. He picked it up and I heard Bluegrass music for the first time”. From Bluegrass to Blues is a big step but the rural Florida swamp has some blues feeling over it. He walked out of Florida and went to Memphis to play that blues songs.
Ben Prestage Memphis Days: The one man Band
While living in Memphis, Prestage became a busker (street performer) on Beale Street. This is where he perfected his drum-kit. “I played out there a few times with nothing but a guitar and my voice. Once people heard me they liked it, but it was hard to get them on my side of the street with all the other music going on down there. There were some other guys out there who played drums with their feet, and they always got people’s attention.
Excellent blues harp and Guitar
If you listen to his songs, you wouldn’t expect it came from a one man band. The perfect harmonica, the rhythmic excellent guitar it is the combination of this instrument a great musician can do put together. For Example listen to songs like “One Crow Murder” and “God is Gonna Cut You Down”.
Prestage learned a lot in Memphis, especially to play alone, he perfected his style. “Now I am to the point where, if you close your eyes, you would think there was a professional drummer with a full-size drumkit behind me. I learned alot from the guys I shared the street with, including John Lowe, Robert Belfour, and Richard Johnston.”
One Crow Murder