Ben Bedford

2018 Kerrville New Folk Winner

"Certainly one of the best young singer-songwriters working today."
-Rob Adams, The Herald-Scotland

High Resolution Press Images. Please credit photos to: Kari Bedford.

*Please note that these four images, plus the Concert Poster, are high resolution and are the only images that should be used for posters, other websites, etc. These images are suitable for such purposes but other images on the site are not.

"There is a deeper, more resonant sound to his guitar playing which, like the music per se, evokes thoughts of Bruce Cockburn."
-Mike Davies, Folk Radio-UK

"His spyglass is sharp and undistorted and his playing exemplary..."
-Jeremy Searle, Maverick Magazine

“With Bedford, neither narrative nor rhyme is ever forced. His evocative lyrics present the living and the dead, the past and the present alongside all the twists and turns that design life…Despite his relative youth, his music is remarkably old soul-like.”
–Kevin McCarthy, Folk Music Ramblings

"...a kind of magical realism to the people and places..."
-Roy Kasten, The Riverfront Times-St. Louis

“If you’re in search of fresh and original talent, listen no further than Ben Bedford.”
–Rich Warren, Sing Out!

“Nu traditional folkie that writes his songs from the literature tradition loaded with dark edge that certainly speaks to the times. With a killer voice that fits the format like a glove, everything here keeps you riveted if you don’t have ants in your pants and can appreciate music you sit and listen to. Strong enough that it won’t let you multitask as it plays in the background, you can bet Townes Van Zandt is smiling his blessing on this third outing for Bedford.”
–Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Here’s yet another example of an artist who’s already several albums down the line before I get to hear his music, and instantly prompting a ‘how and why have I missed out on such a talent?’ reaction.”
–David Kidman, FATEA UK

“The Illinois songwriter is a masterful storyteller who can turn what seem like obscure historical references for engaging tales rife with vivid, stark imagery.”
–Erik Ernst, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Back to Bedford’s guitar playing; for someone who isn’t Richard Thompson or indeed Bert Jansch on the beautiful instrumentals ‘Thunderstorm’ and ‘Quiet on the Green Hill’ he manages to captivate and intrigue without ever singing a word.”
-The Rocking Magpie

“Beautiful and unusual songs that take the listener to the heart of the matter.”
–Diana Jones, singer-songwriter

” I see Ben as one of the best songwriter-storytellers in the business right now. ”
–Betsi Meissner, KXCI-Tucson, Arizona

“Ben Bedford has proven himself to be a truly inspired and talented storyteller.”
–Arthur Wood, Maverick Magazine

"To me there's something special about a songwriter who in a few words paints pictures of unbelievable depth and clarity. Ben Bedford to me is something special!"
-No Depression

" of America’s truest notions of an artist..."
-Joe Knipe, Artree-UK

“A brilliant songwriter and performer.”
–Ed Becker, KDHX-St. Louis

"...with echoes too of Paul Simon's soulful songcraft and Loudon Wainwright's narrative force."
Sue Wilson, The Scotsman

“Bedford displays a technical veracity in combining emotional morsels with actual facts to blend the truth of history with the truth of mystery. This makes for interestingly complicated songs that defy easy categorization or quick listens.”
–Tom Irwin, The Illinois Times

“Ben Bedford does not have a long career as a professional musician behind him, but on his third album he has demonstrated a maturity and mastery of his art…that many would envy.”
-Sam Pierre, Le Cri Du Coyote, France

“Though he’s distinctive enough that I don’t really want to put names in at this point, he will remind older folk fans of several old heroes, both in the quality and the tone of his work.”
–John Davy, Flyinshoes Review UK

“….a brilliant polyvalent metaphor for Mississippi, 1955. Bedford goes deeper into Till’s mythos as scapegoat than Hughes, Kramer or Dylan ever did. Of all the songs about Emmett Till, Bedford’s ‘Land’ ranks as one of the most daring, poetic, and artfully crafted.”
–Phillip C. Kolin, Southern Cultures

“Two years ago I called Ben Bedford’s second CD, Land of the Shadows a ‘jewel’. The young guy from Illinois…knows how to write a catchy song. Meanwhile, his third album appeared and I now count myself among his biggest fans.”
–Fred Schmale, Real Roots Cafe, Netherlands

“Anyone wondering what in the world happened to folk music would do well to listen to Ben Bedford. He looks like a young Townes Van Zandt, and his sound is rooted in things good and real. I believe he means every word he sings.”
–Peter Cooper, singer/songwriter, journalist

“…solid solid solid in every aspect…don’t for a second think folk is dead or dying; CDs like Land of the Shadows show it was only catching its breath, waiting for guys like Ben Bedford to show up.”
Mark S. Tucker, Folk and Acoustic Music Exhange

Selected list of past venues:

The Fayetteville Roots Festival-Fayetteville, Arkansas
The Champaign Urbana Folk and Roots Festival-Urbana, Illinois
The Sheldon-St. Louis, Missouri
The Bluebird Cafe-Nashville, Tennessee
The Fox Valley Folk Festival-Geneva, Illinois
Noreast’r Music and Art Festival-Mio, Michigan
Springfield LGBTQ Pride Festival-Springfield, Illinois
The Twickenham Folk Club-London, England
The Green Note-London, England
The Montrose Folk Club-Montrose, Scotland
The Star Folk Club-Glasgow, Scotland
The Glenfarg Folk Club-Glenfarg, Scotland
The Voodoo Rooms-Edinburgh, Scotland
St. Paul's Church-Rothesay, Scotland
The Kitchen Garden Cafe-Birmingham, England
Kingsmead House Concerts-High Wycombe, England
Toogenblik-Brussels, Belgium
Engels Society Jazz Club-The Hague, The Netherlands
Roots on the Road-Spijkerboor, The Netherlands
Huis Concerts House Concert Series-Vlierden, The Netherlands
Crossroads Sessions-Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands
Cine Jean Vigo-Paris, France
Friendship House Concert Series-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cot and Crackers Concert Series-Schuyler Lake, New York
Seventy Main-Greenwich, New York
6 on the Square-Oxford, New York
Echo Lake Coffeehouse-Leverett, Massachusetts
Honky Tonk House Concert Series-Streetsboro, Ohio
The Prairieland Chautauqua-Jacksonville, Illinois
Rock Springs Concerts in the Park-Rock Springs, Wyoming
The Iron Horse Concert Hall-El Dorado, Kansas
Music Under The Pines House Concerts-Okemos, Michigan
Raccoon River House Concerts-Coon Rapids, Iowa
Nebraska Outback House Concerts-Sutherland, Nebraska
5 Trails Winery-Paxton, Nebraska
The Blue Door-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Kulturama Art and Music School-Stockholm, Sweden
Living Room Concert Series-Visby, Sweden
Nya Serveringen-Englesberg, Sweden
Ogir-Koping, Sweden
Skebobruk Brew Pub-Skebobruk, Sweden
Effes-Visby, Sweden
Halmhaller Lodge-Halmhaller, Sweden
The Folklore Centrum-Stockholm, Sweden
Big Ben Pub-Stockholm, Sweden
Hi Jazz-Uppsala, Sweden
Listening Room-Lin Koping, Sweden
Lades Listening Room-Copenhagen, Denmark
The Saint's Rest-Grinnell, Iowa
General Store Concert Series-Lupus, Missouri
WFMT’s Folkstage-Chicago, Illinois
The Two Way Street Coffee House-Downers Grove, Illinois
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum-Springfield, Illinois
Old Lynn Concert Series-Lynn, Pennsylvania
Crossings at Carnegie-Zumbrota, Minnesota
Red Mug Coffee House-Superior, Wisconsin
RadioLive on WUWF-Pensacola, Florida
Our Kind of Folk House Concert Series-Seminole, Florida
European Street Cafe-Jacksonville, Florida
Six String Concert Series-Columbus, Ohio
Music From Stanley-Stanley, Idaho
McLundy’s Green Room-Brightwood, Oregon
Artichoke Music-Portland, Oregon
Swallow Hill Music-Denver, Colorado
The Back Room Concert Series-Great Bend, Kansas
Hillbilly Haiku House Concerts-Lebanon, Tennessee
Stage 1210-Old Town Lansing, Michigan
Wealthy Theater Front Studio-Grand Rapids, Michigan
Foundry Hall-South Haven, Michigan
Southeast Folk Alliance Regional Conference
Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference
Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference
First Night-Springfield, Illinois
Off Broadway-St. Louis, Missouri
Prairie Grapevine Folklore Society-Springfield, Illinois
The Focal Point-Maplewood, Missouri
Blackburn College Midwinter Folk Festival-Carlinville, Illinois
Cafe Carpe-Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin
The Stained Glass Coffee House-Deerfield, Illinois
Sleepy Creek Vineyards-Fairmount, Illinois
Old State Capitol Art Fair-Springfield, Illinois
The Cherry Street Artisan-Columbia, Missouri
Uncommon Ground-Chicago, Illinois
The Acoustic Coffeehouse-Johnson City, Tennessee
WDVX Blue Plate Special-Knoxville, Tennessee
Champaign Public Library-Champaign, Illinois
Eddie’s Attic- Decatur, Georgia
Mountain Spirit Coffeehouse-Asheville, North Carolina
The Howmet Playhouse-Whitehall, Michigan
The Sentient Bean-Savanah, Georgia
The Songbird Sanctuary-Houston, Texas
Aspen Meadows House Concerts-Nederland, Colorado
The Clayville Folk Festival-Pleasant Plains, Illinois
Downtown Festival of the Arts-Champaign, Illinois
The Fremont Public Library-Mundelein, Illinois
Hayner Public Library-Alton, Illinois
Jacksonville Public Library-Jacksonville, Illinois
Kenowa Hills High School- Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Little Sable Point Lighthouse-Golden Township, Michigan
S.P.A.C.E.-Evanston, Illinois
Lincoln Memorial Gardens Indian Summer Festival-Springfield, Illinois
Eater’s Guild Midsummer Music Festival-Bangor, Michigan
The European Street Cafe-Jacksonville, Florida
The Grapevine-Clive, Iowa
The Mockingbird-Tallahassee, Florida
The Sixth Avenue Gallery-Aberdeen, South Dakota
White Lake Arts Council Summer Concert Series-White Lake, Michigan
WUIS Bedrock 66 Series-Springfield, Illinois
The Wisconsin Singer Songwriter Series- Mequon, Wisconsin
Middleburgh Public Library-Middleburgh, New York
Acoustic Celebration-Ridgefield, Connecticut
Americana Music Series-Columbus, Indiana
The Player's Pub-Indianapolis, Indiana
Music on the Hill Music Festival-Evansville, Indiana
Doss Barn-Evansville, Indiana
Indy Folk Series-Indianapolis, Indiana
Anderson Fair-Houston, Texas
Houston Folk Music Society-Houston, Texas
The Princeton Coffeehouse-Princeton, Illinois
The Cary Theatre-Cary, North Carolina
The Sangamon Auditorium-Springfield, Illinois


All photos by Kari Bedford Photography. All content copyright Ben and Kari Bedford 2017.