Ben Hemming is a London based singer-songwriter, a contemporary bluesman. Originally from Worcester, he now plays regularly in London with his band, touring in Europe and the US in the summer months.
Here’s a bit about his musical beginnings in his own words.
“I got into music really when I was in my teens. I’m from a pretty rural area, it’s mainly a farming community, and when I was growing up there was nothing much to do apart from getting into trouble. Playing the guitar was a way of escaping from all that. I remember sitting in a assembly at school one day and the teacher announcing that there would be guitar lessons after school. I turned to my friend as asked if I should give it a go. He just laughed at me, that’s what peoples’ attitude is like where I’m from, afraid to do anything slightly against the grain. But I went ahead and did it anyway. I only showed up to one or two sessions until I decided that I wanted to play in my own way, not the rigid way I was being taught. But it was a good life lesson for me. Never list to other people when it comes to what you can and can’t do. Most people there live their lives in a box and are afraid of anything outside of it. When it comes to advice from people about my music, I tend to take everything with a pinch of salt unless it is from someone who I really respect.”
Since then he’s gone on to play numerous shows - taking coals to Newcastle so to speak - by playing his blues in various cities including New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago. He has also recorded the well-received album Broken Man and been featured in Blues Magazine.
Want a sense of the man and his sound, go listen to Rambling Man recorded at Grand Cru, a barge converted into a studio by Pete Townsend in the ‘70s with a band including Raf Ruco, bassist with The Three Deuces. See it’s very much a family affair here at the WHC.