Episode 82: Ben Smith

Our guest today is Ben Smith.
Ben is best known for his work performing live and in studio with the Hall of Fame rock band HEART from 1994 to 2017 and is one of the most respected and talented rock musicians in the world.

Ben was captivated by a great beat at the early age of five, when he went to see his dad’s friend “Uncle Frank” perform for the first time with their community Scottish Pipe and Drum band in San Francisco. At that moment, he knew he wanted to be a drummer. Fast-forward to today, Ben is one of the most respected and talented musicians worldwide.

Drawn in by the rhythm and the music, Ben was inspired during his years at Garfield High School in Seattle. Playing in the school’s stage band, he was introduced pop, funk, and soul which was trending at that time. This didn’t deter Ben’s teacher Clarence Acox from introducing the band to jazz artists like Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, which had a profound impact on Ben’s music career. At 15, he began playing with artists at local cocktail lounges and nightclubs. Inevitably, his work at Seattle hot spots introduced him to renowned musicians who became his mentors, band-mates and friends.

As a young performer, Ben moved to New York where his friend Paul Anderson suggested that he play with vocalist/songwriter Gene McDaniels, who took him under his wing. Gene introduced him to Ted Brancato, Carrie Coltrane, Libby Torrance, and other significant artists in the scene.

Driven by a fierce desire to grow as an artist, Ben worked with his mentors to expand his musical horizons, leading to the rediscovery of a variety of genres which continue to inspire and influence his music today.

In addition to HEART, led by Ann and Nancy Wilson, Ben has worked live and in studio with countless other gifted artists including Taj Mahal, Cyndi Lauper, Lovemongers, Pete Droge, Don Gilmore, Tracy Nelson, BoyMeetsGirl, Deniece Williams, Peter Frampton, P.F. Sloan, Cornelius Bumpus, Danny O’Keefe, Sugar Pie de Santos, and with Jazz, Blues, and New Age legends such as Nancy Wilson, Ernestine Anderson, Glenn Alexander, Phoebe Snow, The Songcatchers, Kenny G, and banjo prodigy Danny Barnes.

Ben over the years has been also involved in television and film music being part of multiple projects and soundtracks .

With his love of music working it’s magic, Ben is ready to share his passion on tour and through his work with artists in the Ben Smith Music Company recording studio.