Bluesman Sean Benjamin’s career began at a young age playing
guitar with “The Outcasts” in Pleasentville, NY in 1966-67. In 1969
he moved to Cambridge, MA first joining “Orange Wedge” and
then, still in his teens – playing lead for “Jake & The Family
Jewels” backing the legendary Bo Diddley for a series of concerts.
By 1972, Benjamin was taking lessons from Paul Lenert
of T-Bone Walker’s Band) and friend, “Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin
(Muddy Waters Band). He performed with Lenert at Windom College in
Vermont in front of a crowd of 8000.
In 1973, Benjamin joined Bill Briggs (Barry & The
“Funky Potatoes”. The Remains had earlier released several
albums on national labels and opened for The Beatles on their last
USA tour. While in New York, Benjamin met and befriended the
late John Lennon (The Beatles).
Later in 1973, Benjamin’s father found work in Lincoln, NE.
Sean immediately sought out the major blues players in Lincoln
(Jim Cidlik and Dave Trupp) and joined their band. Sean returned to
the East Coast after school in 1974 and joined up with former
“Blues Project” founder, Tommy Flanders. Flanders later performed
material with Eric Anderson on Verve Records. They recorded
at Phil Ramone’s A&R Studio’s & played at Richie Haven’s Café
Wha. They negotiated record deals with ABC Dunhill & Don
Kirschner Records, which never materialized.
Sean then joined up with Phil Greene (Warner Bros Records)
Kenny Lyons (Columbia Records). Sean & Green composed “Love
Me The Way I Am” & the proceeds went to form Normandy Studios in
Warren, Rhode Island.
In 1975 Sean met and studied guitar from the great Aaron
Walker. Walker had moved to piano & vocals by then, and Sean
was hired to play lead in his band. However, after playing gigs with
Walker at “Jacks”, Walker passed away before Sean could spend
more time in his band.
In 1976, Sean joined The Back Slap Blues Band in Petersborough,
NH (later to be “Roomful of Blues” – still a major recording
and touring band.)
In 1977 – he was called back to Nebraska by Larry Boehmer,
owner of the Zoo Bar (one of the great Blues Bars in the USA).
Since 1977 – Sean has played lead and recorded with “Little
Jimmy Valentine & The Heartmurmers”, “Cocktail Shorty & The Tablerockers” and
“Not All There” – all great Zoo Bar House
Bands. Recordings of all of these groups have been released on
Vinyl, Tape or CD. The “Heartmurmers” LIVE AT THE ZOO BAR
vinyl LP, featuring Benjamin on lead guitar, is one of the best live blues
albums ever recorded. It was recently reissued on CD. He also
recorded an excellent vinyl-45 with picture sleeve,
along with Jim Cidlik
Benjamin has lived and performed in Lincoln, NE since
has backed literally every “name blues artist” in the country to
acclaim. His live performances with “blues legends” read like a
history book of blues. He just completed a series of recordings with Nebraska’s first
“rocker”, Bobby Lowell. He recently formed “The
Cruisers” with great Nebraska rockers Jeff Travis (“The Coachmen”),
and Dave Robel (“Charlie Burton”), playing “in your face” rock &
roll and blues ala “The Fabulous Thunderbirds”.
Sean Benjamin although still in his 40’s has the credentials of
“Bluesmen” much older. He is one of the “nice guys” of
blues-rock in Nebraska, and is respected as a live performer,
recording artist, songwriter and vocalist throughout the country.
Always mindful of his Nebraska roots over the last
Benjamin continually lauds the performances of others and the
importance “Midwest Blues” has played in the national scene…never
placing himself into the formula. It is fitting and timely to induct Sean Benjamin into
The Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in 2000.