Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Born the grandson of a Mississippi sharecropper, Ben Prestage
has been soaked in Blues tradition and Mississippi culture since birth.
Growing up in the swamps of south central Florida, Prestage began to mix
Mississippi Country Blues with his own brand of Florida Swamp Blues.
This muddy- water- meets- black- water stew has led him to perform from
California to the Carolinas to the Florida Keys, in large festivals,
every kind of bar, and sometimes on downtown sidewalks. Ben Prestage
spent some time as a street performer on historic Beale Street, while
living in Memphis, TN. He used to share a spot in front of the New Daisy
Theatre with modern blues legends Robert Belfour (Fat Possum Records)
and Richard Johnston (2001 International Blues Competition winner).
Being a street musician in the “Blues capital of the South” threw
Prestage’s music in a new direction. To his show, he added a cigarbox
guitar (made by Memphian an one-man-band John Lowe) which has stereo
guitar and bass strings that can be played independently, at the same
time. Then Ben added a series of four foot pedals that can be
manipulated by the heels and toes of both feet to play a drumkit. The
final result is Ben playing guitar, bass, and drums while singing his
own brand of Blues which leaves bottles empty and dance floors full
wherever his music takes him.