My grandfather introduced me to the harmonica at about age 8. He was a guitar, mandolin and harmonica player intent on passing on some of his musical talent to his grandson. Granddad played gigs with a band out of St. Petersburg, Florida called "The Rhythm Ramblers." They actually made the big time on the TV's "The Ted Mack Show." It was a cool time seeing grandpa on the old TV with The Ramblers cranking out their central Florida bluegrass.
After being given several harmonicas through childhood the music took a strong hold on me. I picked up an old Kalamazoo 6 string guitar at age 15, started learning Bob Dylan tunes and blues and playing every chance I could get. At 19 I hooked into gigs playing harmonica with several blues projects like "Blue Midnight" and "The John North Blues Band." I worked the circuit in south Florida playing gigs at places like "The Captain's Cabin", "The Oyster Shanty" and "The Open Hearth." It was an education in Chicago and delta blues styles and in the lessons of musical poverty!
Decades have passed since the days of The John North Blues Band. I've been involved in musical projects too numerous to list here. In 1978 I helped found and build a recording studio at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Phoenix, Arizona where I did my first multitrack studio work on an old Tascam 80-8. I moved to Silicon Valley in north central California  In the summer of 1995 I finally escaped the clutches of the Silicon Valley, and moved to Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay.
I released my first CD on independent label, Starlight Records. The project was recorded at Astral Sounds in San Jose produced by Bill Hare. "A Life Of Its Own" is a 10-song chronicle of life.  My second CD " Second Life " released 05-May-98.  The project is a blues and jazz release based on requests from fans at shows. It features 11 well-known covers and one original jazz tune recorded at Bill Hare Productions. 
We have had great success with our live releases including "Live At 1000 Trails" and "Oasis."
| Home | Music | Video | Bio | Facebook | Photos |

Copyright 2018 "Ben James" Yokel All rights reserved. 
Last revised: February 24, 2018