About an hour from Melbourne an artist pens songs on his farm in the Valley Of San Salvador. In my years of interviewing Artists, there has not been a more interesting character than Ben. Although mysterious and reclusive, he has worked with some of the world’s best artist.One of the first artists to attain endorsement from Australian Guitar Makers, Cole Clark Guitars, Bens Musical career spans 3 decades and includes the release of several studio albums, his latest being a Collaboration with Reggae/ska legend Nicky Bombs (John Butler Trio / Melbourne Ska Orchestra).

Ben is currently working on two studio albums with acclaimed engineer Robin Mai, featuring artist contributions from some of Australia’s best musicians as well as some international artists. He has taken time off the road in recent years to set up his dream outdoor venue, (Beyond Circle Garden) which will be putting in it’s first concerts this year. With Camping grounds, a skatepark and an Ampitheatre, Bens preparing a space for very soulful and unique events in a private outdoor setting surrounded by nature, away from the hustle and bustle.

“I’m very honoured to be asked back to the Melbourne Guitar Show this year. I’ll be hosting the Acoustic stage where I will also play the opening sets”.

Bk will be sharing his pedal setup and how it’s helped him sculpt his sound over the years.


My Dream Guitar would be made from wood cut from trees that my great grandfather planted, my grandfather harvested and my Father built. However my dad doesn’t even make guitars soooo….

Additionally Pop never planted those trees, so even if Dad was a Luthier, it will forever remain a dream guitar.

Ben’s guitar collection / Journey

Well, it all started with a Kmart catgut guitar my parents bought for my sister, who never played, so I pinched it and started playing at around 13. I had begun on Piano at 7 but quickly became interested in, and drawn to playing Guitar.

My second guitar was a beautiful K-Yari, handmade Japanese Guitar that I bought with a bag of ‘erb….. So maybe it cost roughly $200,  mahogany top with Rosewood back and sides, probably the best deal I’ve ever made. I’ve written countless songs on that axe and it still remains a fireside favourite.

Next was to be a Seagull, a Canadian maple guitar which didn’t last long as it was in an accident and the headstock was destroyed.

I worked so hard to save money for instruments, when an accident happened, it was a big deal for me… And put me back to square one…..

Jump ahead a few years and I was playing a gig where the CEO of ColeClark guitars was attending. This was a memorable moment for me as I was approached and offered an endorsement from ColeClark Guitars that night, and the following day I had one of the very first ColeClark Angels in my hands. It was the 49th model ever made. Featuring a solid Bunja Top with Wallnut back and sides, this is by far my favourite ColeClark wood combination.

Since those times my collection has grown.

Each guitar has a personal story behind it…

One such Guitar is my Baratone Uke.

I walked into Upwey Music where I was handed this guitar almost as soon as I walked in. As soon as I played this instrument I felt a connection and the notes just poured out from under my fingers….. I bought the guitar then and there only to find out afterwards that it was owned by my ‘late best friends’ Mother.

So, it was an uncanny connection to say the least.

The best guitars have a story behind them, a reason why you connect with the guitar more than others…. Something that draws you in and it almost feels like those instruments have a personality that you would get along with if they were human… A guitar is a life time of music, so it’s important to feel some kind of personal connection with your instruments.

One of the many great things about MGS is meeting the makers and playing so many different feeling instruments in one place. It’s a great place to meet other artists as well as network with industry artists and contributors.

I very much enjoy hunting down unique guitars at MGS.

Last MGS festival I enjoyed playing some harp guitars that were presented by Luthiers.

I’m looking forward to walking the halls of guitars and picking the best of luck h best to have a whirl on….. Let’s see if I can not buy a guitar on the weekend of the show. It’s gonna be difficult.

What won’t be difficult is attending and participating in one of the best music industry gatherings in Melbourne.


Bk plays ColeClark Acoustic Guitars.

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