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Judge for Ben Coulter

Little Rock, AR
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Portrait of Ben Coulter
If Country Music greats Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams met Blues greats Son House and Muddy Waters, what you would end up with would be Singer/Songwriter and Delta Bluesman, Ben Coulter. Combining the styles of all these legendary artists, the Montrose, AR native has come up with a sound all his own, a style called "Delta Style" Country Music. Nightflying magazine wrote that Coulter "could hold his own with any popular country artist you might hear on the radio these days" and that he is " firm proof homegrown talent is strong" in the state of Arkansas. Coulter combines smooth vocals, steady harmonica, and with a rockin' acoustic guitar produces a raw, yet very polished sound.

Growing up in the Arkansas Delta of Southeast Arkansas, Coulter was influenced at an early age by Gospel music, and country greats such as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. As he became older he was drawn more and more to the Bluesmen who had roamed the Delta years before, Bluesmen like Son House, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters.

Coulter's college years saw him playing at least once a week at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, leading worship for the University's Christian ministry organizations, the Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship, and the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, along with playing at churches in the area. Leaving college in the spring of 2004, Coulter headed out to Branson, Mo, where he played on and off for 3 years. Coulter would play 3 summers in Branson, playing at night around 6 times a week, and during the day around 4 days a week in different restaurants, beer gardens, and places around town. These places include Shorty Smalls Bar and Grill, the Pasta House, The State Park Marina, and he was also hired by Midwest Concerts to be a street entertainer at the Branson Landing. During those 3 years, he would head to Fayetteville,AR, during the winter and was a regular performer on Dickson Street. He performed at Big Daddy's Bar and Grill, and Benson's Bar and Que. He also performed weekly at Sodie's Underground on the square, and a few times at The Perk on Wedington. In January of '07, Coulter headed to Nashville, TN, and was a regular host and performer at The Crescent Cafe and Oyster Bar. There he would share the stage many nights with Grammy Award winner, Anders Osborne, who raved about Coulter's voice, calling it "big like a castle". Coulter also performed at many writer's nights around town, at places such as Loser's Bar, and The Hall of Fame Lounge. He recently has moved back to the Arkansas Delta, to be back home, and to walk in the footsteps of the Delta Bluesmen who roamed the Delta years before.

Since his move from Nashville, Coulter has seen his opportunities for Live Shows take off. Coulter has performed at the two Biggest Festivals in Arkansas, Riverfest and Toadsuck Daze, and has performed at other festivals such as the Delta Heritage Music Festival, Pink Tomatoe Festival, Montrose Heritage Festival, Armadillo Festival, Rison's Pioneer Days, Sparks in The Park, and others. Ben has also picked up gigs in the bar scene, playing at places such as Grumpy's Too, Flyin Saucer, Cajun's Wharf, and Crazee's in Little Rock. He has also performed in Fayetteville at On The Rocks and Foghorns #1 and #2. Since his move his gigs have carried him from Chicago,IL and a gig at Loyola University down to Texarkana. Ben is also a regular perfomer at The Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, MO. Big Cedar Lodge is known as THE resort in the Midwest, attracting people from all over the country.

Over the last 3 1/2 years, Coulter has averaged around 125 shows a year, playing bars, restaurants, and festivals throughout the South and Midwest. His live shows are always packed, fun, and entertaining, giving the fans their money's worth. Wherever he goes and plays the fans always come back to see him when he comes back to town. He has also recorded and 4 full length cd's, and 2 singles. And of those cd's, Coulter wrote every song but 2. His cd, "Cuzz Vol. II 'Got the devil on my Heels' ", drew rave reviews from Lindy Word, a news writer for the Rogers Hometown News in Rogers,AR, where she compared Coulter to Country great Johnny Cash. Ben recently released his first studio album with backup studio musicians entitled "Cuzz Vol. III-Feel Like Goin' Home". The Cd is taking Coulter's career to a higher level and is drawing rave reviews. The Cd is also the first cd Coulter has had available on ITUNES. With a style completely his own, and a steadily growing fan base, the sky is the limit for this Arkansas Delta Bluesman.