Ben Phan is a professional guitarist and songwriter based in Asheville, NC. His original music is a beautifully crafted blend of instrumental virtuosity, poignant lyrics, and haunting melodies. His band, Ben Phan and the Soul Symphony, bring a high energy blend of styles and influences, merging cello, fiddle, upright bass, and drums along with Phan on guitar and vocals. In 2014, Ben walked from Mexico to Canada with a guitar on his back. Upon his return, he has dedicated himself entirely to music.
In 2014, Phan decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and his life changed forever. Along with everything else he needed, he carried a mini-guitar on his back and became known by the name “Shredder” because of how he “shredded the guitar” when he played. Five months of travel on foot, 2,668 miles from the Mexican border all the way into Canada, playing for himself and the people he met, transformed his relationship with music. He began writing songs, drawn from his experiences on the trail as well as his past struggles with depression, addiction, loss and love. The music offered hope and solace, to him and to his audiences.
The time on the Pacific Crest Trail renewed Phan’s passion for music. With a prolific body of original work, he returned to Asheville to record his first solo EP, “Hold On, Let Go.” He assembled a band, made up of some of the best musicians in Asheville: besides liking his music, they appreciate the dedication and professionalism Phan brings to his work. The band released it's debut album, "Dreams in Modern Folk", to a sold out crowd at the Altamont Theatre, one of Asheville's finest listening rooms. The band continued to perform successful shows over the following year, refining their high energy sound which combines fiery improvisation with rich composition. This led to a successful kickstarter campaign to fund their next album, "Fear is the Teacher", which the band recorded with two time Grammy winning producer Matt Williams. Phan continues to perform with the band, as a solo artist, and in
collaborations with other musicians; he has also built a successful guitar teaching practice, which he finds a great source of inspiration.
Phan is a prolific poet, songwriter, and guitarist, with the soul of an improviser. He crafts his songs to give room for improvisation, presence, and self-expression in the moment. He believes that the best live music is when everyone playing is co-creating – which means that every one of his concerts offers audiences a different sound and a unique experience.
Genre: Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Bluegrass, Gypsy Jazz, Jam