Ben Gourley was born in Champaign, IL on October 21, 1982. He is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and musician who plays the the Mandolin. Ben joined the Rumpke Mountain Boys in 2001 and has since composed over 25 songs.
Ben traces his first musical memories to music in the car as a child, looking forward to long drives where he could “really soak it in”. He played snare drum in his grade school band for a few years before moving on to the guitar, eventually landing on the mandolin.
Opening up his musical universe were influences including the Beatles, Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and Old and In the Way; the latter serving as Ben's introduction to bluegrass. Primarily a self taught musician, he was heavily influenced by his Middle School science teacher Gary Knight. In addition to teaching science, Gary was a part time musician who played guitar.
While in high school Ben played with Electric Sunrise where he developed the skill, “to pull off long jams to counter our lack of material!” After high school Ben sowed his musical oats playing solo acoustic guitar gigs. Then, one day while reading the paper, Ben spotted an ad in the local paper posted by a bluegrass band seeking a fiddle or mandolin player who could sing.
While performing at his audition, he and Jason Wolf sparked an immediate chemistry. As Ben tells it, “Wolf and I made the room bend for a second” and has been with the Rumpke Mountain Boys ever since. After joining Rumpke, Ben began creating original compositions, favoring the creative influences of Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leon Russell, John Hartford, Jimmy Cliff, and many more.
Ben plays the following Mandolins:
1994 Flatiron Performer
Boss Volume pedal>
Boss EQ pedal>
Marshall AS100D amplifer
Ben has composed the following songs:
After the Whiskey
Alot to Ask
Corner of the Bar
In Good Company
Last Small Rose
Mountains of Promise
Something to Say
Talkin' Poor Man's Blues
Thoughts on the Matter
Travelling Lonesome Heart Blues
Waitin' on a Train
World That's Mine