Ben’s musical journey began as a kid when he started taking piano lessons in Bend Oregon. He would go on to play music in the church for much of his life, and continues to this day. He picked up his first guitar when he was in high school and some of the first music he learned was bluegrass. He would spend over a decade accompanying musicians, singers and performers in Central Oregon in a wide array of genres like Musical Theatre, Jazz, Rock, and Gospel. In 2017, he had the fortunate luck to meet Jeff Miller shortly after he moved to Bend. Jeff tried out to be on the worship team at the church that Ben led at. They became fast friends, and the very first time they played music together, they hatched a plan to venture out and play an open mic as it was a long time goal for both. Before the band Toast & Jam was started, a friend heard them rehearsing a song, and commented “You guys go together so well. It’s like Toast and Jam”. Shortly after playing their first open mic, they formed the band, and the rest is history. The evolution of the band has taken place over the past several years, going from a duo to a full band, back to a duo and now in its sweet spot of a four-piece country/bluegrass band.
Ben had the opportunity to play a Thompson guitar during their first time ever in the studio. “We were recording in the Belfry, and Christine Funk asked us if we wanted to use a Thompson on one of the tracks.” He would go on to record one of their three initial recordings with a Thompson and was blown away by the resonance, playability, and sound of the guitar. “It was unlike any guitar I had ever had the opportunity to play. I fell in love with the sound, and hoped I could own one someday.”.
We’re honored to have the opportunity to own these fine guitars, and humbled to be mentioned here among so many talented and accomplished artists. Thompson Guitars are some of the finest people around and we’re grateful to be a part of the family!