Ben's first solo album, Homestretch (1999), is a collection of mostly unaccompanied original hammer dulcimer compositions and arrangements. His second album, Cricket In The Kitchen (2001) is also focused primarily on the dulcimer, but also features some of his mandolin, guitar, and banjo playing. Information on how to get these CDs, as well as more information about Ben, can be found at his website.
In 2003 Ben moved to Winnipeg and helped to start a band called the "Stony Esker Band" with Rick Unger on bass, and Gregory Toews on guitar, and Ben on mandolin. The Stony Eskers specialized in bluegrass and jazz standards, with the occasional original tune thrown in. The band met an early demise, however, when Greg left the country to teach English in Taiwan. Undaunted, Ben and Rick started over by asking guitarist Luke Enns and singer-songwriter Curt Wiebe to join, and the group grew into a fresh, original blend of bluegrass, newgrass, folk, and jazz.
From playing old time music in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia to writing classical music under the direction of J. Harold Moyer, to covering John Coltrane tunes with a Sitar player from Colorado, Ben has drawn on diverse experiences and musical styles to create his own unique sound. His clear mandolin tones, blazing solos, solid harmonies, and enticing compositions are an integral part of the WhizBang Shufflers' sound.