Valerie and Ben Turner are a husband and wife team who have fully embraced the Piedmont blues and made playing and perpetuating it their personal passion and mission. They sing it, they play it, and they teach the music and the history of it. In fact they perform under the name “Piedmont Bluz.”
The Turners live in Queens, New York and perform mainly in the New York/Washington D.C. environs (this must certainly be the first time the Chicago Blues Fest has had back-to-back African-American old-time country blues artists from Queens!).
Valerie performs on banjo and acoustic Stella parlor and National Steel guitars, while Ben makes music on a variety of washboards of his own design that he plays with brushes and sticks, and occasionally he accompanies Valerie on harmonica.
They have performed at several national and international festivals including the Newport Folk Festival, Clearwater Revival, Harvest Time Blues Festival, and have played and conducted workshops at the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, Blues in the Gorge, and Valerie has additionally taught workshops at Augusta’s Blues & Swing Week and at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop.