Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner
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Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Blues Americana




This band has no press


There Will Be A Light (full length CD coming spring 2019)

Acting Downtown (single released February 2019)



"The Swamp Donkey will tote your blues on up the road...original songs and music about the things we all face, honest, and real music for a change. Once you Get Donkey it sticks to you like bacon grease in granny's kitchen. It's gritty, real blues you just can't wash off." - David Hughes, Owner, Side Hustle Entertainment, Inc.

"The real deal." - Deb Finney, host of The Friday Blues House Party on KABF 88.3 FM (Little Rock, AR)

"You can never have too much Donkey." Gina Parks, Owner, The Big Chill (Hot Springs, AR)

Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner first got the blues as a young boy growing up in Los Angeles, CA. His daddy, Barry "Big B" Brenner, (a great country bluesman in his own right), bought an 1959 Seeburg jukebox. You know the kind that looks like a martian Cadillac, with three fins across the front? That's what we're talking about. It was full of old 45 RPM records. And everyday after school, the Donkey would light up that box, pick random letters and numbers, and soak up the sounds that came out: Ray Charles, Slim Harpo, Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin. It was a master class in the blues, and it planted a sound deep in the Donkey's head.

In the 30 years since those after school juke sessions, the Donkey chased that sound, teaching himself guitar and harmonica and slowly developing a body of raw, authentic songs. These songs variously conjure the delta, the hill country, the honky tonk, and the coffee house - but they don't sound like anybody. They are part original, part traditional, and all Donkey.

The Donkey has taken his Swamp Donkey style and his Swamp Donkey tunes to stages big and small all over the South. His performance resume includes:

  • Four time challenger at the International Blues Challenge, Memphis, TN (2009, 2012, 2016, 2019), representing the Spa City Blues Society (Hot Springs, AR) twice; the Buffalo River Blues Society (Leslie, AR) once; and the Arkansas River Blues Society (Little Rock, AR) once
  • The Hot Springs Blues Festival (2009, 2012, and booked for Aug. 2019) (Hot Springs, AR)
  • The Main Street Food Truck Festival (2014 - 2018) (Little Rock, AR)
  • The King Biscuit Blues Festival, Rising Biscuit Stage (2012, 2014) (Helena, AR)
  • HarvestFest (2018) (Little Rock, AR)
  • Representative headlining and supporting gigs throughout Arkansas include: The Big Chill and Maxine's (Hot Springs, AR), The Afterthought, The Arkansas Repertory Theater, Juanita's, The Rev Room, and The White Water Tavern (Little Rock, AR); and George's (Fayetteville, AR)
These days, the Donkey will show up at your stage with his 1932 Style "O" National Guitar, a slide and a harmonica, and a small amp - probably his 1956 Fender Champ. That's all he needs, and he will show up ready to play. In his words, "There are only two rules of Swamp Donkey. Rule #1: Get Donkey. Rule #2: Stay Donkey. I always do both. It would be pretty lame and pretty stupid to break my own rules."

The Donkey released his first single, the self-produced "Acting Downtown" in February 2019. "Acting Downtown" is available exclusively on cd baby  at Just search "ben swamp donkey brenner". A full album, "There Will Be A Light," is slated for release in Spring 2019. #getdonkey

Band Members