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Singer Ben Union's 'crisis of faith' transported him to a new, but familiar, platform

Credit Parker Miles Blohm
Ben Union performing live in the KNKX performance studio.

 This story originally aired on May 6, 2017.

Ben Union basically grew up in a church, and for him there was little question as to what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a preacher.

But in religion, just like in politics, or relationships, challenging or even traumatic experiences can make you change your feelings about a path you were once entirely certain about.

This was the case for Ben Union. He didn’t become a preacher, but instead, a professional musician in Tacoma.

Music wasn’t unfamiliar to him. In fact, there was music all around him from a very young age. But when Ben Union and his family and the religious movement they were involved in didn’t see eye to eye, music didn’t stop for Ben Union, it just became a different platform.

Ben Union says that a lot of the music that he writes is semi-autobiographical, taking notes from that time in his life, as well as other life experiences. But it often also contains the questions that could be asked by just about anyone. And through the times that were personally more difficult for him, music was always there, and always played a hand in healing.

Ben Union spoke to Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt, and performed two songs: “Chain of Love” and “Stay.” His latest LP is titled “Vamp.”

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.