Staff Sergeant Joseph Bennett and Staff Sergeant Renée Bennett

SBO Staff • America's MusiciansSeptember 2022 • September 5, 2022

In the old days, new soldiers were told, “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.” Those days are long gone and today, American women comprise over 16% of the active Army and serve in every type of Army unit. The United States Army Field Band, the “Musical Ambassadors of the Army” spend most of their time travelling and telling the Army story at home and abroad. There are several married couples in the field band and one of those duos performs in the most followed military music group in the world, Six-String Soldiers. In addition to their live performances on tour, their followers include 548K+ on Facebook, 13K+ on Twitter, 15K+ on Instagram, and 16K+ on YouTube.

Staff Sergeant Renée Bennett (fiddle and vocals) grew up in a musical family in Calvert County, Maryland. She started playing violin with her public school’s music program and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional music from Berklee College of Music. She has performed nationally and internationally in a diverse range of styles and with such acts as the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mark O’Connor, The Winter Sounds, Shovels & Rope, Sammy Shelor, The Steeldrivers, and many national symphonies. After moving through three duty stations in six years as a military spouse, she enlisted in the Army out of El Paso, Texas, shipping to basic combat training just ten days after her husband deployed to Iraq. She and her husband, Staff Sergeant Joey Bennett, both joined Six-String Soldiers in 2017.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Bennett (mandolin, guitar, and vocals) is originally from Roanoke, Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he had the privilege of studying with Tomo Fujita, Jim Kelly, Dave Newsome, Lauren Passarelli, and Jon Damian. Prior to joining Six-String Soldiers, he served as a guitarist in the 392nd Army Band at Fort Lee, Virginia, the TRADOC Band at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and the 1st Armored Division Band at Fort Bliss, Texas. After a deployment to Iraq in 2017, Staff Sergeant Bennett joined Six-String Soldiers alongside his wife, Renée.

The Six-String Soldiers is a five-member country music group performing Americana and patriotic music to connect America to its Army. The group was formed in 2015 by active-duty soldiers who were looking for ways to fulfill the Army’s commitment to its soldiers and veterans.

They received national media attention after a Facebook video of the group playing The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” went viral. Since then, they have appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Morning Express with Robin Meade, Harry with Harry Connick Jr., and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show.

Their latest album was recorded in Muscle Shoals and Nashville and reflects their sense of duty and country, with a focus on service from military members and their families, police officers, firefighters and all those who wear a uniform.

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