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Brendan Benson

Low Key

    Not every two-year period measures out the same, noted Brendan Benson, the 51-year old Grammy- nominated singer-songwriter and co-founder of The Raconteurs. Benson had just finished his well- received seventh album, "Dear Life" in 2019 when his world came to a stop. "I was rehearsing for South-By-Southwest and gearing up for a tour and had a band ready and then, of course, the world shut down," he said in a recent interview. The lockdown then began to reroute lives, societies and ambitions worldwide. "Everything changed," Benson said. "I went to work on some songs so I'd have new material when things opened up." Over months with minimal interactions, those songs coal- esced and took on lives of their own, he said. Two years of semi-isolation, of fading relationships, of the natural inward turn that comes with less human contact unexpectedly pushed Benson's song- writing into new places.

    Instead of being an afterthought, Benson's solitude evolved into, "Low Key" the eighth album by the idiosyncratic songwriter who has enjoyed both world-wide popularity with the Raconteurs and a devoted cult following for his numerous solo projects. Low Key, the Nashville-based artist said, was his chance to explore how lives and relationships changed during the lengthy isolation from the normal interactions of everyday life. Benson might not have written songs such as "People Grow Apart" and "Whole Lotta Nothing" prior to 2019, he said. "The lockdown afforded people the opportunity to cut ties - or maybe it caused people to do that," he said. "Whatever the case may be, a lot of people fell out. But then relationships ending is one of my favourite topics for song writing," he said with a laugh.

    This isn't to say that the 8-track effort recorded in Benson's own Readymade Studio in Nashville is a grim look at the state of human condition. Just the opposite. The catchy, upbeat lead track "Ain't No Good," pokes fun at destructive self-absorption while the guitar-heavy "Whatever's On My Mind" skewers Benson's own hyperkinetic, stream-of-consciousness thinking. And then there's the most unlikely track of all: A cover of Gerry Rafferty's smooth 1978 hit, "Right Down the Line." The cover was suggested by a friend. "She's always been saying I should do that song. I don't normally pay attention when people say that stuff. But then I happened to hear it one day and I said, 'Dang. This is good.' "

    Greg Calbi, the album's mastering engineer at Sterling Sound says: "Brendan combines the classic 80's style song-writing in the Squeeze, Crowded House vein with some incredible contemporary sonic magic, the kind of album which entices the listener to get tickets to a live show immediately."

    The lockdown that left him mostly with himself, professionally speaking. Confined to his Nashville studio, Benson played every instrument on Low Key and handled all of the initial production. The end result was exactly what Benson had been searching for - even if he didn't know it at the time. Those years spent honing his craft as a songwriter, producer and touring musician, turned what could have been a liability of isolation into something far deeper, a body of work he described as the best of his career.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A:
    Aint' No Good
    I Missed The Plane
    People Grow Apart
    Right Down The Line
    Side B:
    Whole Lotta Nothin
    Whatever's On My Mind
    All In
    Something A Little Like Home

    Solid Bronze

    Solid Bronze Vs Lee "Scratch" Perry

    Delaware Valley's psychedelic funkateers Solid Bronze are releasing their debut album The Fruit Basket in the summer of 2019. The first single "The Invisible Man" is being released as a limited edition 7" vinyl including a Lee "Scratch" Perry remix before the album drops. The album was recorded at a relaxed pace by Mickey Melchiondo (Ween, Dean Ween Group, Moistboyz) at his studio in Lambertville, NJ with, produced by Dean Ween along with singer/songwriter Chris Harford.

    Solid Bronze's founding members are Ian Everett and George Miller, who composed these songs as bass and drums duo, using naked rhythm as the focus and cornerstone in the recording process. Miller provided all the drums and percussion and Everett was responsible for bass, guitar and lead vocals. "The Invisible Man" single features Music Hall of Fame guitarist Michael "Kidd Funkadelic" Hampton (Parliament, Funkadelic), and Atlanta-based hip hop artist CLEW on vocals.

    TRACK LISTING

    A-Side "The Invisible Man"
    B-Side "Lee "Scratch Perry" Remix The Invisible Man"

    Dean Ween - aka The Deaner - recorded the rock2 album at his dedicated studio facility in Lambertville, NJ, across the river from his native New Hope, PA. Here's how the Deaner describes the genesis of this new body of work: "These were written for this sole purpose and recorded with the entire lineup: the best band in the world, Ween -- Claude Coleman Jr., Dave Dreiwitz, and Glenn McClelland, also the other best band in the world, the lineup of the DWG -- Mike Dillon, Bill Fowler, Ray Kubian, Scott Rednor, and the other 50 members and usual suspects.

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Showstopper
    2 Fingerbangin
    3 Don't LetThe Moon Catch You Cryin
    4 Waste Station 9
    5 Love Theme From Skinheads Kicking Your Ass
    6 Someone Greased The Fatman
    7 The Ritz Carlton
    8 This Heart Of Palm
    9 Yellow Pontiac
    10 Pussy On My Pillow
    11 Sunset Over Belmar

    The Moons

    Body Snatchers

      Taken from their new album 'Mindwaves', 'Body Snatchers' is big, brash and tuneful with thunderous drums and a kaleidoscopic driving beat at its core. An escapade into classic science fiction B-movie territory, the seductive track combines haunting and flamboyant electronics which compliments the rhythm section.

      Bringing plenty of vigour, the exuberant and infectious pop/rock n roll tune flaunts their versatile and rousing nature for writing vibrant songs. Limited stock! B-side Everybody's Happy Nowadays (Buzzcocks cover)

      Hello=Fire

      Hello=Fire

        Dean Fertita is a workhorse; a mainstay of the Detroit underground scene since the early 90s. From his years of relentless touring as front-man of the criminally under appreciated Waxwings, to his able-bodied accompaniment to friend/cohort Brendan Benson, Fertita has been laying the groundwork for his current prominence. And as if that isn't enough, Fertita was also the invaluable utility-man (keys, guitar, harmonies) on the worldwide touring for the Raconteurs debut album of 2006. Such flexibility and skill made him the first choice for the same position in Queens of the Stone Age in 2007 and led to him being welcomed by Josh Homme into the band as a permanent member. Now, Fertita appears at the forefront of the Dead Weather, the dark rock and roll super-group with Jack White. A lesser soul would blanch at the task of playing guitar in a band with that guy, but Fertita's work on "Horehound" shows he can hold his own, thank you very much. With that, Dean Fertita's first dedicated solo album, "Hello=Fire" is a remarkable example of what the man can do when in full-charge of the ship. Moving from the darkly devil rock "Horehound" to the spacey melodic vein of "Hello=Fire" is part of Fertita's signature versatility, both as a writer and player. With song-writing collaboration from Brendan Benson on half the disc's tracks, the songs brim with insightful lyrics, cunning arrangements and powerful production. That being said, "Hello=Fire" is a rock record through and through.


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