Richard Bennett
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Contrary Cocktail

Moderne Shellac, 2015

Contrary Cocktail

A hypnotic blend of rhythms, landscapes, tones, colors, styles and moods, with melodies leading the way to certain places that only songs without words can go.

-- Pieta Brown, 2015

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I’ve received a few queries as to my well being given that I’ve not up-dated this page for a little while and shocked myself to find the last post was Christmas Eve.  I can’t believe this much time has flown by, like old movies when the hands of a clock begin spinning faster and faster until they’re only  a blur, or the pages of a calendar blowing off like confetti.  It is exactly what life has become.  

 

All is well on this end.  It’s been a very mild winter in Nashville with the exception of one major (by Nashville standards) snowstorm.  In January we were hit with 9” in just a few hours.  Nashville is not a city that gets very much snow and a couple of inches paralyses the town but 9 inches shut it down for several days.  Happily, we didn’t loose power and had plenty of food, firewood and supplies, making it an enforced mini-holiday.  It’d been nearly 30 years since we’d seen that much snow at one time and it looked beautiful but by the end of the 4th day cabin fever had set in.  I was never so glad to get out and run some errands.  It’s now mid-March and it feels as though we’ve entered an early spring.  The doors and windows are open as I peck this note out and we’re expecting 80 degrees this week.

 

I’ve begun recording a new album for myself with a few things already in the can and will continue chipping away on and off through this year.  Apart from that, things have been a little quiet on the recording front and that’s fine as I’ve really enjoyed spending the time writing, reading and with my family.  On the listening front I’m currently binging lots of Don Gibson’s records from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.  One album in particular, Sweet Dreams, stands out as a real high water mark in song writing, singing, recording and arrangement.  Produced by Chet Atkins, it is the “Nashville Sound” fully developed but prior to it becoming too slick.  Another album in that mode getting loads of spins is Hank Locklin’s Please Help Me I’m Falling from 1960.  My favourite guitar player, Johnny Smith is seldom far from the turntable.  On the current side, a wonderful album by Boards Of Canada, The Campfire Headphase… modern and atmospheric instrumental music.  A great documentary about Fats Domino aired a few weeks ago and it served to remind me how long it has been since I’d listened to all those fantastic early rock and roll records he made, so Fats is getting a lot of needle time around here as well.  His first hit in 1949, The Fat Man, is arguably the first rock and roll record, a couple of years before the oft-cited Rocket 88 and five years ahead of Elvis’ first record on Sun.  The Fat Man, definitely worth a couple minutes of your time.

 

I hope 2016 has launched well for everyone as we turn the corner into springtime.

 

 

Richard