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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Dear Folks,

Sorry I haven't written lately.  I'd meant to update this front page a month ago at the beginning of the new year.  Time flies when you are freezing.  We've had some very cold days and nights, dropping down to the single digits but not as bad as the mid-west and the east has been with sub-zero temps and mountains of snow.  The old fashioned 'arctic blast' has a new name now 'polar vortex'.  Whatever euphemism you tag on, it all adds up to the same thing... freezing.  In fairness, along with the cold we've also had some unseasonably mild days here in Nashville.... 61 degrees last Saturday.  All I know is the weather continues to be more extreme and severe each year.  What governments have been unable or unwilling to do regarding climate change will be addressed by corporate big business.  When it begins affecting their bottom line, the big corps will start screaming blue murder.  That's my forecast anyway.

The holidays around here were great, the usual dash of parties, cooking and friends leading up to a relaxed Christmas day.  I prepared our annual traditional non-trad Christmas dinner of Navajo Tacos, an open face taco with green chilli, roasted pork, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese all piled onto a large freshly made piece of Navajo fry bread.  A complete meal on a plate.  We're completely over the cooking of large birds.

The new year got off to a lazy beginning, just a few bits of work in January.  I continue playing somewhat regularly on the soundtrack to the American television series "Nashville" on ABC and have also begun an album with Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Jessi Alexander.  The last week in February I'm booked to play on Ashley Monroe's new album with Vince Gill producing.  I worked on her first record that was released last year to great acclaim.  I'm looking forward to playing with her again and Vince is always a joy to be with.

I've really enjoyed having the time off to write and begin recording a new album for myself.  A couple of tunes have already been put to bed and I'm heading in to record again the middle of this month.  I've been doing this record at a different studio as my usual haunt is unavailable for a while.  The studio's called Alex The Great, it's in an industrial strip in the Berry Hill neighbourhood of Nashville and has a great workshop feel about it.  Tall ceilings, a beautiful sounding piano, pump organ, funky guitars and basses all over the place.  The chief cook and bottle washer is my old friend Brad Jones, a great multi-instrumental musician, record producer, engineer and all 'round good guy.  The studio console is just like the one I've been recording my previous records on and of course a 24-track tape machine, a must for me.  I'm very pleased with it all and for having Brad helping make this record.  So far it's shaping up to be a little different and I like that.

I hope everyone's new year has launched well and that 2014 will be a warm, peaceful and healthy one for us all.

Richard