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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Monday the 19th was a day off in Manhattan that I’d been looking forward to for a while.  Glenn Worf and I took a cab to Soho and spent a splendid afternoon at Rudy’s Music Shop with Rudy Pensa, his daughter Stephanie and his great staff.  Rudy has one of the most beautiful guitar stores anywhere in the world… the shop itself is a work of art.  As for what’s in it, well it’s the best of the best.  Glenn and I had our mitts on some of the finest guitars we’ve ever played.  At one point there were several D’Angelico’s out as we played one then another, back and forth.  Rudy has a breathtaking inventory of vintage acoustics, electrics, new instruments and amplifiers along with the usual accessories.  If you’re in the city, don’t fail to stop in.

 

We made it back in time to meet our old friend from Nashville, Rocky Schnaars and his wife Alisa for drinks and dinner.  Glenn and I worked many recording sessions with Rocky when he was a busy engineer in Nashville.  When the record business began shifting several years ago, they moved to New York where Alisa is a book buyer for Barnes & Noble and Rocky is a successful builder and woodworker, serious artisan work.  We found ourselves back at Victor’s Cuban Cafe for a grand dinner and awash in mojitos.  

 

Tuesday the 20th was the first of two sold out shows here in Manhattan at The Beacon Theatre.  Opened in 1929 as a movie theatre and vaudeville house, it shifted in the mid-70’s to live concerts and is a renowned venue with its three tiered seating and 30 foot golden Greek goddesses flanking the stage.  As soon as we hit the boards we knew it was going to be a good show.  The audience of 2,700+ was so enthusiastic and that’s not always the case for a New York audience.  It was a great evening of music and a wonderfully appreciative crowd.

 

After the show many friends and guests gathered for a visit and drinks.  One was Bette Midler who I was very pleased to meet along with Jann Wenner, co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.  Dick Boak from Martin Guitars, Mr. and Mrs. James D’Addario, master guitar builder John Monteleone, Rudy and Fran Pensa were among the guests all crammed into a small dressing room upstairs at The Beacon.

 

On the way out of the theatre there was a stack of four pizza boxes in the production office, I grabbed a slice of pepperoni, hopped in a car and was back at the hotel to be joined by Jim and Glenn for a night cap.

 

So long,

 

 

Richard