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Marco Benevento – “Do What She Told You”
Marco Benevento is an inventive keyboard maestro who is constantly changing the sound of instrumental music. He frequently gets marked as “experimental” or “jazz,” but his diverse compositions break down any musical borders. His live shows are known to cause quite the commotion with anything possible on a given night. His latest album, TigerFace, out on The Royal Potato Family expands on his creative sound and adds vocals for the first time to a couple of tracks. Joining him on this impressive set are some of the groove mafia’s elite members: John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & Cake), Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness), Mike Gordon (Phish), Matt Chamberlain (Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau), Andrew Barr (The Barr Brothers), Dave Dreiwitz (Ween), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green), Ali Helnwein (Traction Avenue Chamber Orchestra) and Kalmia Traver (Rubblebucket). The input from this cast of musicians results in a fascinating album that isn’t afraid to try a bit of everything.
“I feel like I’ve really reached a new level of entertaining the crowd and entertaining the listener in the car when they turn the music on. It’s not so heavy and it’s not so jazzy – it’s more melody driven. It’s a natural evolution of the sound – of the band, of me as a composer and songwriter and performer.” – Marco Benevento
Benevento’s list of keyboards used on TigerFace is astounding. Piano, Optigan, Mellotron, Hammond Organ, Clavioline, Stylophone, Minimoog, Casiotone 403, Baldwin FunMachine, Farfisa, Tack Piano, Korg Delta and EMS VCS3 nestle their way deep into this recording. This sonic arsenal gives Benevento an unlimited amount of textures to flavor these tracks with. During the recording of TigerFace he and his family moved from Brooklyn to Saugerties, which offered him the luxury of a home studio where he could work and experiment on his own time.
The free-spirited nature of this album offers many twists and turns along the way. The lead single, “Limbs of a Pine,” features Kalmia Traver’s vocals and jumps forward with a deadly, danceable groove. “Going West” reveals a psychedelic garage approach, while “Escape Horse” charges on with some heavy blues piano riffs. “Fireworks” sounds like a lost Italian folk song bouncing along a dusty path. Whatever your preference, Marco Benevento and his band keep things interesting with their eclectic tastes. Check out the video for “Limbs of a Pine” below and sample some tracks from TigerFace at Royal Potato Family’s soundcloud page. Marco Benevento plays a Phish After-Party at Highline Ballrooom on Friday, December 28th.