The Pavilion, Carey’s Lane, Cork City
Monday 1 March, 8pm
+ 3 March Button Factory(Dublin)
Advance tickets €20(including booking fee) for Cork show now on sale from www.tickets.ie
In Brendan Benson lays a genuine American voice.
It has a gleam to it, a West Coast shimmer, the shine of a sleek new fender. With a lifetime spread across four states, from a childhood spent on the outskirts of New Orleans, to his years in Detroit, Michigan, sojourns in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a more recent relocation to Nashville, Tennessee, inevitably an itinerant quality can be heard in his songwriting, a geographical and emotional search for somewhere to belong.
It is a style he has honed, of course. On 1996’s One Mississippi, the songs came rough-hewn but charged with hooks and with wit; 2002’s Lapalco brought a perfect pop ripeness, and by The Alternative to Love in 2005, there was something quite brilliant, quite burnished about his songwriting.
Along the way he has co-written and recorded two spectacular albums with The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of the Lonely. For Benson, The Raconteurs was not just an opportunity to play with close friends Jack White (The White Stripes) Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes) but also a chance to roll around in the rock, psychedelia and blues that had shaped his musical taste.
This year’s offering, My Old, Familiar Friend, gathers together all of these influences ‘” the Americanness, the Anglophile twist, the geography, the rock and the pop to create something truly exceptional. Recorded in Nashville and London, mixed in LA, produced by Gil Norton (Pixies, Echo & the Bunnymen, Foo Fighters) and mixed by Dave Sardy (The Rolling Stones, LCD Soundsystem, Oasis) it is a marriage of passion and perfectionism, an illustration of all that is special about Benson – from the glimmer of ‘Feel Like Taking You Home” to the Motown swoon of “Garbage Day.”