The Bennett Brothers review…July 18, 2018…

THE BENNETT BROTHERS

NOT MADE FOR HIRE

AMERICAN SHOWPLACE MUSIC

JUNKYARD DOG–HOLD ON TIGHT–I JUST DON’T WANT THE BLUES TODAY–BLUES #9–WHAT’D I DO–ROCKING CHAIR–HOW LONG–THE ONLY WAY TO BE–WALK WITH THE DEVIL–NOT MADE FOR HIRE–I GOT A WOMAN

In the early days of their career, the Bennett Brothers–Jimmy on guitar and vocals, and Peter on bass and vocals–were frequent invitees to Levon Helm’s storied “Midnight Rambles” in his upstate New York home in Woodstock.  Later, they formed the band that would back Alexis P. Suter on more than one hundred of these “Rambles,” and they have just released their debut album, “Not Made For Hire,” for American Showplace Music.  Joining them on this mighty sweet ride, we have Lee Falco on drums, and the incomparable John Ginty on keys.  All eleven cuts are originals, and you can hear a myriad of influences within these grooves, including Southern rock mixed with a little Santana, and some good ole juke-joint stompers.

This party starts with the in-your-face snarl of Jimmy’s guitar, as his lover “treats me like a Junkyard Dog.”  Linda Pino is on the haunting backing vocals  as our hero is down to “nothin’ left in my heart for you to take,” the plaintive, slow-burn of “I Just Don’t Want The Blues Today.”  “Blues #9” is one of those cool, you-can’t-sit-down instrumentals with plenty of B-3 from Mr. Ginty.  That Latin influence surfaces in “The Only Way To Be,” as our hero sees the handwritin’ on the wall, asking his soon-to-be-ex, “how long till the end?”  They close the set with “I Got A Woman,” another cool song about questionable choices in females, but this one bristles with a jam-ish flair, with everyone getting in some tasty licks, and John is in impeccable Gregg Allman-esque form.

Our favorite was perhaps the most unique of all the cuts.  After an extended intro that sounds as if Elmore rode in a pickup truck with ZZ Top down to the Crossroads to drink some ‘shine with that dude that hangs around down there.  That gives way to Ginty’s mighty left-hand boogie over wailin’ slide and the vocal shout-out to “get me a Rockin’ Chair and rock ’till the end of the end of time!”

The Bennett Brothers cut their musical teeth on stage with one of history’s greatest drummers, and those “Rambles” featured music of all kinds.  They are sho’ nuff “Not Made For Hire,” and this set is contemporary blues-rock at its fiery best!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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