Labor Day

Being an old union man I can attest to the difference it has made in my life and that of every person involved in any kind of labor union.  Over 120 years ago workers began to stand together for their right to form organised unions and secure fair wages, basic human dignity in the workplace and a safe working environment.  People died for those rights and it should never be taken lightly.  That’s what today is about.

The day also signals the closing of summer and the coming of autumn.  The temps here in Nashville are still in the 90s and as always I’ll wring every ounce out it, celebrating today’s holiday with grilled cheese burgers, salmon burgers, corn on the cob, fries and fixings.

When we moved to Nashville from Los Angeles in 1985, there were two rock bands here that were starting to kick up some dust nationally and internationally, Jason and the Scorchers and Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks.  Nashville at that time was still considered strictly a country music town, national audiences and record companies didn’t take any other style of music seriously if it came from Nashville.  But these guys were starting to happen, in fact the name of Webb’s first album was, It Came From Nashville.  I remember buying Jason’s first album, not in Nashville, but at an HMV shop in London.  I always admired these guys for successfully breaking those stereotypes but also for what they were doing.  I was very busy with day to day session work and producing records, but always thought what they were up to was far more fun.  Over the years I’ve become friends with them both and I couldn’t believe my luck when Jason rang last month and asked if I would play on a couple of sides for his new album.  To top it off I’m heading into the studio to record something with Webb.  I’ve lived in Nashville for 33 years and finally feel like I’ve arrived.

I want to tell you about a brand new curated streaming service that will launch on October 1st called Craft Brewed Music and based here in Nashville.  It will feature a wide selection of what I call ‘stealth’ music and musicians, that is, music that flies above, below and around the radar.  They prefer calling it ‘craft brewed’ music, regardless of what it’s called I’m very pleased that I’ve been chosen to be one of their flagship artists in rotation.  I’ll fill you in with more detail next month when Craft Brewed goes live, but meantime, here is a link to an article telling a bit about the concept https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2018/08/28/craft-brewed-music-nashville-streaming-service/1125287002/  By the way, after October 1st if you like what you hear and decide to subscribe, the first thing you will see is a drop down “who sent you” menu, please let them know it was me.   The fee is remarkably low at $5 a month or $50 yearly and it’s a great way to hear new, interesting and high quality music by artists who would be difficult to find elsewhere.

Thanks again to everyone for making Ballads In Otherness a big success and for all your kind words, I appreciate it very much.  If anybody is so inclined to flex their writing skills and post a review on the album’s page at CD Baby or at Amazon please do so.  Those reviews really help others decide to take a chance on some new music.

All right, more to follow next month.  Have a good end of summer and start of fall.

Richard





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Richard Bennett
Ballads In Otherness… Lift Off

Somehow, summer’s been hijacked by one month over the last few generations.  It’s the beginning of August and time to go back to school?!?  Every trace of summer fun was put on sale three weeks ago and banished from the shelves to make way for back to school stuff….notebooks, backpacks, pencils and crayons and markers and rulers….dormitory rugs, microwave ovens, small fridges, cheap full length mirrors, bed risers.  I don’t want to be one of those ‘back in my day’ guys, but back in my day… school started the day after Labor Day and it was that way for many generations before that.  Completely depressing for someone like me who wrings every last ounce out of the summer season.  I’m still hanging onto it in November.  I’m not hard to miss… I’m the one shivering in the cold, long after the clocks ‘fall back’, in shorts, grilling hamburgers on the Weber with temps so low the burgers get cold in the few steps from the grill to the kitchen.  It really doesn’t matter what’s on the shop shelves, it’s still an endless summer for me and just to prove the point, we’re taking our summer holiday in OCTOBER this year.  

What can I tell you about?  It’s been a slow period for me and I like that just fine.  Really enjoying being home this year cooking, reading, writing, listening to music, practising, etc.  I’ve begun recording a new album and have started writing the one after that.  At my pace that should keep me busy ’til 2022 at least.

On the subject of records, break out the champagne, Ballads In Otherness is available at last.  There is something about holding that first copy with the artwork, shrink wrapped, in hand that makes it official, like giving birth.  That’s probably stretching it a little.  Nonetheless, I’m very pleased with this new one and hope you’ll enjoy it as well.  If you don’t then at least you’ll like the liner notes that my friend Neil Diamond wrote… not a bad stamp of approval.  

Another birthday has passed painlessly.  I don’t know how in blazes 66 years has blown by and dumped me on the doorstep of 67 but here I am.  I’m fortunate to be knocking around still bothering people and feeling good, no different than 30, 40 years ago.  The only concession I make to my age is the treadmill at the gym.  It always insists that I enter my weight and age.  The weight comes up automatically at 150… a little high but close enough.  The age comes up as 30.  Now I stand there for an eternity with my finger depressing the ‘advance’ button ’til it climbs to the upper reaches of the stratosphere mercifully stopping at 67, a work out in itself.  Long ago I adopted the attitude that I and the cockroaches will inherit the earth.  I’m sticking with that.

On a sad note, my friend Rick Allen died in the early hours of July 4th.  He was one of those fellows who was whip smart, had great insight into whatever he was talking about, wicked sense of humour and impeccable taste in movies, music, food and booze.  Rick knew Dizzy Gillespie and that in itself speaks volumes.  Rick knew everybody.  He was a wonderful singer and musician, a long-time all-night DJ with a sure-fire grasp of everything cool and good.  In the old days he wrote for Creem Magazine and over the last decade did the same for Vintage Guitar Magazine.  He kindly wrote my biography that graces this website and appears in Mark Knopfler’s tour programs and penned the liner notes to my record For The Newly Blue.  He was the kind of guy who’d send you books that he thought you should read and tequila he thought you should drink.  I’d mentioned once that I’d been cooking Mexican food and a few days later a packet of Epazote leaves arrived in our mailbox.  When my wife wasn’t feeling well, English biscuits were sent as the “sympathy” to accompany her tea.  Rick Allen was that kind of guy and I miss him already.

All right, I’ll post something again in Autumn but for now I wanted to let you know Ballads In Otherness is launched and available.  Buy early and buy often.

So long,

Richard

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Richard Bennett
2017-2018

Hey-ho-ho-ho

A long overdue up-date… aren’t they all.  I hope this finds everybody reading this in fine form and leaning in to the holiday season be it Hanukkah (already past), Christmas, Winter Solstice (today) Kwanza and whatever else I’ve missed.

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Notes From Nashvilleadmin
Almost Autumn

Hi All,

This website has been up and running for a long time now and it seems that every time I update the front page I apologise for not keeping it more current and promise to stay on top of it.

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Notes From Nashvilleadmin
Spring's Sprung

With the best of intentions I promise myself to keep this front page up-dated every month or two.  Well, you know the old saying about the road being paved with good intentions.  Better late than never I suppose.

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