Friday, March 25, 2016

Marc Benno Lost In Austin 1979

Here's a lost gem for you. Something to look for in a used record shop.

Benno is a guitarist, singer and songwriter with plenty of skill in all three areas. While his voice is fine, it is not what makes his work memorable. It is his writing that really shines, with a deft touch for both melody and lyric.

And on this particular record, all the pieces are in place, and everyone involved is stellar. Produced and engineered by the genius of Glyn Johns, the recording is warm, clear and spirited. But what makes this a record to hear thirty-five years after its release is the band. Carl Radle on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Dick Sims on keyboards, and Albert Lee on guitar, with Eric Clapton guesting on at least two songs, and Dickie Morresey on saxophone. Benno adds his own guitar and piano. These guys could blow you away in their sleep. And they stay awake through the entire project.

Nice singer-songwriter rock and roll with highly skilled accompaniment. If any guitarist deserves comparison to Clapton, Albert Lee is the guy (he toured with Clapton several times). Jim Keltner is never less than terrific.

If you like Clapton's work around this same time, this is a fine addition to that oeuvre.