Stephen Bennett | Everything Under the Sun
Cimirron/Rainbird Records

After several enjoyable listenings, it’s safe to say that Stephen’s tunes on Everything Under the Sun are each unique. Admittedly, many have the same folksong form––a four-line verse and four line refrain, so without words to distinguish the verses and songs from each other, a certain amount of uniformity occurs. But Stephen’s style of improvising, based more on subtle shifts of rhythm, tone, and touch, is what makes them so listenable. “Libby’s Tune”, a pretty melody with a nice bass line, has a sound that echoes both sitar and banjo, and employs dissonant harmonies like a dash of bitters. “C is for Chloe”, played on his National Steel Guitar resembles the sound of a harp that produces glass bell harmonics. There’s a blues––“Filtration Blues”, Josh White 30’s “St. James Infirmary” type, a bass pounding funk tune, an Appalachian dance tune called 96%. Lots of variety, virtuosity, and bounce. A portion of the profits from this recording goes to organizations that help the planet.

Stanley Fefferman for The Live Music Report

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