If there’s one thing to be said about musician Guy Bennett is that the man has an enviable work ethic. His back catalogue of songs alone would make most singer/songwriters cry with envy. The bonus bit of jealousy comes from not only a prolific catalogue, but a collection of quality songs any one of which could make an album cut. Bennett’s latest album, The Tallest Man, is the result of hand-selecting the best of best, combining sounds of rock, blues, and soul music.
Bennett’s musical education began as a child in Norwich with his father’s collection of blues magazines. “My dad loved old soul music, Stax records, and straight blues. I think of B.B. King as my initiation into blues music, but it later grew to include artists like Dr. John, Otis Redding, and Bill Withers.”
It wasn’t until the grunge explosion of the early 90’s that Bennett picked up a guitar himself. He and his school mates formed a band and began gigging as teenagers. His budding career took him to London and introduced him to the frantic pace of the big city where artists can fall into survival mode. “I was always writing, but once our record deal fell through I began writing for a local blues magazine. From there I moved to management of the Blues Kitchen in Camden. It became a massive scene and because I was so busy running events I had no time for creativity.” Even though he continued to gig, Bennett felt like he was going nowhere. So, when the opportunity to relocate to Prague came, he jumped on it.
The move to Prague reawakened his creativity and lead to a massive songwriting marathon. Bennett set the goal to create a 4 track ep every month for a year. From writing the lyrics and music, to recording and mixing, Bennett cranked out an impressive fifty songs that first year alone. “I demoed every song at home, then the rest of the band and I went away for a weekend. I played for them the songs, getting their input, making small changes, and from those fifty songs we picked two for The Tallest Man. The other eight songs I wrote specifically for the album.”
Stand out tracks include “Drive,” an upbeat ode to abandoning complacency urging listeners to ‘shut up and drive.’ The number “Get Golden” reverberates with an ear worm worthy chorus and seamless transitions. The frankness of the title track “The Tallest Man” uses Bennett’s unique ability to have strong opinions without crossing over into offensiveness. There’s a lot of speculation as to who or what inspires particular songs, but Bennett doesn’t like trying to explain the meaning behind lyrics. “It’s more important to me what the listener feels, but yeah, there’s a few inside jokes I write just for myself.”
See the Guy Bennett Band perform live before they head back into the studio:
Tuesday, April 23, 8pm
La Loca Music Bar
Odborů 4, Prague 2
The Tallest man is available for download at www.guybennettmusic.com, along with photos, videos, and upcoming gig dates.