- Michael Shields
This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast features an interview with pianist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer, who has been a fixture of the New York experimental music rock and jazz scene since 1999, Marco Benevento. Marco’s music covers a wide swath of ground, seemingly connecting the dots in the vast space between LCD Soundsystem and legendary musician Leon Russell. His songwriting is smart and earthy, yet simultaneously pulsating with dance rock energy. Benevento’s high energy live shows — fronting a three-piece band currently composed by bassist Karina Rykman and drummer Dave Butler — have led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall, to High Sierra Music Festival, Peach Festival, and beyond. Marco is the founder and recording engineer of Fred Short, a recording studio in Upstate New York, and a member of the groups Benevento/Russo Duo and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. In the studio, he’s collaborated with the likes of Richard Swift (The Shins, Nathaniel Rateliff), Leon Michels (Lee Fields, Freddie Gibbs) and Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Lumineers) among others. While Marco’s work is prolific and all worthy of discussion, this episode focuses on his forthcoming album Benevento. Titled as a nod to Paul McCartney’s first solo album, what Benevento amounts to is forty minutes of small-batch psychedelia in which, with few exceptions, Marco played all of the instruments. He also produced and engineered the album, all from Fred Short Studios, located at his Woodstock, NY home. Deeply indebted to the West African psychedelia of artists such as Kiki Gyan, Francis Bebey and William Onyeabor, the songs are rhythmic and repetitive, built into thick mosaics of sound. In this episode host Michael Shields and Marco Benevento delve into the album’s influences and the manner in which it all came to life within his upstate studio. They discuss how the lyrics were created in collaboration with Al Howard, a San Diego-based poet, and what it was like playing all instruments on the album himself. They also discuss a festival Benevento is curating in Accord, New York this June called Follow The Arrow (tickets available now!), and much, much more.
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