A visit from an old, familiar friend that you have not yet met

Championing the underappreciated never gets old.  Especially when the artist in question remains vital and continues to produce stellar material in the face of non-stop challenges.

You may not know the name Brendan Benson and, if you do, it is probably only as “the other guy” from one of Jack White‘s multiple side projects, The Raconteurs.

And as good as the first couple Raconteurs albums may be, they don’t provide an opportunity for Benson to do what he does best as a solo artist.  On the other hand, three full-length albums and various EP’s recorded since 1996 tell the story completely.

Brendan Benson

Brendan Benson

If you appreciate intelligent lyrics and catchy but raw “power pop”, you’re going to want to find copies of the Benson catalog as soon as possible.  Or, check out his new (4th) album “My Old, Familiar Friend” when it is released on August 18th.  I cannot wait to hear the new material on Friend, which was produced by Gil Norton of Pixies & Foo Fighters fame.

Billboard caught up with Benson this week to discuss his plans for promoting the new record, which will involve a solo tour but no attempt to capitalize on his association with The Raconteurs.

Rolling Stone also featured Benson this week with a look back at the history of the new material, some of which was written as far back as 2005 and much of which was previewed (in demo form) on his MySpace page over the last several years.

Benson’s career has thus far been defined by issues with record labels that say more about the music business than they do about the quality of his work.  Maybe the timing is right for his career to hit its stride.  As his manager rightfully points out, “There’s basically a million Brendan Benson fans out there already who just don’t know they’re Brendan Benson fans.”

Be that as it may, there’s no time like the present to bring that number down a bit and find out for yourself why you are likely to be a Brendan Benson fan too.

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~ by acm213 on July 28, 2009.

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