Marco Benevento has spent the last decade making a name for himself as a jazzy experimental rock artist, but his musical personality isn’t nearly as furrowed-brow-serious as that description may make him seem.
Just take one look at him in the “Heavy Metal Floating Upstream” video we’re premiering today, clad in his signature tie-dyed, candy stripe suit and hot pink Ray Bans playing one of the catchiest songs off of last year’s The Story of Fred Short LP. He’s loose, easygoing, and totally engaging as he rocks away on his keyboard/synth rig (as anyone in the audience for his 2014 Free at Noon can attest to). There’s a Jim Jamesian quality to the sparkling brightness of the song, the melodic keyboard and splashy cymbals elevating it to cinematic heights.
Also known for his roles in the Benevento/Russo Duo and as the Pigpen/Keith Godchaux/Brent Mydland etc. to Tom Hamilton’s Jerry, Scott Metzger’s Bobby, and Dave Dreiwitz’s Phil in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Marco has released six solo records, several of which came out on his own Royal Potato Family label.
This cut of “Heavy Metal Floating Upstream” was recorded with bassist Karina Rykman and drummer Andy Borger in front of a sold-out crowd at upstate New York’s Applehead Studios and joins six other first-take recordings from that show on Benevento’s forthcoming Woodstock Sessions album. With the release he joins past Woodstock artists Bad Brains, Medeski Martin & Wood, and Joseph Arthur in the studio’s growing series.
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