New Live Album "Garrin Benfield" Available Now!
Some creative projects are better left unplanned. Sometimes stepping out of the way and letting the music happen without any particular destination in mind produces the most honest results. It is in this spirit of improvisation that Garrin Benfield announces the release of a self-titled live album recorded at a few solo acoustic gigs in the Summer of 2018.
“The whole thing feels like kismet to me”, Garrin recalls. “I had been playing a lot of gigs without the addition of the live looping jams, and started to feel like I wanted to document how my unadorned acoustic shows were sounding. I just happened to mention to the engineer at one of the gigs that it would be cool to record the shows, because I loved the way he was mixing them. When he sent me the files, enough time had passed that I had the perspective to hear that these recordings had potential for a release, which we started preparing via email right away.”
Though eclectic in its source material, the album manages to be cohesive in Benfield’s nuanced delivery and in the warm production quality that is a document of how the shows actually sounded.
“I had been playing a lot of new covers in my live sets that had yet to be recorded, and this album captures a whole bunch of them, plus solo versions of some of my own tunes. The track list is pretty lengthy, so I arranged it into two sets, like I might sequence the songs at an actual show”, Benfield says.
Featuring four songs from the Grateful Dead canon, the album also fearlessly explores songs by David Bowie, Paul Simon, Radiohead, Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Cockburn. Benfield has nestled three originals onto the CD, and — not constrained by the time limits of the physical format — five originals and one song by Phish in the digital download and streaming release.
“I love how this album fell together, how the set list managed to be so diverse without any real micro-managing from me, and that it’s honest — there’s no auto tuning or overdubs anywhere”, Garrin says. “I made quick, instinctive decisions about what songs to include and in what order they worked best. No focus groups.”