New Ben Franklins – Peter Gabriel –
What a lucky break. I get frequent emails about new music and when lead singer David Devoe sent a note about this release I jumped on it after hearing a couple of cuts and asked for a copy. This band has been playing the Denver area for 20 years, and this release is nothing short of amazing. The band consists of David Devoe on vocals and lots of instruments, Benjamin Mason Williams on bass and sax, Tom Pberheide on pedal steel and banjo and Mark Kosta on drums. They use a host of other musicians as well, and the instrumentation varies from the great pedal steel to dobro and fiddle to full horn sections. It works so well and they have created a masterpiece. The opening cut “Riverside” gives you a hint of what’s to come, with David’s vocals setting the tune, and lush harmonies and solid backup music, then “Miserable” brings some down-home steel guitar and country licks to a ballad that laments always “being in trouble again”, and the awesome steel guitar in “Love Like This”, a tearful song of envy and loss, while “Nickajack Cave” is a mournful tale of desperation that turns to hope when a last minute salvation shows him the light. His warm tribute to his mother, “Best Friend” is a moving testament to his ability to take a personal feeling to new heights, and the walls of guitars on “Mourning” give it a big band feel, and “Summer Sun” weaves a spell of love and hope. Stepping it up a bit with charging guitars, “About You” is a straight-ahead rocker that lights up the whole room, while the bleak “Horse” deals with addictions while the sparse guitar spins around the soaring vocals. Hard-charging licks highlight “Here I Go Now” , and the punk anthem “Detroit Party Jesus” pulls the mood in a whole different direction, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and pounding beat. The tender sound of “Maine” slows it back down, then speeds it back up at intervals, with a recall of a dreamy trip, and they fade away with “My Soul”, a lovely lament of true love. Find out more about them at the web site, at www.newbenfranklins.com.
See it all here!