Jimmy Bennett – Sunday Morning Sessions
Junkyard Dog Productions
10 tracks – 32 Minutes
Jimmy Bennett and his younger brother Peter have been performing together for decades in The Bennett Brothers Band. Their sound has been compared to Hot Tuna. The duo is originally from Brooklyn, New York. After performing a show with Rick Danko and Levon Helm of The Band, Levon invited the duo to become part of his “The Midnight Ramble” series and performed close to 100 shows in the series. Guests in that series included Hubert Sumlin, Johnnie Johnson, and Alexis P. Suter among many others that the brothers backed. The brothers then joined Suter on the first seven albums from the Alexis P. Suter Band.
Jimmy, the group’s guitarist, is now 70 years old. In recent years he has played on albums from Bruce Katz and more recently with John Ginty. John joins Jimmy on this album as producer and plays piano, Hammond organ and drums. Jimmy sings and plays acoustic guitar and dobro.
The album was recorded during the Covid crisis. He states that on the morning of Easter Sunday, 2020, “Feelings of fear, dread and hopelessness were spreading, as contagious as Covid itself. That Sunday morning, I recorded a song I wrote – “Easter Morning Melody” and put a video on Facebook in hopes of spreading a little musical joy during these dark days.” The response was instantaneous and led to the full sessions found here consisting of eight original songs, one co-written with his brother and three covers.
That song that started this production is the opening track of the album. The song is a quiet instrumental exercise in fingerpicking. He moves from there into the spiritual “Will I See You Again”, another solo effort which includes his vocals. “Snow Sliding” is another instrumental featuring Jimmy on dobro and Ginty on drums.
“Bay Ridge Blues” is another quiet effort with Jimmy singing about past remembrances and Ginty providing some acoustic piano backing. He pulls the dobro back out for a more animated tale of “Katy Mae” that brings reminiscences of old porch recordings. That energy carries over into the first cover, Delbert McClinton’s “New York City” with John Ginty getting a chance to take a lead on a Vintage Vibe piano.
Jimmy then demonstrates a faster picking style on the instrumental “Broken River Stream”. The second cover is of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, which is given a traditional vocal with some slight change in the guitar style. “Mr. Charlie” has an old-time country blues vibe as he seeks advice from an older man “who is going to make things right tonight”. The album concludes with Jimmy’s dobro lead on a “Serenade for New Orleans” noting “Big Easy is gone forever”.
As might be expected from an album called Sunday Morning Sessions, the music is tranquil. Jimmy’s vocals are equally restrained, although certainly pleasant. The album would certainly serve for a calm listening experience on a Sunday morning.
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