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Marco Benevento: A little past, A little present

article by John Powell

Marco Benevento has just released TigerFace, mainly instrumental, jazz-tinged, semi-rock, piano and keyboard-driven, and full of guest musicians- but Marco checks in from the New York suburbs, where he moved to be with his family, and he asks that I hold on while he says goodbye to his guests. He doesn’t sound tripped out or spacey. He’s Marco the host. Marco the dad.

Although Marco hangs out with musicians from Rubblebucket, Moe., The Barr Brothers, and Ween, he’s such an easy going guy, willing to talk about his music, that he proves this web of musicians is made up of music lovers, music fans that just so happen to play music themselves, and that playing with them is just as thrilling for him as it is for us to hear on record.

Marco Benevento

You are playing Higher Ground soon. Last time you were in town you played Signal Kitchen where it was a tight space. Do you often play club gigs?

I do. I’m in, the Benevento/Russo Duo. We played [Higher Ground] a handful of times. I also played there with Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and even sat in when we were on tour with Try [Anastasio] in 2006. My own band even played in the small room when I was getting off the ground. I always felt with my new band, starting out, it’s hard to play that room because it’s big and not right in town. On top of that, I like people piled in, real close, a packed room. Versus a show in a large room where it’s quiet, and might feel cold. We decided to do something small; we did Radio Bean. It was the most fun of my life, the best thing ever.

I didn’t know Benevento/Russo Duo was still playing!

We get together and play now and then. We just played at the Ramble. Joe had a gig there and I sat in on a bunch of tunes. We have a bunch of Duo tunes; we want to do some recordings. The focus is not on that right now, for either of us, because he tours with Further. We are in touch, dreaming of making it happen.

And they’re still doing the Rambles without Levon?

Well, having Joe there was awesome. [Laughs] That place should be a museum. It should not have a hard time staying afloat. Granted, there is debt involved. It should not be. It should be covered by the government, or something. [Laughs] When you go there, you feel that spirit of The Band, of Levon.


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