It was during tour rehearsals for the Raconteurs that Brendan Benson fell in love with Nashville. Jack White – his friend, Detroit neighbor, and co-conspirator in the band – had moved there earlier, and the timing seemed right.
"There had been a series of incidents happening in Detroit," he recalls. "I got mugged. I got robbed. So I wanted to get out of there."
Apparently, it was the right move. He got married and now has two kids. He's also set up his own recording studio and started his own label. Benson headlines the Readymade Records showcase, which includes sets from recent find the Howlin' Brothers and legendary Animals frontman Eric Burdon.
"I've been pretty lucky. It's a coincidence that the people I like being around also happen to play good music. That was the case with the Howlin' Brothers or Cory Chisel. I was interested in them as people, and their music kind of came second. It was an excuse for us to hang out. With Eric, we did an EP with the Greenhornes backing him up. I want to do some more with him. He was amazing. He's a sprightly dude for however old he is. We were partying pretty hard, and he was right with us."
Of course talking to Benson, the conversation leads to the now dormant Raconteurs. He's strictly noncommittal on whether or not the band is finished for good.
"Whenever we get together, we say we should get the band back together. But no one has time. Maybe at some point when the stars are aligned ...
"That's the way it was born. Everyone's schedule actually coincided. Finally. We always talked about recording something when we would hang out and play, but then we did it. So it would have to happen that way again.
"That's a long-winded answer to say, 'I don't know.'"
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