Benevento/Russo Duo

Live Shots

Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller
Kathy McCarty
Kathy McCarty (Photo By Todd V. Wolfson)

Benevento/Russo Duo

Blender Bar @ the Ritz, Wednesday, March 16

The Brooklyn-based duo of organist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo has probably been compared to Medeski, Martin & Wood more times than Mick Jagger's cashed in his paternity insurance. Yet the comparison – a compliment – is apt, as the two groups both fashion instrumental, jazz-infused, intensity-building jams. Aside from not having a bassist (keyboardist Benevento emits the basslines), B/R gravitate toward more linear and angular, almost spacey prog, compositions, whereas MM&W populate the blue note grooves. And while B/R may have one-third fewer members, they duly compensate with intensity and trampoline-taut exchanges. By their showcase's second tune, this 1929 film theatre was filled with enough powerful sound waves to quiver glasses and bottles like players on those old-school vibrating electronic football games. With skills to burn and augmented by sequencers and samplers, the twosome filled their 45 minutes with cuts from their recent, live Darts, and next month's Ropedope release, Best Reason to Buy the Sun, with "Sunny's Song" coming off strong. Russo is like a teetering tea kettle on the trap kit and digital workpad, while Benevento massages the Hammond B-3's ebonies and ivories, and accompanying rainbow of stompboxes, with aplomb, referencing "What Goes Up" and "Tom Sawyer" in the same tune. If B/R fit under the sometimes maligned jam band umbrella, then here's the lesson kids: The genre is composed of more than Captain Trips wannabees and Phish-y knockoffs. And really, like all good groups the only real category that Benevento/Russo Duo fit neatly into is their own.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by David Lynch
Rock & Roll Summer Reading
How Can I Keep From Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger

May 30, 2008

Texas Platters
That Damned Band
999 Surreal Eyes (Record Review)

Feb. 15, 2008

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle