Benjy Davis Project “Dust”

30Jul09

Benjy Davis Project Album Cover

Music [myoo-zik] noun:  An art form created to evoke some form of emotion with the use of instrumentation, voice and the dance between rhythm, melody and harmony.

No, I’m not a dictionary, but I believe I have a solid understanding of what music is and what elements have the ability to draw people in.  “Dust,” the latest release from the Benjy Davis Project, a group out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, showcases that the members of the Benjy Davis Project also have a distinct understanding of what music is and how to create a successful sound.

The way the Benjy Davis Project goes about this is not exactly the same way the musicians riding the radio waves attract listeners.  Yes, certain songs on “Dust” made me dance in my chair (particularly Still Sweet) and many of them reminded me of certain things many of us have overcome throughout the course of our lives.  However, I believed that the five members of the Benjy Davis Project have experienced these emotions, as well.  Truthful artists?!  Do those exist?

YES, yes they do, without the sex drenched lyrics and car door rattling bass sounds.

By the time Sweet Southern Moon, the third song on “Dust,” began dancing out of my computer speakers, I realized that even though the only relationship I have with these musicians is between the physical CD and me, I trusted them.  Much like I mentioned about Ken Block, the lyrics written by the Benjy Davis Project are conversational.  Nothing is far fetched and I do not doubt that the band members have experienced the emotions they write about.

Benjy Davis’ (lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) raspy yet pure voice delivers the honest lyrics perfectly with a jazzy, blues tapped, country-pop vibe, reminiscent of an early Ben Folds.  The harmony parts and instrumentals delivered by Mic Capdevielle (drums, percussion, vocals), Jonathan Lawhun (electric lead guitar, banjo), Matt Rusnak (bass guitar), Michael Galasso (piano, B3 organ, Wurlitizer, harmonica, vocals) help to give each song a full sound, leaving the listener feeling completely engaged throughout the course of “Dust.”

The variety of instruments used on this album cannot be overlooked.  From B3 organ to banjo to electric guitar, the five members of the Benjy Davis Project have certainly proven themselves as musicians.  The guitar solo in Good Enough speaks for itself but the song’s title does not do it justice.

Aside from dancing in my chair, the emotions evoked from listening to “Dust” are all extremely positive ones.  Anyone watching me write this review right now is probably wondering what I’m smiling about.  To those of you that may have asked yourself that question: I am not smug nor am I watching some ridiculous YouTube video.  I’m not stalking someone on Facebook or catching up on my celebrity crush’s Tweets.  I’m listening to the Benjy Davis Project’s latest album, “Dust,” and I find it much more fun and fulfilling than all of the above activities combined.

To learn more about the Benjy Davis Project, head to their website.

Standouts from “Dust” include:

I Love You:

Sweet Southern Moon:

Good Enough:

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