Dan Tedesco

Dan Tedesco

Ben Knight

Sat · April 8, 2017

9:30 pm

The Southgate House Revival-The Lounge


This event is 21 and over

Dan Tedesco
Dan Tedesco
My story is…..that I have no story, per se. I come from a solid family. It’s a point of pride. I grew up in the far west suburbs of Chicago. My folks weren’t rich, but there wasn’t much that I was left wanting. I’ve never been arrested. Always got good grades. I never developed any major drug addictions (at least, not yet). The only serious addiction in my life, if you’d like to call it that, has been with music. Let me bring you up to speed.

Piano at age 5.

Violin at age 9.

Guitar at age 11 after hearing Eddie Van Halen.

And that, as they say, is all she wrote.

I’ve been madly in love with it ever since.Growing up my ears were fortunate enough to be treated to a fairly eclectic musical mix: The Beatles, Dylan, Paul Simon, James Taylor, The Band, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, CCR, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty. Even a healthy dose of Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. A friend in my neighborhood used to make cassette mixes for me: The Who, They Might Be Giants, The Police, The Clash. I missed the grunge period, and it wouldn’t be until nearly a decade later that I’d discover the power of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Once I found the guitar, things focused in a touch. It wasn’t unusual for me to fall asleep at night to the sounds of guitar wizards like Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. And the random Van Halen record was never far away.

Then there was the jazz period. Wes Montgomery. Joe Pass. George Benson. Charlie Christian. John Coltrane. Elvin Jones. McCoy Tyner. The things I learned from those guys. Man. It’s everything really. The spirit of jazz. The freedom of it. That’s been it’s great influence on me.

But I was always a rock ’n roll kid. Pete Townsend more than Pat Metheny. And, ultimately, I craved power chords over the complex harmonies of jazz.

High school was a weird time. I straddled the jock world, playing baseball, and the music world, as a member of the high school jazz band. Most mornings, after being dropped off by the bus, everyone would hang out in the lunchroom before first period. Not me. I’d head straight to a room adjacent to the school’s band rehearsal hall, writing music on the computer. Like I said, it was an addiction. Outside of school, I jammed in a duo with one of my best friend’s, who happened to be a fantastic drummer. We wrote all kinds of stuff. Lots of instrumental music (queue the Satriani). Recorded various demos. But neither of us sang. That made it hard to play out. And most of the other kids were interested in the classics: Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Stones. They weren’t interested in what we had going on.

So, like many of my heroes, I was a bit of a social outcast. That, if anything, was and has always been my struggle. Everyone has at least one. And I found my comfort, security and confidence in the world out on the fringe, populated by the misfits. The world of rock ’n roll.

Let Me Play My Old Guitar, and sing for you my song
Let Me Play My Old Guitar, and sing for you my song
I promise you my friend
I Will Not Do You Wrong

– DT
Ben Knight
Ben Knight
“Put a country song on the radio none of that fake shit give me something old and point me down a country road, uhuh.”

So starts the second verse of Ben Knight’s song Take Me Somewhere on his first EP and his first serious recording; and that line says a lot about the CD. In this five song collection “Dog Days”, Ben sticks mostly to folk and blues in style. His subject matter covers trailers, prescription pills, love, science and God. But this isn’t radio country, something he obviously abhors. If you had to label it you would probably say Alt. Country or Americana whatever that means. The truth is Ben listens/has listened to everything from old time to indie rock to hip/hop. This is 2011 and the time for crossover is ripe, the internet and radio are saturated with music and you there are few musicians writing in a cave.

Hailing from Dixon, Kentucky (pop. 700ish) Ben could definitely be pegged as a country boy. He sings likes he talks with a heavy west KY accent. He plays acoustic, often finger picking. True to form he even has a family history of country music. His uncle, Chris Knight has won himself considerable fame over the last 15 years as a songwriter and because of his particular fame in Texas, was named an "Honorary Texan" by Texas Governor Rick Perry.[1]

It’s obvious that Ben could choose to go down the same road as his uncle. Roseanne follows Johnny, and Justin follows Steve who followed Townes, and I don’t even need to mention Hank Williams 3 and the Damn Band to tell you this music runs in people’s blood, like alcoholism, addiction, and depression. Country music is in Ben Knight’s blood. What’s in his head and heart may be different.

Dog Days, produced by Dan Conn in a home studio somewhere in rural KY, is a songwriter’s album. It’s lyrically driven, tasteful, interesting, and intelligent. He writes like an English major and sings like a hillbilly and maybe that’s the best thing of all. Anyone who knows Ben personally knows these songs are only a glimpse of his repertoire. Writing constantly he could have a different set list anytime you see him play out which you can do most frequently in Louisville KY.

I think the only drawback to this record is the problem with all acoustic guitar records: It’s a little slow and a little quiet. The song “Hammerdropper” could have used a rhythm section while “Araminta” could have used a string section, etc. I look forward to future records with fuller and thicker arrangements. But maybe he needs a few more fans to show before that happens. Check out his Facebook account and download his album, “Dog Days” at http://benknight.bandcamp.com
Venue Information:
The Southgate House Revival-The Lounge
111 East 6th Street
Newport, KY, 41071