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Benmont Tench

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Not only does Benmont perpform some great solos in concert, the solid piano offering up a natural contrast to fuzz-driven guitars. but the man can play classical, blues, rock, country, etc. and can improvise with the best of them, and he's got a unique voice and an interesting songwriting ability. 

I haven't listened to much of his solo album but You Should Be So Lucky the song is really darn good. It's a fun mix of garage rock and 50s pop.
 
I guess it's too late now but I wonder how TPATH would've grown had he been able to get a song or two onto their records of the years. Would Tom have sung his songs or let Benmont have the spotlight for a bit? 
 
Certainly his voice is interesting, sharp and angular yet smooth as well. Quite different from both Tom and Mike's singing. I really like it quite a bit and I think he could've fronted his own band with his vox.
 
What do you think, of his voice and songwriting and the good Mr. Tench in general?

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I'm not sure he's got quite the type of lead voice, that totally strikes my fancy. But everything else about BT's input to this band, and to the world of recorded and performed music in general, is so beyond compare that it's hard to know where to begin. In my book he's one of the single most important players ever, all categories. With a backing like him and MC, TP is really sitting on the keys to the universe in terms of musical expression. Genius. No other word for it. And funny too!

 

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Benmont still has plenty of musician mojo and by my reckoning based upon on this just concluded tour still has the hunger and joy for performing live. This got me thinking about what if TPATHB went down the road of say The Eagles or Fleetwood Mac from the perspective of having more than one vocalist and songwriter and how that dynamic would have worked especially live for the Heartbreakers and even more especially live in the later years in that it could have really rejuvenated the live show experience especially on the 2017 tour. Imagine if Benmont sang You Should Be So Lucky and Mike sang I don't wanna Fight. ..even those two songs from the 19 song set would have taken a bit of the pressure off Tom vocally for a bit..if even for a few shows ...This Is A Good Street.

I'd love to get to Benmonts upcoming solo shows. While his voice is not the most powerful or resonant you'll ever hear he can certainly hold a tune...and the boy can sure play! ☺Seems to be the type of guy who would hold his own in any topic of conversation too. I love his solo album...some excellent songs in their own right that deserve attention in and of themselves. .with Tom Petty being so great as a song writer it would be hard to compete at that level consistently in the song writing stakes... Benmont staying loyal to Tom all these years is also noteworthy. I get the impression that the live set list formula irks him...that jacket throwing and neck tie  discarding that night at Red Rocks after the lightning break was quite symbolic during his impromptu solo I felt....a bit akin to a prize bird being released from its cage. A lot of symbolism there I thought as well as being enjoyable! ☺

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41 minutes ago, dollardime said:

Imagine if Benmont sang You Should Be So Lucky and Mike sang I don't wanna Fight. ..even those two songs from the 19 song set would have taken a bit of the pressure off Tom vocally for a bit..if even for a few shows ...This Is A Good Street.

 That's a really good idea, Dollardime. "I'm a luvva-luvva-" could've turned into a bit of a jam at the end too, give Tom more of an extended break. 

 

42 minutes ago, dollardime said:

Benmont still has plenty of musician mojo and by my reckoning based upon on this just concluded tour still has the hunger and joy for performing live.

 Yes, I think he really savored You Wreck Me when he could pretty much do what he wanted.

43 minutes ago, dollardime said:

I get the impression that the live set list formula irks him...that jacket throwing and neck tie  discarding that night at Red Rocks after the lightning break was quite symbolic during his impromptu solo I felt....a bit akin to a prize bird being released from its cage. A lot of symbolism there I thought as well as being enjoyable! ☺

 Definitely true! I would imagine less so with Mudcrutch tours since they are shorter and the songs are still new but with TPATH, I think somewhere Tom mentioned how Benmont tries to push for older songs being revisited, etc.  

I guess knowing what Benmont and Mike could do if fully untethered in the Heartbreakers context is a large part of the set list frustration. But back to him as a musician,  You Should Be So Lucky (the song) takes some interesting turns musically. While I like his song on Mudcrutch 2 and it's witty lyrics, I think ...Be So Lucky is quite the gem. Eventually I'll probably make it through the rest of the songs on the album. It's probably liberating for him to play his own solo shows, throwing in whatever he feels like on the spur of the moment.

cheers

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I don't like the song at all, I love Mike as a guitarist but he's not a lead singer. As far as I know he hasn't sung since in the band.

Benmont is also a great player but a very average singer.

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22 minutes ago, Jay said:

don't like the song at all, I love Mike as a guitarist but he's not a lead singer. As far as I know he hasn't sung since in the band.

Yeah, I think that was the only TPATH song he sings on. His voice sounds somewhat similar to Tom's. It's not my vocal preference but as a one-off fun song it works, and brings some amount of needed levity and energy to Echo. I like the simplicity of the song musically and while not one of their greats, I think it succeeds for what they wanted to do, basically a fun little rock song. 

cheers

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24 minutes ago, Jay said:

Benmont is also a great player but a very average singer.

 There's something about his voice I like; I'm not particular when it comes to singers, if they fit the music then they're fine with me. I suppose there's also that it was so unexpected, I think of him as the piano and keyboard player of the band, not as a singer but I like his voice now that I've heard it and really like that particular song.

cheers

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Personally, I'm not crazy about BT and MC getting their own vocal segments in a TPATH live setting. Partly because their songs are mostly side project stuff that wouldn't necessarily fit a TP context (exception of course being I Don't Wanna Fight, which is not a good enough song imo, to adorn the average TP show - or an imaginable great and varied ditto, for that matter - even if a one-off performance on occasion could be fun). And partly beacause they neither of them is vocally overly suited to sing lead in a TPATH context, as I see it.

That said, I really love their side projects, as they are, and whatever they want to do outside of the TP box is great! I love how BT finally got around to make his own album, that TP allowed that, and that he even toured some to back it. And I really wish that one day MC gets the same chance with The Dirty Knobs, or on his own. He certainly deserves having his own record, as brilliantly proven by his input on Mudcrutch 2. Go Mike!

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I think if any member of the band comes up with a song deemed good enough then it should go in but Tom is so prolific

that this would be almost impossible. Having said that, I wish they had recorded boys of summer

a great song co written by Mike which would have graced Southern accents.

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I personally love Benmont's album. It has a lot of great songs on there. I love "Today I Took Your Picture Down", "Blonde Girl, Blue Dress", "You Should Be So Lucky", "Veronica Said", and "Why Don't You Quit Leaving Me Alone". Those songs show that Benmont can write well thought out, interesting, and complex songs and that he is more than just the best damn piano player in rock. Now do I think his voice would lend itself to being a front man of a rock band? No, not at all. But I don't think he has to. His album shows he could have been heralded as a great singer/songwriter in the vein of Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen. Not a mainstream figure, but a popular, well received my his peers, influential musician and writer. 
 

The one thing I wish though, is although I like the Beatleesque "Like the Sun", I wish he recorded it like he played it on Jimmy Kimmel as a piano ballad. It is so great and beautiful. Unfortunately, you cannot find that version anywhere anymore. It use to be on YouTube but somehow it vanished into the ether.

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Hey, I just found these amazing clips with Ben again. They were made by Keyboard Magazine back in 2008. I seem to recall they were posted here back then (or if that was on the officials?) but haven't found them or seen them since. I suppose they've been lost, but now here they are. Really great stuff!

http://www.keyboardmag.com/lessons/1251/video--benmont-tenchs-keyboard-class/63593

ben_live.jpg

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