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Benjy Davis Project
Dust
Rock Ridge Music
www.bdpmusic.com


The Benjy Davis Project call Baton Rouge home, which stands to reason why their songs sound like aural representations of the city's countrified vistas and floral scented motes that fill its air. The band's latest release Dust has a southern country puttering reflective of James Otto, and the rustic heartland hues of Cary Brothers. Produced by David Z (Jonny Lange, Kenny Wayne Shepherd), Dust is sautéed in bar-room folk and permeates fumes with a cozy heartland country whiff that makes the songs relate to the masses on matters that affect them the deepest.

Lead singer Benjy Davis resonates a sincerity in his vocals that resembles Kings Of Leon's Caleb Followill as guitarist Jonathan Lawhun radiates a countrified tone with a bluesy rock flange in its hooks. Drummer Mic Capdevielle and bassist Matt Rusnak mold the tracks into refined country-rock threads as violinist/mandolin player Anthony Rushing ribs the tunes with a flowy lacing and pianist Michael Galasso handkerchiefs the melodies with a folksy bliss like Missy Higgins. Tracks like "Same Damn Book" and "The Rain" howl with a rustic intonation reminiscent of Kings Of Leon, while the sedate mood of "I Love You" is ladled in succor-enriched chord progressions. The flames ignited by Maggie Brown's vocal harmonies along "Graves" drives shots of excitement into the track as the melody furls and rambles like leaves being blown across a dirt road.

The music may have a common heartland country feel and a rustic rock flange, but the lyrical content helps the songs stand more boldly. The lyrics admit things that most people would rather hide from themselves and from others like in "Same Damn Book." Davis perceives, "That's why we're never on the same page, baby / Never even in the same damn book / Two stories in the same stage / Seem to go together but take another look because there's about to be a character change and it's not looking good / We can't be on the same page, baby / We ain't even in the same book." Other lyrics make observations about the outside world like in "Whose God?" when Davis reflects, "There's a beautiful baby girl being born / Wrong place, wrong time / With a heart and a soul and a family torn / At the drop of a borderline / There's a beautiful baby girl / In a storm of missiles and land-mines / And I don't know what to say / Oh, whose God would want it this way?"

The Benjy Davis Project cement their music in smooth country-rock landscapes and rustic heartland mulch. No doubt a common denominator with other artists from their hometown of Baton Rouge, but BDP's specialty rests in their ability to write songs that are in touch with reality, the good taken with the bad. Their songs come from an honest place. The lyrics connect with people on a level that folks can understand and appreciate, and the music gives country rock a contemporary flare that let's folks know that BDP are a product of a modern generation.

-Susan Frances

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