I am a singer-songwriter, piano player and other-instrument player, living in Seattle and Vashon Island, WA. My music bounces around amidst the genres of indie-pop, indie-folk, nerd-rock, and esoteric/eclectic. To hear all of my studio-recorded albums, please go directly to the music page.
August 11, 2014
The discs have arrived! The discs for my Beck Song Reader project, that is. (See the news item below for an explanation of the project.) As planned, it's an "EP" of five songs, and, perhaps self-indulgently I named it "Grek Benson" which is a play on my middle name and Beck's last name. Now that my project is finished, I've been listening to the renditions of the same songs created by other musicians. We all sound good.
May 29, 2014
For the last six months or so I've been working on recorded versions of a handful of songs from Beck Hansen's Beck Song Reader. If you haven't heard about this, these are songs that Beck composed but did not release as recordings, but rather simply as sheet music. I'm focusing on five of them, so I guess this project is what would traditionally be called an "EP." If you know Beck's music you know that he has been stylistically all over the map. These tend to have an old-timey, almost late-nineteenth century flavor to them. My renditions range from that vibe to a contemporary experimental sound. The five songs are:
"You Don't Have to Change Your Shoes to Walk All Over Me"
"The Title of this Song"
"Please Leave a Light On When You Go"
Again, it's Matt Brown engineering and playing bass and some electric guitar, plus a bunch of other musician friends helping out on various instruments. (I'll name them all when the project is ready for release.)
This should be available sometime this Summer. Not sure yet if it will be on CD, download only, youtube videos, or what.
November 29, 2013
I am honored to have part of my song "Walk Softly" (from my album Ten Thousand Things) used at the end of the fund-raising Kickstarter for a documentary called The Tightrope. This is my friend Dan Philbin's project, and it explores mental illness, including perspectives of people who have experienced it, and also the knowledge of experts in fields ranging from psychiatry, to religion, to the arts.
June 30, 2013
Last night we had a very successful house concert performance of 13 songs from The Beck Song Reader! The Beck Song Reader is a group of songs that Beck published only in printed form, as sheet music, without having ever produced recorded versions of the songs. Although there have been plenty of youtube videos of other musicians interpretations of this music, I have fiercely avoided hearing any of it, so that I could have the pure experience of learning the music directly from the page. Below is a video of me playing my interpretation of "Old Shanghai." No microphones! Parlor concert style!
October 12, 2012
Had a wonderful time playing in the John Prine tribute at Seattle's Sunset Tavern the other night. All of the performers were great, the audience was plentiful and enthusiastic, and special thanks to Norman Baker and The Backroads for organizing and playing house band.
August 30, 2012
And... now... here is Ten Thousand Things! This started as a one-song recording project. I had one older song called "Love and Sadness" that a friend liked a lot. Next thing I knew, I was making a five-song EP. And then it became a full ten-songer. They are all older songs from my more folky days, that had never had serious studio recordings made. Except "Acid Tongue" which is a Jenny Lewis cover.
August 20, 2012
The new version of Water Makes Waves is now available!
You can buy physical CDs or download at a flexible price, $7 or more, or just listen.
August 16, 2012
An animated video for the new version of "How We Met." The full album Water Makes Waves will be available soon.
February 10, 2012
I am currently at work recording a new album of old songs. These are all songs I wrote in the nineties and early 2000s, and they are pretty much in the "Folk/Americana" genre. At the time I wrote them, I didn't quite know how to fit them in to everything else I was doing musically, but now I feel that I am ready to share them with the world! The album is tentatively titled Ten Thousand Things. Oh, actually I'm lying that the songs are all old, because there will probably be one cover, and it will probably be of a fairly recent Jenny Lewis song.
Also: This may be weird but I have pulled down my 2011 release Water Makes Waves because I am re-mixing it with plans to re-release it later this year! I want to make it PERFECT! I'll keep you posted.