"Tall Tale Tunes" interview

Richard Bennett interview : Tall Tale Tunes ,release 2022

Interview Richard Bennett new album 2022: Tall Tale Tunes

Richard Bennett
Tall Tale Tunes
Release August 2022

Tracklist :
On Darkening Green / Whistlin’ Winds A-Wail’O / Acadian Bells / Girl With The Raven Hair / In Sweeter Days / The Gallows Dawn / Across This Lusty Land / The Ballad of Johnny Trem / Secrets Of June / Preston Station / Where Greener Pastures Grow / The Harvest Home

Richard Bennett ( Mark Knopfler , Neil Diamond , but so much more and writer from 6 melodic solo albums with great instrumental tunes) is about to release his 7th solo album named "Tall Tale Tunes".
The fansite had the privilege to listen to the album in an exclusive album preview. We heard some great music and after that we talked to Richard and asked him some questions, the interview below is what came out. After listening we come to the conclusion that there only can be two kinds of people in the world. The ones who are in love with Richard's music and the ones who haven't discovered his music yet.
Forewords for this interview are from Rodney Crowell, Spooner Oldham and Eric Brace .
We only can hope you enjoy the new music and the interview as much as we do,

Foreword from Rodney Crowell, Spooner Oldham and Eric Brace
In 1982, I and my band, the Cherry Bombs, were playing club called Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas, at the time the biggest Honky Tonk in the world.
The venue was known for serving up straight country music to a clientele disinterested in anything but what they were hearing on the local radio stations.
Richard Bennett was my lead guitar player at the time and always resplendent in the latest rock and roll fashion, his onstage persona pretty much announcing that he was as the hippest guy in the building.
With the powerhouse drummer, Larrie Londin and Emory Gordy on bass--- Tony Brown on piano and Hank Devito on steel guitar, I was fronting one hell of a rocking outfit.
Around the third or fourth number the crowd began to boo and I started second-guessing my passion for supplying the band with the most aggressive songs I had at the time.
I was thinking about playing a couple of old country hits to pacify the crowd when Richard sashayed over to me, and with the biggest smile ever said, “ Man they’re booing; I’ve never been booed before!
This is the highlight of my career!!” It was exactly what I needed to hear. From then on I poured my heart into that performance and we either wore them down or they learned to appreciate our new-wave approach to country-rock.
The night ended with a standing ovation. No doubt Richard saved the day.
Since then, anytime I feel intimidated onstage I think of Richard smiling in the face of musical adversity and carry on with whatever I’m trying to get across to a restless audience. There's no stage in the world that I wouldn’t confidently get on with Richard Bennett by my side.
Rodney Crowell, singer, songwriter, and producer.

I've been a friend of Richards, for many years.
We were bandmates, for a while.
A true talent, capable and willing to play many styles.
He, Tina, my wife Karen and I Met in Los Angeles .
Spooner Oldham - Keyboards / Songwriter / Muscle Shoals

If you didn't know this already, I'm telling you that the best late night driving music is a Richard Bennett album. Any of them.
(To be clear, I mean the Nashville guitarist, not the bluegrass artist of the same name whose work I also admire quite a bit.)
A few years back, when the frustrations of renting cars without CD players became a primary concern, I was pondering the streaming world. Before signing up with spotify, I'd decided that if it didn't have all of Richard Bennett's albums right there at my fingertips, then I'd pass.
But they did. I signed up. And the very first thing I did on there was put all of Richard's albums onto a playlist.
Richard has spent much of his grown-up life touring and recording with first Neil Diamond and more recently Mark Knopfler, and on the side he has been one of the most recorded sidemen and one of the most respected producers in Nashville.
I'm honored that he played on three of the records that Peter Cooper and I made. Being in the studio with him was like being with a musical Zen master. His level of calm and gentle mastery of his instruments is something to behold. His playing and his spirit elevates everything he's a part of.
Check out his discography : here . But for everything he's done, I love his six solo albums best of all. Each is filled with a dozen or so instrumental tracks... I love instrumental albums! These compositions are each little soundtracks to movies that need to be made.
These are seriously structured songs, not loose instrumental jams. How to describe? It's as if he's distilled all of 20th century pop music into these instrumental gems. Part Everly brothers (without the voices), part tiki, part rock, part surf, part lounge, part jazz, part swing, part pure pop, part blues, and all Bennett melodic brilliance.
He plays guitars and pedal steel and bouzouki and ukulele and harmonicas and more guitars, and he's surrounded by the very best musicians.
I'm happy to hear he's got a couple of more albums in the works.
His music is elegant, playful, profound, sublime, inspiring... just like the man himself.
You can listen to a few songs off each of his albums : here .
Eric Brace, Grammy-nominated producer, the front man of Last Train Home, half of a duo with songsmith Peter Cooper, and founder of East Nashville indie label Red Beet Records

Q. Hi Richard, congratulations with your new album Tall Tale Tunes. First question that comes to my mind : You see this as a Folk album and it sure has some Folk aspects , others may hear it in another way , can you explain why you see it for sure as a Folk album ? How would you describe this album ?
A : With the release of my first album, Themes From A Rainy Decade , I began to take the writing and recording of instrumental music as a serious endeavour and new chapter in my career.

Over the course of composing and releasing six albums, occasionally a melody would come along that felt like a folk tune in it’s simplicity. Somehow they never quite fit into whatever album I was working on at the moment, so I began a separate folder with FOLK scrawled across it in pencil. Whenever one of these tunes came to me I’d write it out and file it there.

In the final days of my last record, Ballads In Otherness , a pair of these folksy tunes tumbled out of my guitar within a few days of each other.
I dutifully transcribed them to manuscript and deposited them in the folk folder. I was surprised by how many songs had accumulated and began playing through them, pleased that many still held water for me as compositions.
I’d already been thinking ahead to the record that would follow Ballads In Otherness, wanting something different but having no idea what that might be.
Playing my way through the folk folder I realised the next record was sitting right there in front of me. These songs belonged together.

I began recording in November of 2018 laying down three or four tunes very quickly before putting the project away to commence a tour with Mark Knopfler .
I came back to it again in late 2019 having written some more while on the road and put my shoulder to the wheel intending to get the album out by Spring of 2020.
As 2020 unfolded, the awful news that a strange novel virus, C-19 was sweeping the world and by March we’d all retreated from work and into our homes.
The folk project sat patiently waiting another 14 months before I would come back to the studio and complete it. It’s been a long time.
I’ve lived with many of these recordings for nearly three years and have never tired of them. They’ve become old friends who I’ve enjoyed visiting, with every listen.
At their heart these Tall Tale Tunes are simple melodies that I’ve chosen to treat in some unusual ways. Not everyone will hear it as folk music but that genre is a broad banner and to my way of thinking Tall Tale Tunes falls squarely under it’s heading.

What is folk music? Stop the first 40 people you meet and ask that question. You’ll likely get as many answers and they’ll all be correct.
Anglo, Scot, Irish? African, European, South American, North American, Australian? The ballads and songs collected by Child, Sharpe, A.P. Carter and the Lomax’s?
Ethnic musics, the blues, jazz? Lead Belly, Guthrie, Seeger, The Kingston Trio? Ramblin’ Jack? Ramblin’ Bob? Peter, Paul, Mary? Joan Baez, Joni M, Johnny Cash? Trad-folk, psych-folk, folk-rock, folk revival, skiffle? The simple answer to this and more is yes.
Like all music that has proven hearty and durable, folk music covers a lot of ground and criss-crosses continents.

To it I would add purpose-written songs by pop and country tunesmiths to evoke a folk flavour; Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, Scarlet Ribbons, Sixteen Tons, The Battle Of New Orleans, It Was A Very Good Year, High Noon, The Three Bells, Waterloo, Long Black Veil and so many more. As Big Bill Broonzy said “All the songs I ever heard in my life was folk songs. I never heard horses sing none of ‘em yet.”

The music has breadth, scope and a common thread; these are songs that tell a tale, a story in words and simple tunes.
That is what I’ve tried to do with this collection of Tall Tale Tunes, convey a narrative solely through music without the specifics of words.
The title of each conjures a story that the music suggested to me as I wrote them, however, I encourage you to let these tunes create your own movie.
After all, folk music always had a way of changing to best suit whoever held it at the moment.

Q. For the recording process you always rely on George Bradfute at his Tone Chaparral Studio Madison, Tennessee. What do you like so particular at this studio and make you always go back ?
A : George and I have been working together for over 20 years and he’s a terrific musician, record producer, recording engineer and all around good guy.
He’s very easy to work with and if you’ve painted yourself into a corner George will suggest just the right thing to get you out of a bind with your feet clean.
He certainly knows how to get a great guitar sound along with everything else and there’s a good reason his studio is called TONE Chaparral.

Q. There are a lots of musicians on this album, do you choose people in function for the song or do you have the people and you see what they can bring for the song ?
A : I usually use the same rhythm section, Nick-guitar, Ted Tretiak-drums and Roger Spencer-bass. After that I choose the players who I think will best suit the style of the tune.

Q. The musicians are really topclass, most of them are also friends I think ?
A : Yes, I’ve worked with them all on various recording session through these years in Nashville. The city is home to a wealth of talent, they’re all so friendly and giving of that talent. It’s an honour to know and work with them.

Q. Your son Nick is all over the album , can you tell us what he did for the album ?
A : Nick’s on every track I think with the exception of 2 or 3 solo guitar tunes I did.
He’s a great electric guitar and lead player but I really lean on him to hold down the acoustic rhythm guitar and finger picking stuff.

Q. He's multitalented, he could be a graphic designer, just asking because he did again the layout and album art ?
A : Yes he’s done the album cover concept and layout. Nick’s always had a great eye for art and design going back to elementary school.

Q. In all your albums you seem to avoid blues/rock songs, what's the reason for that ? It seems you choose for a less travel road ?
A : I love blues and rock music just like everybody and there are so many musicians toiling in those fields.
For me, as you say, it is a case of the road less travelled and trying to stand out doing something different.

Q. About the writing process, you spend a lot of time with a tune before you record it I believe ?
A : I like to live with each tune for a while before recording it. The tunes reveal little things to you each time you play them….
new ways to approach the playing, perhaps a better choice of notes in the melody or how you get from one place in the song to the next as far as fingering goes.
It is very much like an actor figuring out how they want to “play” a role.

Q. Once a song is written you can start thinking about the arrangement I suppose ?
A : Yes. The arrangement begins coming together during this time spent with the tunes.

Q. You first write a song and once that is done you see what you can do with the guitar in that song, you have to find out where you can place yourself in the song ?
A : I’m not trying to impress anybody with my guitar playing, simply trying to get the tune across in the best way for the song.

Q. Pedal steel is always an interesting sound and instrument, on what song can we hear you play it on this album ?
A : I didn’t play any pedal steel on this one, however I used a Rickenbacker Hawaiian steel on Acadian Bells.

Q. A few songs were released digital in 2019 as "Four Buck Folk" but that little E.P. is not available anymore I believe ? Now CDBaby has gone, how can we buy your album ? Amazon or all the other well known distributors ?
A : Yes, streaming and downloading at all the usual destinations : YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Apple, iHeartRadio

Q. You used your Benson amp on several tunes, this amp has a special history with your friend and mentor Al Casey and Elvis Presley, can you share the story about this amp ?
A : Benson Amplifiers were hand built in Los Angeles by Ron Benson who also is a great guitar player.
A lot of the West Coast recording musicians began using them, particularly the Model 200 which was about the size of a large brief case and easy to get around with.
It recorded great because sounded very focussed. Al Casey used one and happened to have it when he was playing on the 1968 Elvis special on NBC.
He lent Elvis his red Hagstrom guitar for a segment of the program as well as the Benson amp to play it through.
Benson200 amp .

Q. You used the amp in a little video about the vinyl release from Code Red Cloud Nine, is that album still available on vinyl and how did that happen ? Is there a link to order the vinyl version ?

A : Kevin Victor of Yield Brother Records approached me about releasing the album on vinyl.
I tried to talk him out of it but he was very persistent and I’m glad he won out. It sounds beautiful on vinyl, the way I’d always wanted that record to sound.
It’s still very much available at: Yield Brother Records .
You can find here more info about the vinyl release.

Q. This is your 7th solo album, do you have more songs to come in the future ? You told once that you have already new songs for a next album ? Difficult question but do you have yourself one or more favourite songs on the album and if so, which songs are that and why ? Can you introduce the musicians to us, top musicians, a lot of people are on this album ?
A : I have 8 or 10 songs already written for the album after Tall Tale Tunes and from past experience know once I begin recording I’ll be writing more.

I don’t have a particular favourite as all the tunes are so different. I like them all for various reasons.

Musicians on the record…. Ted Tretiak and Roger Spencer come from the jazz world and I love the feel they get on everything they play.
Jim Hoke and Dave Hoffner have both contributed greatly to records of mine, both multi-instrumentalists and great arrangers. Austin Hoke is Jim’s son and a world-class ‘cello master. Jeff Taylor is another old friend and splendid multi-instrumental genius. He and Andy Reiss both play in The Time Jumpers the award winning band here in Nashville. Andy is everyone’s guitar hero.
Nick Bennett and George Bradfute need no introduction and are indispensable. Phil Lee is my old friend who I’ve produced several records for. He’s a remarkable songwriter and artist who also happens to be a terrific drummer.
Along with Fats Kaplin , yet another great multi-instrumentalist, and Paul Burch, splendid singer-songwriter and guitar player…. they played on Acadian Bells which is a Cajun steel guitar piece.

Q. So Covid-19 infected the recordings, how will the music industry will survive this situation that is really awful for musicians and the whole business ?
A : As mentioned, the pandemic held up the completion of this record for 14 months at least.
As far as the industry in general, everything pretty much ground to a halt unless you had your own studio and could curate who came and went.
I don’t, so I had to sit tight until the vaccines came along. Beyond that, I think once we’re all truly out of the woods with COVID is when the music business as a whole will begin to get back on it’s feet. Musicians want to work and people want to listen.

Q. Most of your albums have a liner note/foreword by some of your friends like Neil Diamond , Mark Knopfler , Rick Allen , Pieta Brown , Duane Eddy, is this also the case with this album and who will it be ?
A : My buddy Marty Stuart has written the notes to this one. Along with his many other talents he is a great writer and I thought he was just to person for this record.
I flattered when I read his tremendously kind words.

Q. About the songs themself now if you don't mind, first song on the album , 'On Darkening Green' is a slow song with only a few instruments. It's a very nice introduction to the album, like many times, not too many notes. It's not always about what you play but sometimes about what you do not play. What guitar do you play on this one if you remember ?
A : The title came from a line in a William Blake poem. A ‘green’ in the U.K. is a green space, usually a square block that’s used for recreation… a park.
The guitar on this is a 1936 D’Angelico Excel Model. John D’Angelico was a master guitar builder in Manhattan and his instruments are among the most desirable guitars, renown for their tone and the quality of their craftsmanship.
Each instrument was hand-built and finished by him. John D’Angelico made 1164 guitars between 1934 and his death in 1964.

Q. 'Whistlin’ Winds A’Wail-O' is a more up tempo song with a rich sound and some variety. The tempo takes you trough the song till the end, did you have something specific in mind with this song ?
A : Whistlin’ Winds is a good example of a simple folk-type melody that is treated in an unusual way, almost theatrically.
Also unusual in that the melody is stated twice in the first two A sections then never repeated again. With every modulation comes a completely different melody.
Also, the form is atypical, in this case: A-A-A-A and finally ending with the B section.

Q. 'Acadian Bells' has a few guest musicians like Phil Lee, Paul Burch and Fats Kaplin. Again very fine and great musicians. It's a Cajun steel guitar piece . How difficult is it to record this kind of song? Is it you who plays the Rickenbacker Hawaiian on this, the only song with Hawaiian steel on this album?
A : I’ve always loved the Cajun approach to steel guitar, hard to explain but it’s different, with a lot of sweeps and bouncing of the bar.
I really wanted to have this sound like it was recorded in the back room of somebody’s home or television repair shop rather than a proper recording studio.
We accomplished this by all squeezing into a tiny backroom storage area of George’s studio… drums, guitar, accordion and me playing the steel guitar.
There was a lot of “bleed” of each instrument into the other and it captured that sound I was looking for, compact and somewhat unprofessional.
We recorded two takes and it was done.

Q.'Girl With The Raven Hair' has more uncrowded notes . It's very secure and sensitive playing. Did you have someone in mind whilst giving this tune his name ?
A : Another simple tune that I wanted to treat like something from a motion picture and I did that by thinking of the chords in a slightly more complex way than what the melody might normally suggest.
As for the title it’s a play on a song by Claude Debussy, Maid With Flaxen Hair, which by the way was arranged beautifully for guitar by Johnny Smith.
There’s also a song I’ve always liked by Johnny Horton from 1951 called Betty Lorraine. In it he describes her smile as soft as a velvet rose, her heart as gay as champagne and hair black as black as a raven.
Finally, when we met, my wife’s hair was raven. So this is dedicated to her. I used a William Barker arch-top electric guitar on this that belonged to my pal Al Casey.
I thought it felt complete just with the guitar and didn’t need other instrumentation. George Bradfute got a beautiful sound on the recording.

Q. 'In Sweeter Days' starts strong, is that Lindsay Johns Bennett with the trombone or is it another instrument ? After 1:30 a guitar comes in and the tune develops further in a very beautiful, a bit melancholic song. Can you tell us a bit more about the arrangement and how this song was created ?
A : The opening announcement is Lindsay on trombone, timpani drum, low piano notes and my acoustic guitar.
It all sounds like an ominous peel of thunder. I wrote the song while touring with Mark Knopfler in 2019. We were staying for several days at a chateau-winery in Strasbourg, France.
It was beautiful country and the chateau and rooms were all very rustic, an idyllic setting. Most of that song came together there in my room over a couple of days.
I remember bumping in to one of the guys in the band as we were wandering around the acreage and commenting on how touring and being able to stay in wonderful places like this, that these were the sweetest days.
It is indeed a melancholy, bitter-sweet tune. I had the arrangement in my head before I took it in to record and simply got the right players to accomplish it.
Jeff Taylor was a key element in the sound with his concertina that gives it sort of a seafaring feel at times.
Apart from the very dramatic opening exclamation, it’s a very simple arrangement that gives the illusion of being more than the sum of it’s parts.

Q. 'The Gallows Dawn' starts with the piano intro from Dave Hoffner. Around sec 24 the guitar steps in and the song becomes another great tune that can play with almost any movie in our head. But the title suggests nothing peaceful ? Is it a bit threatening ?
A : This one is a little strange as the time signature keeps shifting throughout from 4/4 to 3/4 to 5/4. I wasn’t trying to be clever, the tune simply wrote itself that way and seemed very natural to me.
Another case of having the arrangement fully in mind prior to recording. I played nearly everything on this with the exception of the piano and flute-organ which was beautifully handled by Dave Hoffner .
Because of this shifting time in certain measures I didn’t want to have a usual rhythm section as it would draw attention to the time shifts by trying to accommodate them.
Instead I found a very natural accompaniment on bouzouki that made the shifts not feel odd. When starting to record this I began with that bouzouki first then followed with electric guitar.
The B sections of the tune are a combination of the bouzouki, Dave’s flute-organ and an instrument called a Mandolin-Guitarophone that is neither a mandolin or a guitar but rather an autoharp looking instrument.
Instead of strumming full chords, each note is played individually. It makes a very bell-like, chiming sound. The other unusual element is the piano playing what a bass would normally play so that adds to the dark, ominous nature of this recording as well.
Here again the overall impression far exceeds the sum of it’s parts. As for the title, it seemed to suit the mood of the piece, how someone might feel, in a musical sense, on the morning they were to be hung.

Mandolin-Guitarophone used on 'The Gallows Dawn'
picture credit Pieta Brown

Q. On the other hand, 'Across This Lusty Land' is a song that has more a party in its rhythm ?
A : A nod to Skiffle.

Q. One song is called 'The Ballad of Johnny Trem', can you explain us who Johnny Trem is and why he inspired you to name a song after him ? Is he a real person ? Or has it more to do with the tremelo ?
A : Johnny Trem is a nick-name I gave to the great John McCusker who plays with Mark Knopfler. John’s a brilliant Scottish fiddle player as well as playing beautiful whistle and cittern. Occasionally Mark will ask him to play electric guitar on stage and that’s when his Johnny Trem character comes out.
I’d always wanted to write a song with this title for as long as I’ve called him that and have finally done it now. Yes, Trem is for the tremolo John usually uses when he plays electric guitar.

John McCusker picture credit Guy Fletcher

Q. And what do you think John McCusker's reaction will be that you named a song after his nickname ? Does he know already ? This will make his way amongst the Mark Knopfler fans.
A : No, John hasn’t heard it yet and doesn’t know that I’ve done it.

Q. Can you reveal what secrets has the song 'Secrets Of June' for us ?
A : This is one of those songs that sat in the folk folder for years. I wrote it back in 2003 a few days after June Carter died.
I always admired her throughout her long and varied career… from her days as a child, singing with her mother and sisters on the radio followed by her act as a country comedienne in young adulthood.
She later married Johnny Cash and had a leading role with his show and, of course, his life.
That was followed with grace and dignity in old age as she once more returned to the folk music of her family, The Carter Family.
I never met her but was simply a fan and this tune wrote itself very quickly.
It has nothing to do with June specifically and in fact, it’s sort of an Irish sounding piece, but as she was on my mind when writing it, I wanted to mention her name in some way in the title.
As for secrets, it just went together well with June.

Q. 'Preston Station' : I think I hear the wonderful harmonica from Jim Hoke and some strings ? There are several Preston Stations so did you have a specific one in mind (I suppose London) and what’s the reason you named a song after it ?
A : My wife was born in Preston, England and lived there for the earliest part of her life. It is a Northern working class town close to Liverpool in Lancashire.
This tune struck me as British folk-pop, ’60s style, when my wife would have still been there. It seemed an appropriate title for this tune.
While I was touring with Neil Diamond back in 2017 a few of us decided to take the train down from Manchester where we’d played the night before to London where our next shows were.
One of the stops on the way down was at Preston Station. Nick, who was touring and playing guitar with us, got a great picture of the Preston Station sign above the platform.

Q. 'Where Greener Pastures Grow' is a lovely relaxed song with you and Nick on guitar I suppose or is it Andy Reiss ? It has a well known rhythm I think but I can't name it for the moment.
A : We recorded that with just Nick and I playing the acoustic guitar rhythm then I put the electric guitar on top of that and Dave Hoffner added Hammond organ mid-way through.
Not sure what you’d call that rhythm but it’s another simple melody, something you might hear in in old Hollywood film that’s set in the West.
There’s really no backstory to this, just a tune I wrote and thought it belonged with this collection.

Q. 'The Harvest Home' looks like the perfect epilogue for this album , like waving it goodbye with almost just you and your guitar. Any stories to share about this one Richard ?
A : Harvest Home is the oldest tune in this collection, written back in the early ’90s. I remember playing it for Mark Knopfler during the first recording sessions I did for Golden Heart back in 1994 and I’d already had it for couple of years prior to that.
I recorded a version of this on Amy Grant’s album called Legacy, as a prelude to another song on the album. On Amy’s record I’d titled it Fields Of Plenty.
I remembered, only after Amy’s album was released, the Woody Guthrie song called Pastures Of Plenty and I thought my title was a little too close for comfort.
It was unintentional but by then too late to do anything about it. Also, the version on Amy’s record was edited after the fact and it never felt the way I’d intended it even though I was very grateful to her for wanting to use my tune.
This composition has an autumnal, hymn-like quality and I always saw it as an agrarian, prairie tune, the flat midlands of America where many of our crops are grown.
To me it evokes late Autumn when the crops have been harvested and put up for the long winter ahead and thanks given. I was glad to have another chance to record this in it’s full form and a second crack at the title.

Q. Jeff Taylor plays dolceona en concertina on this album, can you explain to me what these instruments are ?
A : A Concertina is a small octagonal accordion but instead of keys like a piano-accordion it has many rows of small push buttons and a smaller range of notes.
The instrument is often associated with sea chanties. Jeff’s concertina can be heard on In Sweeter Days and really creates that yearning feeling in the arrangement.
The Dolceola was made in the early part of the 1900’s. It was intended to be a practice piano for people who didn’t have the room for a real one.
It resembles a large, deep autoharp with small piano keys that trigger the notes and sounds somewhat like a harpsichord.
It’s the rollicking instrument that comes crashing in on the first modulation in Whistlin’ Winds. Jeff also plays it in a more subdued way on Across This Lusty Land.
These are very scarce instruments in working order, maybe only 30 exist. Jeff’s is a pristine example and he sure knows how to play it.
He and I were working on a recording session several years ago when he told me he’d acquired one and asked if I knew what it was?
I couldn’t believe it… I’d been waiting nearly all my life to actually see a Dolceola. I’d first became aware of the instrument as a teenager from Leadbelly’s recordings made in the mid-‘40s for Capitol Records.
A Dolceola was used to accompany him and his 12-String guitar to great effect. A prime example is his version of Backwater Blues on Capitol.
When Jeff told me he had one I knew right away that we’d be making very good use of it.

Musicians on "Tall Tale Tunes" are :
Ted Tretiak: drums
Roger Spencer: bass
Nick Bennett: guitar
Lindsay Johns Bennett: trombone
George Bradfute: bass
Paul Burch: guitar (Acadian Bells)
Bobby Chase: viola
Laura Epling : violin
Dave Hoffner : piano, flute organ, Vox Continental and B-3 organ. String arrangement on In Sweeter Days
Austin Hoke: cello
Jim Hoke : harmonica
Fats Kaplin : accordion (Acadian Bells)
Phil Lee : drums (Acadian Bells)
Tim Lorsch : violin
Andy Reiss : guitar
Jeff Taylor : treadle organ, dolceola, concertina, accordion
Kristin Weber : violin
Richard Bennett : solo guitar and steel guitar

Recorded and Mixed by George Bradfute at Tone Chaparral Studio Madison, Tennessee
Additional engineering: Dave Hoffner and Nick Bennett
Mastering and Edit: Eric Conn and Don Cobb at Independent Mastering Nashville, Tennessee
Design and Layout: Nick Bennett
All songs written by Richard Bennett, Moderne Shellac Music (ASCAP)
Administered by 1010 Music Group, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee 37215

Produced by Richard Bennett and George Bradfute

Richard , many thanks for this interview , best , Henk
Published September 2022

Approved by Richard Bennett

You can order “Tall Tale Tunes” (2022) at Bandcamp here
You can order “Ballads In Otherness” (2018) at Bandcamp here
You can order “Contrary Cocktail” (2015) at Bandcamp here
You can order “For The Newly Blue” (2013) at Bandcamp here
You can order “Valley Of The Sun” (2010) at Bandcamp here
You can order “Code Red Cloud Nine” (2008) at Bandcamp here
You can order “Theme From A Rainy Decade” (2004) at Bandcamp here

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