On his debut recording, Martha Ave, named for a neighborhood Bronx street near Lincoln Schleifer’s “Log Cabin” recording studio, where it was recorded, Maryland- based, Canadian-born, songwriter Eugene Benjamin, offers a delicious slice of Americana. No novice to the songwriting process, having played his first pieces for a childhood babysitter, to whom the EP is dedicated, the songs selected for this offering include older and more recently penned material from the Benjamin songbook.
As Eugene reflects: “ The lyrics to Well Ran Dry, weren’t even complete, until the day before we began recording, and with Lisa Lowell looking over my shoulder, but the melody and framework were always there.
Ride had been kicking around for about 6 or 7 years, but never completed until one day it all came together with a fantasy scenario about an elderly cowboy from the early 20th century, returning briefly to earth to see what had become of the land he loved so much.
Farewell, is really a lament, about what might have been, written after I had turned 50, and needed to reflect.
Mary celebrates a time of life and new love. When I initially wrote it, it was a folk acoustic tune, and with Lincoln’s guidance we transformed it into an early 60’s (pre-Beatles), rock n’ roll melody of the Mann-Appell , Crewe-Gaudio vintage.
Road is at least 10 years old, and took shape with a guitar melody in DADGAD tuning. Here, the influence of my friend and former guitar teacher, the virtuoso guitarist, Pierre Bensusan is immeasurable.
Forever reflects the pain many of us have felt with a dissolving relationship, but you might draw a different interpretation. It was sitting in my songbook for years, and I decided to record it just days before I entered the studio”.
On this date, Eugene did have a little help from his friends, including Lincoln Schleifer (Levon Helm, Richard Shindell, Warren Haynes, Roseanne Cash), production,bass, harmonium, guitar, Lisa Lowell ( Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny)-vocals, Denny McDermott (Shawn Colvin, Donald Fagen), drums and percussion, Danny Louis (Government Mule, Ronnie Spector), Hammond Organ, resulting in a sparkling recording, reflecting many musical influences, and offering contributions of a new direction and style.