Eugene Benjamin | Martha Ave

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Martha Ave

by Eugene Benjamin

A pastiche of melodic and hook-laden songs, with lyrics of vivid imagery, drawn from the roots of American music, both acoustic and electric…
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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1. Well Ran Dry
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2:30 $0.99
2. Farewell to the Sky
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4:49 $0.99
3. Happy Mary Days
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3:30 $0.99
4. Road to Nowhere
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3:53 $0.99
5. Forever
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3:43 $0.99
6. Ride
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3:17 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
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.




Reviews


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Cassandra Mullinix, Bucket Of Rock Blog

We've All Walked Down Martha Ave.
Sometimes music comes from the most unexpected places, the quiet geek in the corner, the cash register girl at Mc Donald’s, or even our nation’s most valuable individual’s doctors and lawyers and such. Eugene Benjamin, Gene, or simply Geno as his friends call him is seemingly your average middle aged "Joe", but the Canadian born now Maryland local has always had a passion for sonic perfection and putting his own words into play. His down to earth aspect makes Martha Ave a very emotionally relatable album. No fancy rock star attitude or dissolutions, just the plain old quintessential good stuff. At just six songs the album is a mix of your favorite warm emotions in life and a little bit of the bitter reality. Uncommonly for a first demo album of sorts, Martha Ave is well produced and allows you to really concentrate on Eugene’s appreciation of americana, bluegrass, and folk rock styles. Right out the gate you pick up on his appreciation of North Carolina style bluegrass guitar pickin in the foot stompin first track, Well Ran Dry. Sweeter folk rock tunes reminiscent of Cat Stevens and early 70’s hay days follow. Farewell To The Sky and a favorite sing-a-long Happy Mary Days include some well chosen backing instrumentals and harmonies giving each tune a full rock song feel. Road To Nowhere is a return to the bitter sweet with some simple and soulful guitar picking to accompany this I’m moving on - contemplative day dreamer. Returning to that full bodied folk rock sweet spot, Forever is a classic love song acoustic ballad and Ride leaves us on an up beat note with an americana flavored twist. My only disappointment in this album is that it’s not longer. A few more songs in the vein of Well Ran Dry would have complemented the album nicely and provided that dynamic that makes all great albums. All in all though, it doesn’t get much more grass roots, honest, and local than Martha Ave.

Lolo

The Real Americana
For those who love Hiatt and the real troubadours of new Americana, you'll be similarly thrilled with this CD. And unlike the current trend towards hyperbole in recordings, this one not only has great songwriting and playing but It's got a very warm and natural sound. Many, many props. As for the ostensible 'real' profession of the songwriter, I could care less. If the songwriting and playing isn't excellent, no amount of street cred, however you might consider that, is going to make up for it. The bottom line is that this CD is a quiet gem though I agree with it not being quite long enough. Anyway, what's good is good. Buy it immediately.