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Fat Danny Bennett calls the blues "a living, breathing form of music that's relevant to today." It's everywhere we look. He proves his point with a program of ten originals that set us to wondering about the things we live with every day. Hard Tymz was started in 1975. That's a lot of years to reflect upon the aspects of our daily lives that occupy our minds full-time. Bennett sings,
My hair is thin and gray. Got a few less teeth in my head. My knees don't work so good. Nose is gettin' a little cherry red.
Lord, I'm payin' for my sins, But all along I tried to taste it all.
His songs are a celebration of the lives that we all lead every day. The songs have a country feel that keeps each lyric's message firmly rooted at center stage. Blues harp, Hammond organ, bass, drums and backup singers make strong partners for Bennett's vocals and fiery guitar. Their cohesive interplay makes his country blues shine brightly with inspiration and empathy. Another lyric goes like this:
If things don't get better soon, I think I'd rather be walkin' with the Lord.
"Life Behind the 8 Ball" paints a picture of the way we feel sometimes. Things don't always go right, and we often complain for days about it. It's always reassuring to know that others feel the same way. "Sugar Sandwich" begins with a searing electric guitar tantrum and proceeds to stroll with a loping meter that grabs at your heartbeat. The song's hard times message paints a bleak picture, but Bennett's Hard Tymz Blues Band provides vivid colors that linger. They drive this message, and all the others, directly home and provide solace in knowing that life goes on despite unexpected obstacles.
Track Listing: Pocket Full of Blues; Insurance Song; High Maintenance; Payin' for My Sins; Little Rock; Walkin' with The Lord; Life Behind the 8 Ball; Dangerous Man; Can I Count on Your Love?; Sugar Sandwich.
Personnel: Fat Danny Bennett- vocals, guitars; Doyle Smith- Hammond organ; Eric Brown- blues harp; Mike Burnes- drums; Greg Greenfield- bass, background vocals; Jacquie Sullivan- background vocals; Eddie Thierault- spoons.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.