photo - Michael G.Stewart

Rob Benzing

 


  Rob Benzing
           
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Rob Benzing – banjo
Danny Knicely – guitar, vocal
Taylor Baker - mandolin
Mark Schatz - bass
Patrick McAvinue - fiddles

Scott Brannon – guitar, vocal
Jacob Mosley mandolin, vocal
Joey Mosley  guitar, vocal
Tom Mindte - vocal 3,7,12

 



 

Sockeye
Monocacy Crossing
No Longer a sweetheart of Mine
Lonesome Road Blues
Have You Come to Say Goodbye?
Armadillo Breakdown
It's Only Right that I Should Pay
The Bells of St. Mary's
Carry Me
Fingerboard Road
Dixie Breakdown
Lonesome River
Shenandoah Breakdown


  In the world of bluegrass these days, tradition and innovation are gradually falling into the hands of a younger, very talented generation. Rob Benzing is an outstanding example of why that should happen. He fell in love with the bluegrass sound when he was a kid, listening to and learning from the greats—Don Reno and Earl Scruggs—and was playing the banjo by the time he was ten. 

  Now he’s found his ground, stepping out with a project that demonstrates a full command of the instrument and the wide range of tunes—both classic and progressive-- that go with it. He’s assembled a sparkling constellation of fellow artists to showcase his abilities and theirs: Danny Knicely on guitar; Taylor Baker on mandolin; Mark Schatz on bass; fiddler Patrick McAvinue;  vocalists/ instrumentalists Jacob and Joey Mosley, Scott Brannon, and Tom Mindte.

  Benzing shows his mastery of bluegrass banjo licks in hard-driving classics like Reno tunes Dixie Breakdown, and Sockeye, and Scruggs’ Lonesome Road Blues; handily tackles some ​less-than-standard chord progressions in the quirky Armadillo Breakdown; balances meter and melody on The Bells of St Mary’s; and shows what a banjo can do in back-up as well as solo in vocal standards No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine, Have You Come to Say Goodbye? and It’s Only Right That I Should Pay. He comfortably finds a modal groove to underscore the lyrics in the melancholy Lonesome River and Jacob Mosley’s haunting Carry Me. But that’s not all--Benzing has included two of his own compositions, to excellent effect: Monocacy Crossing flows across the frets from low to high with echoes of swing; Fingerboard Road, as the name suggests, is fast, light and deft, producing a sound both inventive and as old as the hills.

  Benzing hails from Maryland and travels all around to traditional music gatherings, clubs and festivals where he is fast gaining a reputation as a banjo adept who can hang in with a new tune and give it that good old feeling, or add a new twist to a familiar classic.  On this CD he has concocted a rich musical sampling: a little bit of Reno, a little bit of Scruggs, and a whole lot of Benzing.

--Barbara Scott