The Spotlight Shines Bright On A Consummate Sideman's Debut | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

The Spotlight Shines Bright On A Consummate Sideman's Debut

Play associated audio

If you ever form a band, you'll be very lucky to find a collaborator like Benmont Tench. You may know him as the consummate sideman, keyboardist and co-founder of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Or as a renowned session musician who has played with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and dozens of other artists. However, he also shines bright when the spotlight falls on him. On his new solo debut, You Should Be So Lucky, all the qualities that make Tench the player everyone wants on their albums are represented in great measure.

Tench doesn't seem to relish leaping to center stage. You Should Be So Lucky is all about the songs, all but two of which are original compositions. Tench's voice is like a whisper that makes you want to lean in to hear more — but the melodies stick in your mind, and the canny groove and crescendos of the songs pull you right into his world.

The musician took a harmonious approach to choosing his collaborators, doling out session work to friends and colleagues whom he'd played with or admired, including Ringo Starr on tambourine.

From syncopated pop to garage-inflected rock to atmospheric instrumental excursions, Tench's album feels like pages torn from a journal that's recorded a remarkable life and an exceptional talent. These songs, written over the course of his entire professional career, show Tench as musician and storyteller, as the observer and the observed, as a sideman and, if not frontman, then certainly ringleader.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Passages' Author Reflects On Her Own Life Journey

Gail Sheehy is famous for her in-depth profiles of influential people, as well as her 1976 book on common adult life crises. Now she turns her eye inward, in her new memoir Daring: My Passages.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

In San Diego, A Bootcamp For Data Junkies

Natasha Balac runs a two-day boot camp out of the San Diego Supercomputer Center for people from all types of industries to learn the tools and algorithms to help them analyze data and spot patterns in their work.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.