Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Benny Bassett “Words For Yesterday”

It was back in 2014 that the band Vintage Blue released their EP called No Going Back. That release would prove to be the band’s last release. Shortly afterward, lead singer Benny Bassett would take the next step and go on his own as a solo artist. And as such, Bassett has created releases that have stayed in a relatively close musical frame of mind as what had been created by his former band.

To date, Bassett has released one album and one EP of original music of his own since the members of the band went their separate ways. Having just recently put out the acoustic EP called Rosemont Sessions – Volume One which finds Bassett segueing from older material to the newer songs, he has just announced that his newest EP called Words for Yesterday will soon be available.

For the release, Benny Bassett has a little help. In addition to Bassett on vocals and guitars, the rest of the musicians on the release consist of: Chip Johnson on Guitars, bass, vocals; Kit Karlson on Keyboards, piano, synth; Travis McNabb on Drums (tracks 3 & 4); as well as Amanda Turpin and Jackie Buono on backing vocals. Together, this group of musicians brings Bassett’s music to life.

The EP of Words for Yesterday from Benny Bassett begins with the track “Window to Forever”.  The track begins with a gentle, steady beat as the music itself contains a slow, steady pace. As the music begins, the listener is exposed to a track that is a reminder of what Bassett’s old band of Vintage Blue used to sound like. The resulting Adult Contemporary music moves along at that slow, steady pace for about a minute before the pace picks up a little. “Window to Forever” blends together some influence from Vintage Blue and some influence from Adult Contemporary bands from the eighties.  With that blend, Bassett has created a track that should appeal to a wide array of listeners.

Bassett picks up the pace for the next track, but only by a little bit. The track “Live Where You Love the Sky” will immediately take the listener back to the eighties as the music on the track features the same type of vibe that you would have found on songs from that decade. But as the song also contains that Vintage Blue feel, the track feels both retro and modern at the same time. The track not only features Benny Bassett but also Amanda Turpin who not only adds vocals to the track, but also helped to write the song. While not truly a love song, the dual vocals on the track makes the song feel like a duet of sorts. “Live Where You Love the Sky” would feel right at home on any Adult Contemporary radio format.

The album of Words for Yesterday from Benny Bassett changes drastically on the next track. Where the first two tracks contain a light for to the music that is closer to pop music than anything else, the third track of the release called “Down Below” finds Bassett pushing the light feel of his music aside for something much heavier. “Down Below” takes on a heavier Rock and Roll approach to the music. Instead of acoustic guitars or a feel that could be described as Pop-Rock, the resulting track features much heavier guitars that truly “rock”.  And instead of being at home on an Adult Contemporary format, the track would need to be included with bands that would fit into the Modern Rock category. While miles apart from the first two tracks of the EP, “Down Below” will still satisfy any fan of Hard Rock or Modern Rock music.

Benny Bassett changes the direction once again on the very next song. The track “Find A Way” brings the energy level of the music back down but keeps more of an edge than the first two tracks of the release. The track features a blend of music that combines a good deal of Rock and Roll with some Soul influence. In fact, the track’s musical blend feels as if it would be right at home next to some of Bruno Mars’ more Soulful tracks. The track features a strong groove that comes from the addition of the Soul influence. Like the previous songs on the release, “Find A Way” has a strong commercial feel to the music and would fit right in on a Hot A/C format.

The next track finds Bassett creating a track that is easily the most commercial and Pop inspired of any of the songs on the release. The song “Building A Future” feels as if it was created at the right time, as if Bassett had written the song to fit right in with the momentum created by the song “Shallow” from the movie A Star Is Born. The light feel to the pop music of the track mixed with the duet between Jackie Buono and Bassett brings to mind the same kind of musical approach as “Shallow”. This track feels readymade for the radio airwaves.

Benny Bassett’s latest release comes to a close with the track “With You”. The feel of the music changes once again on this track. For this song, the music is created mainly by Kit Karlson who contributes the piano and keys to the track. Karlson and Bassett combine to create a track that contains a relaxed feel to the music and the various keyboard parts from Karlson combine to create a multi-layered feel to the music. The beauty of the lyrics from Bennett and the beauty of the music from Karlson create one of the strongest moments of the six-track EP.

Words for Yesterday from Benny Bassett finds the singer-songwriter in fine form. The new EP is perfect for any fan of Adult Contemporary music. The release gives the listener a good cross section of what Bassett can do. The EP comes with a lot of the same kind of Adult Contemporary flavor that was present in his music with his former band of Vintage Blue while it also shows off his ability to stretch as an artist.

The newest release from Benny Bassett is still a few weeks away from being released. The EP will be available for presale beginning on March 21, 2019. The release date for the EP is set for April 12th. Stay tuned to Bassett’s Music Profile on Facebook for more information. 

Currently, there is no single to promote as no music has been released. However, Benny Bassett did release a video to the acoustic version of “Window to Forever,” the song that kicks off the release. The official acoustic version of “Window to Forever” can be found on Bassett’s earlier release entitled Rosemont Sessions – Volume One, which can be found on Benny Bassett’s website along with earlier albums from the artist.