by J.D. Reager
Hardworking and classically trained singer-songwriter Davy Ray Bennett has maintained a steady presence (both as a solo artist and a member of groups like Chinook and Rae-Ray) in the local music scene since moving to Memphis from Murfreesboro, TN back in 1996.
But in all of those years gigging around town, Benett never managed to get an album together — until now. This week he unveils his long-awaited debut recording, the aptly titled Homemade With Love.
“My girlfriend commented on a loaf of bread that I had baked,” says Bennett. “She said it was homemade with love. I decided that I should just call my album exactly what it is. I wanted people to know that it was homemade so they would know what they were getting.”
Indeed, Bennett recorded the album entirely on his own, at home, using only a digital multi-track recorder, his electric classical guitar, and a tambourine. The end result is a solid representation of his live solo sets, reminiscent at different times of compositionally-minded songwriters like Elliott Smith and Harry Nilsson (though not nearly as somber as either).
“I like to play with many different genres. I get in moods and try to imitate whatever I'm listening to at the time,” says Bennett, who also credits Django Reinhart, Nick Drake and the Beatles among his direct influences.
This Friday night, Bennett will finally celebrate the release of Homemade With Love with a release show at Escape Alley Sundry, but he's already looking towards the future.
“I want to release another CD soon with my more familiar sons on it, and make it more of a band CD. I'd also love to tour more — I wish I could just play music for the rest of my days,” says Bennett.
Davy Ray Bennett CD Release Show
Friday, July 15, 9 p.m.
Escape Alley Sundry