Benevento Russo Duo Returns! A Look Into The Group’s Exciting Story

first_imgJam band fans everywhere were beyond elated upon seeing the words Benevento/Russo Duo near the top of today’s Jam Cruise lineup announcement. The project was very active throughout most of the 2000’s, becoming something of a scene staple after collaborations with musicians like Mike Gordon, Dave Dreiwitz, Trey Anastasio and more propelled them into the spotlight. While Russo’s involvement with Furthur forced the band to sideline their activities, it seems that the future is bright for this beloved jazz fusion project.The story all began in middle school, as Marco Benevento and Joe Russo were classmates at the Franklin Avenue Middle School. The two gained notoriety in the New York scene, and officially started in 2001, when Russo invited Benevento to join him for a residency at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. By 2003, the band released two albums, Debut Album and Darts. They continued to grow, picking up new fans at every turn. After performing at moe.down in 2004, the two released their third album, Best Reason to Buy the Sun.The group continued to pick up both critical acclaim and love from fans, and they wound up taking home the Best New Groove award at the 2005 Jammys. That same year, they also appeared at the Bonnaroo festival, with Phish bassist Mike Gordon joining for the entirety of the set. Gordo would become a regular guest for the band’s live shows, during a time when Phish was on an extended hiatus.Things only got bigger and brighter for the boys from Franklin Avenue Middle School. The band returned to Bonnaroo in 2006, this time joined by both Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio at the festival’s infamous “super jam,” which also featured the Dead’s Phil Lesh and more.With Gordon, Benevento, Anastasio and Russo came GRAB, which would tour the country with Phil & Friends for part of 2006, and continue without them for additional tour dates. The four-some came together during a songwriting studio session, and some of that material made it onto Anastasio’s Bar 17 solo album. Benevento Russo Duo also released their album Play Pause Stop in 2006, which would ultimately be their final official release.The band toured steadily throughout 2008, hitting a number of incredibly noteworthy festivals. Lollapalooza, Langerado, 10,000 Lakes, Wakarusa, SXSW the afore-mentioned Bonnaroo, and many more were targets for this exciting and unique arrangement. They also welcomed a number of guests throughout their performances, including the Phish members, Skerik, Dave Dreiwitz, Brad Barr), Eric Krasno, Scott Metzger, Mike Dillon and more.The Benevento Russo eventually got put on the backburner, with Benevento focusing on his solo career and Russo joining up with Furthur. There was never a formal announcement or anything of the sort, just the inevitable demand of two incredibly talented musicians in a scene full of music lovers on both sides of the stage. Of course, the two recently found themselves performing together more regularly, as their planned-one-off tribute to the Grateful Dead became something of a national sensation. You know, that whole Joe Russo’s Almost Dead thing.With the dissolution of Furthur in 2014, Russo has found himself heavily involved with the Brooklyn music scene, even making his national television debut with the Craig Finn Band in 2015. Now a family man, Russo recently spoke about wanting to cut back the number of Almost Dead shows going forward, but also discussed wanting to play some Benevento Russo Duo shows again. The two even briefly reunited at last year’s Mountain Jam, when Russo joined Benevento for what was supposed to be a solo piano exploratory workshop.With Benevento Russo Duo slated for a performance on Jam Cruise 2017, the future looks bright. Will this be a one off show or will there be more BRD in our future? We’ll just have to wait and see!Check out the full Jam Cruise lineup here.last_img

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