Better Know an Artist (Vol 20): Roy Bennett (Used Bonneville, OXYMORON)

Roy Bennett is a local singer/songwriter from the bands Used Bonneville (an Americana jam band) and OXYMORON (a synth pop Americana band (is that possible?)). A pretty traditional American songwriter sound with some piano based harmonies and some jam tendencies, it’s a pretty good setting to have a burger and drink a beer, so if you get that opportunity, take it. Anyways, Roy sat down and answered (sort of, there’s a few cop outs here and there) all our questions.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

RB: I grew up in Southeast Texas and moved to Dallas in the early 90’s. I’ve always played guitar, but not very well, so making up songs was always much easier for me to do rather than to play other people’s music. In Dallas, I got a job working in a commercial recording studio. The natural progression from there was continuing the songwriting and recording the songs I wrote in my spare time. I released my first solo record in ’06, and from there, I’ve scored a few movies and continued to release records.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

RB: The term Americana pops up the most. Here’s what I’m not. I’m not math rock, I’m not classical, I’m not Nashvegas country, and I’m not punk or metal.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

RB: Todd Snider, he is an incredible songwriter and a true gypsy. I hang on every word he writes, yet my songs sound nothing like his.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

RB: Currently, it’s the Used Bonneville song, “the Love Between Us”, and the OXYMORON song called, I Can’t Break Enough of You”. Last summer I was on a vacation with my family, and due to my own inner struggle with my lack of success, I decided then to basically ruin a vacation over it. Stupidest thing I’ve done in quite some time. Hurt the ones you love so they can feel how you hurt inside. Those 2 songs reflect some of my feelings on that event.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

RB: Todd Snider or Hard Working Americans

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

RB: Hard Working Americans

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

RB: I don’t really have one particular record that I can’t live without. I guess if I could only have one record to be stranded on an island with, it would be the longest one I could find.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

RB: The great thing about Dallas is that you never know who will show up. It’s a middle coast, so many artist come through town all the time that you don’t even know about until it’s in the paper a week later. Waco, for example, not many artists just stop in there

My least favorite thing about Dallas is the lack of attentiveness from the crowds. But in a way, that works for people like me. When the crowd isn’t really paying attention, I embrace it. I can do what I want and if I fuck up, “Who cares?” I usually try to find a group or a table that isn’t really engaged and I try to get them engaged. The result is it actually helps me put on a better show sometimes.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

RB: I like playing Sundown at Granada. It’s not the best live music venue, but the management is solid and respectful. They pay bands and always have a good sound guy with good equipment.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

RB: There are so many local solo artists and bands that are kick ass. The problem is getting a decent gig in this town to be noticed in the first place. It seems club owners and promoters are scared to take chances to book lesser known acts.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

RB: I like to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS.

A big thanks to Roy Bennett for taking time away from two groups (busy dude) to answer our questions. You can catch OXYMORON at their first public performance if you’re heading out to SXSW. They’ll be at Austin Body Works March 17 & 18. Roy may also play a couple solo sets there as well, so get on out, and check out some sounds below. Also, it’s a while from now, but you can catch yourself a real Used Bonneville show, May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend), 9pm at the Foundry.

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Top Shows Coming to Town for 7/3/15-7/9/15

It’s that time of year again, and the big annual 4th of July music event takes the top spot. If I were from a little further south, #3 would be #1, but as I’m not, #3 should probably be more like #8 or so.

1 4th of July Picnic @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth) Fri 7/3 and Sat 7/4/15

This year’s picnic doesn’t feature Willie (he’s in Austin this year), but it’s 2 days and 2 stages, and features Merle Haggard, Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hayes Carll, Shinyribs, Green River Ordinance, the O’s, American Aquarium, Chris Stapleton, Rodney Parker + 50 Peso Reward, Corb Lund, and a few others.

2 Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional @ South Side Ballrom (Dallas) Sat 7/4/15

This one takes me back to my high school/college years, and Third Eye Blind’s debut is still in the list amongst my favorite records. I probably would have gone to this, if I didn’t have new family traditions to hold up on the 4th.

3 Mana @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Sun 7/5/15

the biggest band in Latin Rock. This is a really big deal for one group of people.

4 Widespread Panic @ Winspear Opera House (Dallas) Weds 7/8/15

A jam band with a huge following. Another one that’s a really big deal for a group of people that’s not me.

5 David Gray and Amos Lee @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Fri 7/3/15

2 pretty big indie singer/songwriters on the same bill.

6 3 Doors Down/Seether @ the Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Sun 7/5/15

Speaking of the college years.

7 Alejandro Escovedo @ Shipping and Receiving (Fort Worth) Sat 7/4/15

Legendary Austin rocker hits Funkytown for the 4th.

8 Flyleaf @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Weds 7/8/15

Again with the college years. Wifey and I saw them at ACL the first year we went together.

9 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band @ Levitt Pavilion (Arlington) Fri 7/3/15

This is the City of Arlington’s official July 4th function. Not familiar with the group, but the material is right, and I like bluegrass alright, plus fireworks.

10 Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis @ the Kessler Theater (Oak Cliff) Fri 7/3/15

The Texas power couple hits the Kessler. I think they’re pretty frequent visitors.

Also in town this week: 7/4 38 Special @ Bakersfield Park (Flower Mound), 7/5 Band of Heathens @ Levitt Pavilion, Courtney Patton & Jason Eady @ Live Oak Music Hall, 7/8 Art of Dying @ Trees, 7/9 Matt the Electrician & Bettysoo @ Levitt Pavilion, Memory Tapes @ House of Blues

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

Top Shows Coming to Town for 5/15/15-5/21/15

Ok, so yes, I get it, #2 is probably a bigger act than #1, but Annie is a hometown girl, one of my favorite live acts ever, and is performing with the DSO, so…..

1 St Vincent @ AT&T Performing Arts Center (Dallas) Sun 5/17/15

Hometown darling Annie Clark returns to Big D, fresh off her critically acclaimed eponymous album, performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

2 Dave Matthews Band @ Gexa Energy Pavilion (Fair Park) Fri 5/15/15

Dave is performing 2 sets Friday night, so what’s that like, 15 songs. I may go see him someday just to say I did, but I really have no desire to watch his band jam for 20 minutes on the same riff of Ants Marching.

3 Rush @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Mon 5/18/15

One of the greatest prog-rock bands of all time, as well as one of the greatest Canadian bands, (f*** you, Nickelback) take the stage. I’ll have to catch them some day, but it’s another one I would have no interest in seeing more than once. For the record, I’ve seen St Vincent 4 times, I think, and certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

4 Wildflower! Festival @ Galatyn Park (Richardson) Sat 5/16/15 and Sun 5/17/15

The annual festival in Richardson features a lot of nice throwbacks, featuring Kansas, Everclear, Leon Russell, Tonic, 38 Special, Fuel, Trout Fishing in America, Wynonna, Joe Ely and Gary P Nunn, amongst others.

5 Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean @ AT&T Stadium (Arlington) Sat 5/16/15

If you like red dirt country, and you think tractors are sexy, then this s*** might be for you.

6 Toro y Moi @ South Side Music Hall (Dallas) Tues 5/19/15

Chaz Budnick tours on his latest release, What For?, his most assorted effort yet.

7 Speedy Ortiz @ Club Dada (Deep Ellum) Sat 5/16/15

Sadie Dupuis and the gang avoided the sophomore slump with last month’s Foil Deer, which should make a few appearances on year end lists.

8 Paramore @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Tues 5/19/15

Hayley Williams and Paramore are still at it.

9 Built to Spill @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Weds 5/20/15

So are Doug Martsch and Built to Spill, who just dropped Untethered Moon last month.

10 Hamilton Leithauser @ Club Dada (Deep Ellum) Thurs 5/21/15

Former leadsinger of the Walkman released his debut solo effort June of last year.

Also in town this week: Bright Light Social Hour @ the Kessler, Israel Nash/the Roomsounds @ Barefoot at the Belmont, Hop Along @ Club Dada, Bob Schneider @ Billy Bob’s, Justin Townes Earle @ Dan’s Silverleaf, Band of Heathens @ Granada, Mat Kearney @ House of Blues, Cowboy Mouth @ Gas Monkey, Strung Out @ Three Links, Pinata Protest @ Three Links

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

Top Shows Coming to Town for 5/8/15-5/14/15

A pretty nice run of shows this week. Several of my favorite Texas acts are in town this week too.

1 Gregg Allman @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Fri 5/8/15

The southern rock/blues legend ventures through the classics in D/FW.

2 HomeGrown Fest @ Main Street Garden (Dallas) Sat 5/9/15

Texas indie rock giants Spoon and Old 97’s headline this annual festival featuring some of Texas’s best acts. This year’s edition also features Shakey Graves, Bobby Patterson, the Rocketboys, Black Pistol Fire, the Orbans, Oil Boom, and Sphynx

3 Lana Del Rey @ Gexa Energy Pavilion (Fair Park) Sat 5/9/15

Another indie darling tries to fight your Summertime Sadness in the weekend’s rain. Courtney Love opens.

4 Sufjan Stevens @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas) Sat 5/10/15

Indie Folk icon, Sufjan Stevens, tours in support of his latest, Carrie and Lowell, an incredibly intimate look at his upbringing.

5 Torres @ Club Dada (Deep Ellum) Fri 5/8/15

Spoiler Alert: My album of the week artist in support of the excellent grunge-inspired Sprinter.

6 Untapped Fest @ Panther Island Pavilion (Fort Worth) Sat 5/9/15

I don’t think the Fort Worth lineup is as strong as Austin’s a few weeks ago, but you’ve got De La Soul, Big Data, the Lone Bellow, the Sword, Ariel Pink, Knox Hamilton, Greylag and local favorites Telegraph Canyon, plus a crap ton of excellent craft beers. Ok, I’m sold. Also, I’ll be there, so there’s that.

7 Lord Huron/Leon Bridges @ South Side Music Hall (Dallas) Sun 5/10/15

Lord Huron’s new record is pretty solid, but for me, this event is all about the triumphant return of Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges, who’s been everywhere lately, from stealing the show at South By, guesting at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, and a recent appearance at the Met Gala, Leon’s blowing up. Hoping I get a chance to catch him before he blows up too big.

8 Bop English @ Club Dada (Deep Ellum) Tues 5/12/15

The solo project of James Petralli, son of former Ranger Geno Petralli, and frontman for Austin indie rock stalwarts, White Denim. His debut album, Constant Bop, was arguably the best of last month.

9 Blackberry Smoke @ House of Blues (Dallas) Fri 5/8/15

Blues rock powerhouse, Blackberry Smoke, should be a pretty invigorating show.

10 New Kids on the Block w/ TLC and Nelly @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Thurs 5/14/15

Oh snap! These guys are STILL around, stealing the panties of all the girls I went to elementary school with, and they brought along my college years with them.

Also in town this week: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds @ Majestic Theatre, Ed Kowalczyk @ Cambridge Room, ….And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead @ Club Dada, They Might Be Giants @ Granada Theater (18+, sorry Asa), Boz Scaggs @ Verizon Theatre (Walter White approved), Howie Day @ the Kessler, Two Gallants/Blank Range @ Three Links, Bad Suns @ Bomb Factory, Dokken @ Gas Monkey, Steve Wariner @ Billy Bob’s

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

Top Shows Coming to Town for 4/10/15-4/16/15

An interesting batch this week. I might have gone to either of the top shows if I could have gotten chairs. Again, I’m old. HA!

1 Sleater-Kinney @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Thurs 4/16/15

The Riot Girl icons from Seattle recently returned with their first album in over a decade, one of the best of the year so far. Catch them in action while you can.

2 Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas) Thurs 4/16/15

Ahhh, Ron Swanson, the manliest of manly men. Offerman’s dry delivery and ultra manly commentary proves quite hilarious, making him one of the most loved comedians in ‘Merica. He’s bringing his wife (Tammy 2) along for this one.

3 Punch Brothers @ House of Blues (Dallas) Sat 4/11/15

Chris Thile and his chamber pop group also have a record I’m quite fond of this year

4 Gabriel Iglesias @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Sat 4/11/15

FLUFFY!!!! One of my wifey’s favorite comedians.

5 Smallpools @ House of Blues (Dallas) Tues 4/14/15

The LA indie pop group released their debut LP Lovetap! just a few weeks ago, featuring the hit single “Dreaming”

6 Umphrey’s McGee @ House of Blues (Dallas) Thurs 4/16/15

Popular jam band from South Bend, IN, but more influenced by metal and prog rock than say Phish or the Dead.

7 Aimee Mann @ Winspear Opera House (Dallas) Sat 4/11/15

An excellent veteran singer-songwriter from Richmond, VA. Also, the cleaning woman on #1 Carrie Brownstein’s Portlandia.

8 Yonder Mountain String Band @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Fri 4/10/15

Lots of strings in town this week. YMSB are a progressive bluegrass band, with an enjoyable live show.

9 Nosaj Thing @ Dada (Deep Ellum) Thurs 4/16/15

Stage name of LA-based electronic producer Jason Chung, Nosaj Thing has produced tracks for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, and Chance the Rapper.

10 the English Beat @ Kessler Theater (Oak Cliff) Sat 4/4/15

Birmingham, UK group formed in 1978 and fuse ska, pop, soul, reggae and funk and cover a breadth of lyrical topics, from love to the sociopolitical.

Also in town this week: Atomic Fest at the Bomb Factory features Between the Buried and Me and some other bands to melt your face off, if that’s your thing. Bryan Adams stops by the Allen Event Center. Cory Morrow @ Billy Bob’s, Man Man @ Dada, Rick Springfield at Texan Theatre, Flyleaf @ Gas Monkey, Marty Stuart @ Sons of Herman Hall, Coal Chamber and Filter @ Gas Monkey, all in a pretty busy week in the Metroplex.

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!