born in 1970 in Detroit, MI, United States
Brendan Benson (born November 14, 1970, Royal Oak, Michigan) is an American musician and songwriter. He sings and plays guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and drums. He has released five solo albums and is a member of the band The Raconteurs.
His debut album, One Mississippi, was released in 1996 on Virgin Records. The album featured several contributions with Jason Falkner and gained many favourable reviews in the music press but failed to sell in sufficient numbers and Benson was dropped by Virgin. Brendan toured the states with the first incarnation of The Well Fed Boys featuring long-time friend Woody Saunders on the drums and Topper Rimel (Robots In Disguise, The Origin) on Bass. The group shared a headline spot on their second US tour with Heatmiser, a Portland based group that included Elliott Smith, Tony Lash, Neil Gust and Brandt Peterson. Brendan and The Well Fed Boys also played several shows in Japan and a live performance on television in Paris before disbanding in '97.
In 2002 the follow-up to One Mississippi was released, Lapalco. Again the critical plaudits poured in, but this time the record enjoyed a certain degree of commercial success, selling more than three times as many copies than that of One Mississippi. The song "Good To Me" from this album appeared on the British show Teachers during series three and was included on the series soundtrack; it was also covered by The White Stripes for the B-side of the single Seven Nation Army. The song "Tiny Spark" featured on an episode from the fourth series and was also played in the movies Along Came Polly, and "World's Greatest Dad"
While touring this record Benson played the Reading and Leeds Festivals and finished his Leeds set with a performance of the track "Jet Lag" featuring guest appearances from Meg White of The White Stripes along with members of The Datsuns and Soledad Brothers.
In 2003 Benson re-released his debut album along with bonus tracks including the unreleased six-track extended play Wellfed Boy EP, featuring songs from a demo session with Falkner.
Also in 2003, Benson released an EP, Metarie, with his then band The Well Fed Boys. The EP featured a cover of Paul McCartney's "Let Me Roll It" which featured back-up vocals by friend and later fellow member of The Raconteurs; Jack White. This was the first song written completely by another artist to be featured on a Benson release. Another cover, this time "Strong Boy", from Gram Parsons International Submarine Band 1968 album, Safe at Home, was released as a B-side in 2005.
The Alternative to Love
In 2005, Benson released his third album, The Alternative to Love, and toured extensively in the US, UK, and Europe with his new touring band, The Stiff Tissues.
"Spit It Out" was the first single and reached the UK Top 75 for the first time (peaking at No. 75 in April), and also generated some buzz for Brendan.
Two further singles were released from the album. "Cold Hands Warm Heart" has appeared in many commercials and TV shows and "What I'm Looking For" was used in multiple national advertising campaigns. This album charted at No. 70 in the UK Albums Chart.
Benson is also a member of The Raconteurs, a collaboration with Jack White, of The White Stripes and The Dead Weather, and two members of The Greenhornes, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler. Benson and White work together in writing the songs. The group's debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was released in the U.S. on May 16, 2006, with "Steady, As She Goes" the first single.
He has also worked as a producer for The Greenhornes, The Nice Device, The Mood Elevator (a permutation of The Well Fed Boys), Whirlwind Heat, and the Stiff Tissues member Dean Fertita's former band, The Waxwings.
The Raconteurs released their second album, Consolers of the Lonely in March 2008.
In 2013 Jack White mentioned they are back in the studio recording for a third album.
My Old, Familiar Friend
Brendan Benson's fourth album, My Old, Familiar Friend, has gone through a long process of discovery and change before coming to its current polished form.
In March 2007, a handful of demos from Benson's upcoming album were posted on his Myspace. "Feel Like Taking You Home" was the first of these demos to appear. Around the same time the demos of "Forget", "Poised And Ready" and "Go Nowhere" leaked onto the internet.
Later he posted more songs on his MySpace including "Lesson Learned," "Eyes On the Horizon," and "Untitled." Dean Fertita, who played keyboards with the Raconteurs on tour and now is with Queens of the Stone Age and The Dead Weather, plays piano on all the Benson demos, with all other instruments played by Brendan.
In October 2007 two new songs, "Purely Automatic" and "Will it Keep," were published on Brendan's official web site, presumably finished songs from the album. In November 2008, Brendan uploaded a new song entitled "Playdown" on his Myspace, but it was quickly taken down. He soon put it back up along with another new song called "No One Else But You." Soon after, the songs "O My Love" and "New Words Of Wisdom" were added to his page. Later he added "I'll Never Tell", "Happy Most of the Time", "Only in a Dream" (cover of Young Hines), and "Diamond" on his official MySpace page and he also added "Open Your Eyes" on his Reverb Nation page. In mid March 2009 Brendan put a collaboration with his girlfriend Britt entitled "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" (cover of The Marvelettes) on his Myspace page. On March 18, 2009 KRCW played a new song "A Whole Lot Better" and on May 10, 2009 KRCW played another new song entitled "Garbage Day" both presumably finished songs off his fourth album. The title "My Old, Familiar Friend" and the track list were revealed on June 4, 2009. The album was released on August 18, 2009.
"My Old, Familiar Friend" was produced by Gil Norton according to his MySpace page. He is backed by the Features on some of the record.
Collaboration with Ashley Monroe
In late 2008, Ashley Monroe collaborated with The Raconteurs and Ricky Skaggs on The Raconteurs single, "Old Enough", which was released in bluegrass form, and as a music video which is currently in rotation on CMT.
Then in early February 2009 two songs entitled "The Things I Do" and "Grey" appeared on Monroe's MySpace along with this message:
"Hey everyone! I just wanted to write ya a quick note to tell you I have put up some new songs you guys haven't heard. I have been working with Brendan Benson ... who I met on the set on The Raconteurs video shoot... and I am SOOO EXCITED about the music we have been making. I can't wait to share more! The two songs I posted of ours are "The Things I Do" and "Grey"... hope you love them as much as I do!"
In March 2009 Benson posted more collaborations with Monroe on his official MySpace entitled "Ballad of Pretty Baby", "Consider Me", and "On The Fence". Around the same time, he put up one more collaboration entitled "I Don't Want To See You Anymore" on his Reverb Nation page.
Together they also appeared on Lake Fever Sessions and in interviews admitted they had recorded 14 songs total together and wanted to release them but are unsure as to when that may happen.
Well & Goode
Benson teamed with Raconteurs touring member Mark Watrous (Gosling, Loudermilk) in October 2010 to release a single as the fictional duo "Midas Well" and "Upton O. Goode". Well & Goode's debut single was a 7" vinyl record and digital download, and featured the songs "Spray Tan" and "Two Birds".
What Kind Of World
What Kind of World was released on April 21, 2012. It was released on his own new label Readymade Records in the US and on indie label Lojinx in Europe. The album was recorded at "Welcome to 1979" Studios in Nashville, TN and was recorded entirely in analog. What Kind of World peaked at number 7 on the UK Indie album chart in the week of release.
Readymade Records was announced by Brendan Benson in early 2012. The label was started with Brendan Benson and Young Hines as the first two signed artists. Benson released What Kind of World in the US on April 21, 2012. The album was released in the UK on April 30, 2012. Young Hines released Give Me My Change in the US on April 10, 2012.
- One Mississippi (1996)
- Listen Up! (as part of The Mood Elevator) (2000)
- Lapalco (2002)
- Married Alive (as part of The Mood Elevator) (2003)
- The Alternative to Love (2005) No. 70 UK
- Broken Boy Soldiers (as part of The Raconteurs) (2006)
- Consolers of the Lonely (as part of The Raconteurs) (2008)
- My Old, Familiar Friend (2009) No. 110 US , No. 90 UK
- What Kind of World (2012) No. 159 US
- You Were Right (2013)
- Folk Singer (2002)
- Metarie (2003)
- "Folk Singer" (April 22, 2002)
- "Tiny Spark" (July 8, 2002)
- "Good To Me" (October 28, 2002)
- "Metarie" (April 14, 2003)
- "Spit It Out" (March 28, 2005) UK #75
- "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" (July 4, 2005)
- "What I'm Looking For" (November 7, 2005)
- "A Whole Lot Better" (August 2009)
- "Feel Like Taking You Home"
- "Bad For Me"
- "Swimming" (January 22, 2013)
- "Oh My Love" (February 19, 2013)
- "Purely Automatic" (March 12, 2013)
- "Crosseyed" (1996)
- "Tiny Spark" (2002)
- "Metarie" (2003)
- "Spit It Out" (2005)
- "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" (2005)
- "A Whole Lot Better" (2009)
- "Pretty Baby" (2012) Directed by Young Hines
- B-sides and covers
- "Son of a Welder" (B-side from Folk Singer EP)
- "Unfortunate Guy" (B-side from Folk Singer EP)
- "Feel Like Myself" (B-side from Folk Singer EP)
- "Metarie" (Well Fed Boys version from Metarie EP)
- "Metarie" (UK version from Metarie EP)
- "Alternative To Love" (Early version from Metarie EP)
- "You're Quiet" (Well Fed Boys version from Metarie EP)
- "Let Me Roll It" (cover of Paul McCartney from Metarie EP)
- "The Swamp" (Bonus track on the Japanese version of "One Mississippi", 1996)
- "Jet Stream" (Bonus track on the Japanese version of "One Mississippi", 1996)
- "Meaning To Write" (B-side from "Tiny Spark" single)
- "No Dial Tone" (Recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom in 2002 from "Tiny Spark" single)
- "Old Fashioned" (B-side from "Good To Me" single)
- "Pleasure Seeker" (Recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom in 2002, from "Good To Me" single)
- "Left And Right" (B-side from "Spit It Out" single)
- "Baby on a Rug" (B-side from "Spit It Out" single)
- "Some Day" (B-side from "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" single)
- "Christopher's Revolt" (B-side from "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" single)
- "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" (Live acoustic version from Cold Hands (Warm Heart) EP)
- "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" (Chris Shaw mix from Cold Hands (Warm Heart) EP)
- "Strong Boy" (Gram Parsons cover from "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" single)
- "What I'm Looking For" (Michael Brauer mix from What I'm Looking For EP)
- "Them And Me" (Alternative version from What I'm Looking For EP)
- "Floating" (Jape cover recorded live in Newcastle, 2006)
- "I'll Never Tell" (iTunes bonus track)
- "New Words of Wisdom" (Bonus track from My Old, Familiar Friend)
- "Playdown" (Bee Gees' cover, from "Feel Like Taking You Home")
- "Circle" (featuring Jessie Baylin)
- "Better Days" (Graham Nash cover, from "A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners" on Grassroots Records, 2010)
- "Maybe So Hard" (Out take, bundled with the 2011 Lapalco reissue)
- "Doctor, Doctor" (The Who cover, from "The New Sell Out" by Futureman Records, 2012)
- "Go Deco" (B-side of the Record Store Day exclusive "What Kind of World" 7, 2012)
- "Life in the D", taken from "Acoustic, Vol. III" Brendan Benson (2003)
- "East Grand Blues" EP The Greenhornes (2005)
- "Baby I'm With the Band", taken from "Cho Dependent" Margaret Cho (2010)
- "Forever Halloween" - The Maine (2013)
- Produced & Mixed
- "Meaning to Write", from "Detroit Now 1.5" Brendan Benson (2001)
- "Flamingo Honey" Whirlwind Heat (2004)
- "Let's Make Our Descent" The Waxwings (2004)
- "The Muldoons" The Muldoons (2007)
- "Two Birds" Well & Goode (2010)
- "Simple Man", taken from "Music Gets You High: Songs of Graham Nash" Brendan Benson (2010)
- "Better Days", taken from "A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners" Brendan Benson (2010)
- "Last Night in Detroit" Brendan Benson (2011)
- "Upstairs at United, Vol 1" EP Brendan Benson (2011)
- "Give Me My Change" Young Hines (2012)
- "Old Believers" Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons (2012)
- "The Passing of the Night" The Lost Brothers (2012)
- "Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes" EP Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes (forthcoming)
- "Howl" The Howling Brothers (forthcoming)
- Co-produced & Engineered
- "One Mississippi" Brendan Benson (1996)
- "Listen Up!" The Mood Elevator (2000)
- "The Open Heart" New Grenada (2002)
- "Long Hard Look" EP The Mood Elevator (2003)
- "Metarie" EP Brendan Benson (2003)
- "Married Alive" The Mood Elevator (2003)
- "One Mississippi/The Wellfed Boy" EP Brendan Benson (2003)
- "If We Can't Trust The Dr's..." Blanche (2004)
- "Sewed Souls" The Greenhornes (2005)
- "Alternative To Love" Brendan Benson (2005)
- "Broken Boy Soldier" The Raconteurs (2006)
- "Consolers of the Lonely" The Raconteurs (2008)
- "Hello=Fire" Hello=Fire (2009)
- "My Old Familiar Friend" Brendan Benson (2009)
- "Death Won't Send a Letter" Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons (2009)
- "****" The Greenhornes (2010)
- Co-produced, Engineered and Mixed
- "Folk Singer", taken from "International Pop Overthrow, Vol. IV" Brendan Benson (2001)
- "Lapalco" Brendan Benson (2002)
- "Folk Singer" EP Brendan Benson (2002)
- "Birth of a Lover" The Nice Device (2003)
- "Van Lear Rose" Loretta Lynn (2004)
- "Rated X", taken from "Coal Miner's Daughter: a tribute to Loretta Lynn" The White Stripes (2010)
- 2.0 2.1 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
- Raconteurs Man Resumes Solo Career | News @. Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
- Paulson, Dave (October 13, 2010), Brendan Benson produces 'Well & Goode' debut single, The Tennessean
- 5.0 5.1 Brendan Benson Launches Readymade: A Nashville Based Record Label And Publishing Company « Brendan Benson. Brendanbenson.com (January 5, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
- lojinx // artists / brendan benson. Lojinx.com (April 23, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brendan Benson
- Official website
- Audio interview with Brendan Benson on the Sodajerker On Songwriting podcast
- Brendan Benson at MySpace
- Brendan Benson at MTV
- Brendan Benson at V2 Records
- Brendan Benson at VH1.com
- Brendan Interview with Jarrod Dicker (2010)
|Studio albums||One Mississippi · Lapalco · The Alternative to Love · My Old, Familiar Friend|
|Singles||"Folk Singer" · "Tiny Spark" · "Good To Me" · "Metarie" · "Spit It Out" · "Cold Hands (Warm Heart) · "What I'm Looking For · "A Whole Lot Better" · "Feel Like Taking You Home"|
|with The Raconteurs||Broken Boy Soldiers · Consolers of the Lonely|
|Jack White · Brendan Benson · Jack Lawrence · Patrick Keeler|
|Albums||Broken Boy Soldiers · Consolers of the Lonely|
|Singles||"Steady, As She Goes" · "Hands" · "Broken Boy Soldier" · "Level" · "Salute Your Solution"|
|Related articles||The White Stripes · The Greenhornes · Brendan Benson|