Review: Paul Benoit – Lost Days Long Nights (2019)


Paul Benoit has been playing music in the Seattle area and touring for over twenty years.

His eleventh album `Lost Days Long Nights` was written on journeys to South America, Turkey and around the U.S.A.

I really loved the opener `Arrow` is has such a lazy Sunday feel about it. The piano inflections are sublime, and it has a superb guitar interlude part way through and at the conclusion of the song. A tale of an unrequited romance.

`Losing It` is a little more melancholic and seems to be a reflection on times gone by.

Again, we get another sweet guitar break towards the latter part of this submission.

A chugging guitar opens `Voices` and it has a real hypnotic feel with Paul`s vocals sounding almost distant with an eerie guitar riff. There`s also a really nice organ shared at times throughout.

Title track `Long Days Long Nights` is really a travelogue, a flavour of Paul`s journeys. A nicely paced song with some wonderful accordion interludes and was written on the rooftop in a small village in Peru surrounded by giant sand dunes.

`Sad Funny` is a little more laid back, a sort of bar room melody with a twinkling piano, brushed drums, pedal steel, guitar and Paul`s understated delivery of this reflective musing.

A faster paced tune follows with `Find Me In The Dark` The pounding drums setting the momentum for this upbeat slice of Country / Americana, another track that has some great steel guitar and guitar grooves.

`I Want To Believe` is a soulful heart breaking almost ballad like composition. A song that seems to talk about hope in a relationship while deep down they feel it isn`t going to work out. The next cut `Bad Things` is a strange one. It`s a real coming together of musical styles supporting a confessional narrative of past misdemeanours.

`Daydreaming` probably doesn`t need any explanation as the title seems to say it all. It`s a pleasant throwaway piece and reminded me of one of those fifties’ doo wop refrains.

The final track `Heaven` appears to be an ironic composition the sort of satirical song that Randy Newman excels in.

The singer surrounded himself with some talented musicians on this release with Rebecca Young (bass), Ron Weinstein (piano, organ), Hugh Sutton (wurlitzer, organ, accordion). Dan Tyack (pedal steel), Dan Weber (drums), Will Dowd (drums) and Sean Divine, Michelle McAfee, Evrencan Gunduz and Lina Naff (backing vocals)

I enjoyed this introduction to this Folky, Blues, Americana musician. The album is full of acoustic travel ballads, powerful guitar, piano and organ and evocative pedal steel.

A chronicle of travels on the road, lost love and missed opportunities. An artist with a back catalogue, i`m now keen to explore

Rating 8/10

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