(Royal Potato Family/Woodstock Sessions, 2017)
Keyboard ace Marco Benevento's Woodstock Sessions is a joint release between Kevin Calabro's Royal Potato Family and Applehead Recording studio's Woodstock Sessions imprint. It is the latest release in Applehead's excellent series—live, in-studio performances in front of small audiences who pay handsomely for the privilege and receive a great meal, some hang time with the artists, and mementos including a finely recorded live record. It's a novel idea, and very well executed. Woodstock Sessions finds Benevento in his familiar mode as a solo artist—clowning ringleader of a psychedelic-electro cabaret, presiding over a fritzy and cartoonish fusion of rock songs, good jamming, and insistent electrobeat grooves (a joint venture between Benevento's beatboxes and the great drummer and Tom Waits alum Andrew Borger). Feels great, sounds great. Perhaps the only real surprise here is how comfortable Benevento is becoming as a vocalist, a job he began broaching only a few years ago. Woodstocksessions.com.