Ohio-based musician will bring Americana music to coffee house
Jason Bennett describes himself and his usual style of music as "balding, ponytail metalhead." But for his upcoming performance in Newberg, the Ohio resident will be putting on a different kind of show.
Bennett, 51, will perform at 7 p.m. July 19 at Coffee Cottage. The Columbus resident said that although he usually performs harder rock tunes, he describes his own music as Americana.
"I've mainly been in cover bands. This is my attempt to go out on my own and explore original music," he said.
The Coffee Cottage show will mark Bennett's first time in the Beaver State. He said he wanted to set up a small tour of the Northwest and envisioned finding places receptive to his unique style of music. Coffee Cottage, he said, liked his sound.
"It will be an hour and a half of old school Americana," he said, adding that Coffee Cottage doesn't allow performers to play cover songs, so he'll play all originals.
He will perform on acoustic guitar, sing and play harmonica. Additionally, he uses a loop pedal from time to time, so the rhythm guitar he was playing gets recorded and continues playing, and he solos over it.
"It's kind of country, kind of folky," he said. "Some of the lyrics are thought provoking, some are funny. … Some songs are about addiction, some songs are about mid-life crisis, some are about not being able to find love. Just the usual, generic topics of the world."
In cover bands, Bennett said he usually plays keyboards and is seldom the front man. With his solo music, he wanted a chance to be the leader.
"I figured the best way was to write my own stuff," he said. "I do get hired to do covers, but I felt it was time to start writing."
Bennett has been performing in front of audiences for half his life, but only in the past few years did he begin to sit down and write his own Americana music.
Bennett released an EP in October titled "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," which will be on sale at the Coffee Cottage and is also available on Spotify. He is working on another record and while he will be playing songs from it, that one won't be ready in time for the July 19 show.
This is his second mini tour of the year. A full-time computer programmer, he said he can only take off time to do "little two-week jaunts" once or twice a year. He previously toured around the Midwest and South, and is now planning to journey to Northwest stops in Olympia and Tukwila in Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; Fort Collins, Colorado and other stops. Up until now, the farthest he'd traveled for a gig was eight hours.
"Now I'm going way out of my comfort zone," Bennett said.
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