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The Violet Hush
Artist: Johnny Bennett
Tracks: 10 Tracks
Hailing from Indianapolis, Johnny Bennett is a singer/songwriter who picked up his first instrument (the flute) at age four. He trained classically at The North Carolina School of Arts. While there he discovered just how fierce the competition is within the music industry. So he made a decision to turn his hand to writing, and has been involved in the music since 1994 until now, recording his debut record, The Going Price in 1998 and releasing it the following year. Since then, he has had some minor musical success licensing songs for MTV and feature films. He has been aired on college radio across the U.S., and released lots of material, including numerous EPs. Johnny has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Nashville, TN.
His inspiration behind this release (which includes his experiences in L.A. where he wrote the album) is a poem by L. W. Milam in which there was a hostess named Violet Hush; "The violet hush of twilight was descending over Los Angeles as my hostess, Violet Hush, and I left its suburbs headed toward Hollywood. In the distance a glow of huge piles of burning motion-picture scripts lit up the sky. The crisp tang of frying writers and directors whetted my appetite. How good it was to be alive, I thought, inhaling deep lungfuls of carbon monoxide."
The album has been deliberately recorded with a basic sound and song structure. The Violet Hush was produced by much sort-after producer/musician/mixer, Duane Lundy, in his Shangri-La Production studios located in Lexington, Kentucky. His studios combine a mixture of analogue (antique) and modern recording equipment and instruments to help achieve the rawness of the songs. Though these songs may not be unique, and no real surprises here with it all being done before stylistically, the album noteworthy is because of the sincerity Bennett pours into each of the ten songs. This carries the record to a higher level.
Bennett describes his music as acoustic, pop rock, drawing inspiration from artists such as Nick Drake, U2, and Elvis Costello. This blues, rock, pop and folk release combines Bennett’s’ journalistic lyrics, crooning and raw vocals with Lundy’s no tricks, straight up but superb productions, making “The Violet Hush” straightforward and to the point.
The breakout single is called "World on fire," which gains its’ title from a Jim Morrison poem of the same name, is a bluesy/rock tune written in one session in Los Angeles. It was inspired by events in the news and numerous conversations about the world with friends. It is Bennett’s’ objective opinion about the state of the world and asks why we all fight each other when there is clearly enough to go around.
This is a great release.