Rob Carlson & Benefit Street
Continuing to evolve after his 12 successful years in folk-comedy trio Modern Man, singer-songwriter Rob Carlson's new band brings added dimension to his lyrical songwriting. Going beyond the folk-style he has been known for previously (although it is well-represented here), Benefit Street's multi-string-instrument wizard Vin Pasternak, keyboardist Paul Payton and percussionist Sam Carlson bring extra richness, wider variety and musical diversity to Rob's melodic story-songs. From the power of 'Georgianna' (co-written by Rob and Paul) to the achingly beautiful 'Before They Know You're Gone,' from the haunting country tale 'The One Called Shenandoah' to the Byrds-influenced rock of 'The Bells of St. Stephen's,' Rob Carlson & Benefit Street offer all-original music in a dynamic range of styles performed by music veterans who are still excited to create and record songs that bear repeated listening. Emerging from the northeastern folk scene, Rob first gained national notice with the 1974 cult classic album 'Peaceable Kingdom,' with musical partner Jon Gailmor. His career includes solo albums (including his most recent, 'Pieces of Paradise,' from 2009) and three CDs with Modern Man, plus hundreds of live gigs at concerts, coffeehouses and other venues around the US and Caribbean. Vin Pasternak is a veteran of many groups and styles, including Folks Together, a musical collective well-known in Rhode Island and New England. He has been a featured sideman on many albums in diverse styles. Sam Carlson handles drums and percussion for the group, and is also skilled on guitar and mandolin. A member of several other bands, he joined Benefit Street because he was the best man for the job, although coincidentally he's also Rob's son. Paul Payton played keyboards in his and Rob's original incarnation of Benefit Street many years ago; their complete archival works can be found on the CDS 'Benefit Street/The American Dream' found elsewhere on CD Baby. After a long career in radio broadcasting and voice-over, he and Rob have reunited in the new Benefit Street and are once again blending their talents in support of Rob's songs. All the band members also compose and sing; in fact, Vin sings lead on his own New Orleans-styled 'Walk and Don't Walk,' an album highlight. Discover and enjoy the fresh energy and deep roots that make Rob Carlson & Benefit Street a unique and exciting new musical discovery after all these years!