The Alternate Root

"Jason Bennett sticks to Indie Folk heroes for influence for his career and music. Jason might see his name added to the roster by up and coming artists; those who can appreciate playing a lot of coffeehouses, recording nine albums and setting up base camps in California, Washington and Colorado.  He taps into future plans for the last verse of “Let It Lie”, peeking behind the curtain of what Jason hopes will be his last verse when he fulfills his plan to retire in Olympia, Washington to catch surf perch on the shores of Westport, Washington.

The Ash Season is the most recent recording to add to Jason’s back catalog. The E.P. holds true to Jason Bennett’s folk roots, building up and peppering the arrangements with touches of sounds that flesh out tunes into Pop possibilities. “The Real Me” wraps itself in a rumble of beats to match Jason’s gravelly telling of a tale about what is underneath that man with the guitar, confessing that “if you really want to know, you better tune in to the show”.  The Ash Season dapples its folk with country twangs in album opener “Abandoned Love” and paints music and vocals in a blue light to deliver “You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine”.

KGNU-Boulder, CO

"I host several programs monthly on KGNU, Boulder's community radio station. Though you might consider his music folk, I find his songs work in almost every format. Whether Americana, folk, country or free-form, Jason's work always resonates, the voice of a unique American artist."

Sing Out Magazine

"This is one truly easygoing, congenial and engaging album. With guitarists Rich Currier and Dan Dameron as nearly all the support, it's really lean. Jason Bennett's songs feel gentle despite the turmoil often within them. The one cover is Bob Dylan's "Shooting Star," an excellently chosen complement to the originals. An aura of wisdom and lessons learned permeates the set. From the opener "Too Damn Fast," a pitch for taking an easy pace of life, to the closer, "Daddy's Hand" for his son, the album quickly becomes a welcome friend. Nice to make your acquaintance, Jason." --Review of Jason Bennett's album "Slow It Down, Take a Step Back"

KRCC - Colorado College

Positively Pikes Peak
The Pikes Peak Region Sings Bob Dylan
(Eleven Mile Records)

(Full disclosure: Sales of this CD benefit COPPeR — Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region — of which the reviewer’s wife is a board member.)

Bob Dylan’s upcoming 70th birthday already is generating new interest in his music. (Indeed, people at Columbia Records are working overtime to ensure this.) When faced with such hype, it’s always worthwhile to consider the less obvious choices out there. On Positively Pikes Peak, thirteen musical artists from the Pikes Peak region cover a selection of Bob Dylan’s songs. (Its title is a take-off on Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street.”) The result is not only an enjoyable showcase for local talent, but a good sampler of the songwriter’s less high-profile efforts: only one of the 13 songs here was a Top Forty single for Dylan. Most of the artists perform in a simple, folk-based style, but nearly all of them bring their own touch to the songs. Lindsay Weidmann opens the disc with a lovely performance of “Boots of Spanish Leather,” singing in an airy soprano over acoustic guitars and spare keyboards. Ted Shinn brings just a hint of a Celtic feel to “Time Passes Slowly.” Andrew de Naray adds eerie, theremin-like atmospherics to “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.” “Baby, You’ve Been on My Mind” and “Tell Ol’ Bill” both get the approach most commonly associated with Dylan — just acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals — from Jeff Moats and Jeremy Hodges, respectively. Randy Ruebsamen lays some spare electric guitar and slide guitar over a dry snare drum’s tattoo on “Not Dark Yet.” Rick Stahl performs “Lay Lady Lay” with a mixture of strummed and picked acoustic guitars, steel guitar (courtesy of Rich Currier) and bongos, until a solid rhythm section kicks in after the first chorus. That’s the first full-fledged band arrangement to show up on the album; Steele Diamond Louis & Hall follow it with the fullest, as they trade off lead vocals line by line on “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” Heather Gunn sings “Meet Me in the Morning” with a little bit of blues inflection over acoustic and slide guitar and a strutting rhythm. Barry Beard strips “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” to just voice and guitar; Ryan Kulp takes the same approach to “I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine,” until he adds a whistling solo on the bridge. Bill Wallbaum and Misti Walker sing a fine duet on “Make You Feel My Love” over piano, guitar and synthesizer. Jason Bennett closes the album with the only explicitly political song on the disc, “Let Me Die in My Footsteps.” This one shows how Dylan’s best work still speaks to the present time: “There’s always been people who have to cause fear/They’ve been talking about wars for many long years/And I’ve read all their statements/And I’ve not said a word/But now, Lord God, let my poor voice be heard.” Positively Pikes Peak is an excellent disc that’s sure to please any Dylan fan, and probably make a few new ones.
Positively Pikes Peak: The Pikes Peak Region Sings Bob Dylan

The underlying theme of Jason Bennett's latest album is summarized in the title, which seems to echo his desire for simplicity, reflected in tracks like "Too Damn Fast," "Less Is More," and "Too Much Paperwork." "Daddy's Hand" is a sweet lullaby-style ballad in which he advises his son to "take it slow, drink it all in." And he tells of his own sense of urgency that his son is growing up too fast. As he tells his child to savor time, the land, nature, he is striving to do the same himself. Track one "Too Damn Fast" starts with thunder and rain accompanied by a deep western guitar track with lilting steel guitar lines woven in. The effect of the music underlying Jason's gentle and melodic voice is soothing, slow, dream-like. "Too damn fast, too damn fast, someone slow it down and make it last. . . " is the quiet cry of this song, and the effect is achieved. Bennett gets in touch with nature and love in songs like "Shooting Star" and "Fog Rolling In," both songs you'd like to hear him sing under the stars in front of a campfire. "Too Much Paperwork" is more deliberate in its message. He decries paperwork, noise, filth, in a track with a guitar effect on the lead that's noisy and electronic, echoing the meaning of the words. Very cool tune here. Tracks in the album are supported by guitar, steel guitar, harmonica, and Jason's artful folk voice with a touch of twang. Listening in is like taking an excursion into the mountains, drinking in all that you can, and leaving with a sense of having found what's most important in life. I'd recommend this album in a heartbeat! - A Cultural Arts Magazine - November 4, 2006 "As relevant now, it seems, as it was when written in the 60's, is Jason's cover of Bob Dylan's "Let Me Die in my Footsteps." Bennett does a wonderful job in trying to live up to one of his greatest musical influences. His emulation of Dylan's singing style is in no way forced, but is lovingly and successfully attempted. If there were one song I would hope to be pushed for radio time, it would be this one. I admire Bennett for the certain bravery in which he covered this Dylan tune out of the vast options available, all the more because "Let Me Die in my Footsteps" was never released on any Dylan LP. Though Bennett's voice is not as arresting as Dylan's, it is certainly easier to listen to. 'Mindchange' is a solid indie folk album."

Colorado Springs Independent

COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT 9/28/06 "I've never been cool enough to be a rock star," says folk musician Jason Bennett. Still, the singer's easy tone and thoughtful manner make him both an easy conversationalist and a convincing singer-songwriter. "I like to just play softly in the crowd," he says. "I don't like to put on a show. That's not my style." This unassuming, introspective quality is certainly distinctive of his latest and fourth CD, 'Mindchange'. On it, Bennett comes across as both world-weary and hopeful, naive and cynical. It's sweetly melancholic, acoustic folk that effortlessly mixes with country - not unlike the early material of the singer's hero, Bob Dylan. Bennett balks, though, when asked to compare his sound to contemporary country. Despite the twangy edges of the record and the frequent use of mandolins and fiddles, he's quick to point out that his music lacks the "boring lyrics" and flashiness of that genre. "I can't stand it at all," Bennett says.

Colorado Springs Gazette

COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE 9/29/2006 "Mindchange" shows Bennett's growth as writer/performer Jason Bennett takes a big step up on this album. The production quality is clear and reveals layers of guitars and shimmering bits of mandolin. Bennett worked with local multi-instrumentalists Chuck Haas and Rich Currier for the album, and they helped him create a fuller sound without compromising his commitment to raw acoustic folk. The album also shows signs that Bennett's songwriting is strengthening. Although a couple of songs are too repetitive, most are blessed with likable melodies and earnest , revealing lyrics. The title track explores the small and large choices Bennett is faced with in his life. "Without the Moon" is a twangy love song baked in the type of tenderness that makes you blush and grin. References to "school pictures on the fridge" and "walking home from school" ground the song between the grandiose proclamations of love in the chorus. There are plenty of gems here, but "Tequila" deserves extra recognition. The spooky composition is certainly the most unique on the album - guitars create steps that seem to descend into the heart of desolate misery. A low harp whine gives off a sense of foreboding, and the lyrics have a sense of finality to them. If this album is any evidence, Bennett's momentum is building. -J. Adrian Stanley Colorado Springs Gazette 9/29/2006

Jason Riggs -Singer Songwriter

"On his new album "Acoustic Harbor", Jason Bennett takes one of those quantum leaps that earnest artists have every now and then. With more and more recording studios starting to resemble mission control, Jason goes old school; an inexpensive four-track recorder, a microphone, a guitar and an empty laundry room. The result is ten songs that are incredibly well-crafted and emotionally immediate. The opener "How Will She Ever Find Me" is a catchy-as-hell country blues. "I Cried For The First Hundred Miles" is the kind of Hank Williams/ Faron Young heartbreaker that you've been wishing someone would write again. And in the socially concious "Uh-Huh", JB's lyrics are as tough and forceful as brass knuckles on concrete. Nowadays with everything on radio sounding so pristine and pretty, it's a thrill to hear music with some grit and gravity. Eschewing the technology, with just his voice and guitar, Bennett pulls the listener through the speakers back to that lonely room and into the moment this story began."

Colorado Springs Gazette

"Bennett's honest voice is the centerpiece of his songs. It's best when he lets it fly with a Dylanesque what-the-hell attitude. The voice is complemented by fine guitar and harmonica work, haunting cello and lyrics that have something to say. Singer-songwriter fans should enjoy the tales of lost love and lost souls on his debut cd, "The Atascadero Sessions."