It was 9pm and The Rattle Inn had just opened. The mellow venue was completely bare, save me, the bartender, Jodi, and her faithful roadie. Bennett soon arrived, and by the time they took the stage, there were only 5 fans standing around…but, the night was still young. They began to play, and when their song found me, it startled my core. Jodi’s cello was strikingly beautiful, and Bennett’s powerful voice was imbued with raw emotion. I was confused. “There must be some mistake. This place should be packed,” I thought. But it wasn’t long until people started flowing in. And all eyes were on Bennett & Jodi.
Talk about a powerful duo. Hearing them live, you wouldn’t expect them to have initially been street musicians. Their bittersweet Americana resonates with the soul and dances on the line of passion and beauty. The two of them make a fantastic musical match. Bennett’s acoustic rhythm guitar and strong, coarse vocals set the intensity, while Jodi’s cello acts almost as an elegant sheath for when he seems to almost fall too deep into his lyrics. But it’s those haunting tones and the ferocity in his voice that really catch your attention. His melodies are sung to the bone, while Jodi’s softer harmonies restore that balance. While Bennett mostly hangs out in the forefront, Jodi pulls into the limelight fairly often. During a bridge or breakdowns, the cello (and sometimes the melodica) pulls ahead and adds a soft color to the gray, melancholy complexion.
I was quickly made into a fan. Their acoustic rhythms, melodies, and harmonies are fun, catchy, and soulful, with a beautiful sense of longing. Bennett brings out the depth to the lyrics and Jodi really makes that cello cry. Not only do they compliment each other in so many ways musically, the two of them have great chemistry on stage. In between songs, Bennett would ask the audience some light hearted, silly questions, and Jodi would fire back playfully to keep the energy light. There’s so much musical intensity that sometimes the audience could really use that light hearted break. In any case, this duo has much to offer, and they have an incredible amount of talent. If you find the opportunity to see them play, it would absolutely be worth your time. Bennett & Jodi are a joy to experience.
-Matt Jain, TipCow