Sometimes music comes from the most unexpected places, the quiet geek in the corner, the cash register girl at Mc Donald’s, or even our nation’s most valuable individual’s doctors and lawyers and such. Eugene Benjamin, Gene, or simply Geno as his friends call him is seemingly your average middle aged "Joe", but the Canadian born now Maryland local has always had a passion for sonic perfection and putting his own words into play. His down to earth aspect makes Martha Ave a very emotionally relatable album. No fancy rock star attitude or dissolutions, just the plain old quintessential good stuff. At just six songs the album is a mix of your favorite warm emotions in life and a little bit of the bitter reality. Uncommonly for a first demo album of sorts, Martha Ave is well produced and allows you to really concentrate on Eugene’s appreciation of americana , bluegrass, and folk rock styles. Right out the gate you pick up on his appreciation of North Carolina style bluegrass guitar pickin in the foot stompin first track, Well Ran Dry. Sweeter folk rock tunes reminiscent of Cat Stevens and early 70’s hay days follow. Farewell To The Sky and a favorite sing-a-long Happy Mary Days include some well chosen backing instrumentals and harmonies giving each tune a full rock song feel. Road To Nowhere is a return to the bitter sweet with some simple and soulful guitar picking to accompany this I’m moving on-contemplative day dreamer. Returning to that full bodied folk rock sweet spot, Forever is a classic love song acoustic ballad and Ride leaves us on an up beat note with an americana flavored twist. My only disappointment in this album is that it’s not longer. A few more songs in the vein of Well Ran Dry would have complemented the album nicely and provided that dynamic that makes all great albums. All in all though, it doesn’t get much more grass roots, honest, and local than Martha Ave.
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