Rock. Blues. Funk. Shred. Sax. A few words that may come to mind when Bencoolen fills the airwaves.
The maximalist rock band achieves their bold, signature sound by weaving blues, funk and soul through songs, teetering on the edge of mainstream pop and rock. Featuring soaring vocals, swift saxophone lines, and massive guitar tones, the band was started in 2014 by college friends Paul Gregg and Teddy Scott. As time has progressed, the focus of the band shifted from a hobby to a lifestyle, catalyzed by lineup changes, rediscovery, and unrelenting inspiration. The lineup rounded out by mid-2016 with Ben Suarez joining on bass, Jack Bentsen on saxophone, and Will “Willy Pipes” Lockery on drums and backup vocals.
The early days of a band are often painted poetically. Artists face lengthy struggles to be heard, turbulent lives on the road, and uncertainty. They also experience grand adventures, beautiful stages, and meet wonderful people few others find. This journey is embraced by the five-piece of Bencoolen and they play on, writing their first chapters, riding in a caravan up and down the coast from sunny Savannah and to New York’s metropolis. They rapidly dance between highs and lows. A van stuck in the mud, an encore in a college town, a festival stage among a lineup of legends, and a lonely night at the dive. Song ideas sprout up from it all, sax solos fill the night, and ripping guitars stun a passerby with an adrenaline rush.
Bencoolen’s sound has dazzled crowds, and their determination continues to bring them to new venues. In fact, Bencoolen grabbed a hometown sell out show in Washington DC in September 2018. They have supported tours for Mihali of Twiddle, Marcus King, Spafford, Mungion, Atlas Road Crew, Mondo Cozmo, and Big Something, to name a few. They also have landed major festival slots at Firefly Music Festival in 2017 and at Musikfest in 2018.
The group welcomed their formal debut album, Daydream, this March. The record cycles through genres seamlessly, from pop to funk to rock, capturing the genre-bending spectacle now expected out of their live performance. The record is headlined by "Tonight," "Roll On," and "Daydream” where listeners are enveloped in steady pulses, swaggering leads, and confident vocal performances. The release was made possible by the generosity of Dragon’s Lair Studios and producer Addison Smith's touch behind the controls. It was captured in a cabin tucked away in the lush hills of West Virginia.