Tuesday, May 31, 2011
#30 Duster Bennett "I Chose To Sing The Blues" 1970
Could the entire pub rock scene (that eventually gve us Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and the many incarnations of Nick Lowe) have all come from a single Welsh man who could play harmonica, guitar and drums at the same time? Probably not. But Duster Bennett could do all three and write remarkably catchy tunes like this one from his 1970 album 12 Db's.
Bennett was a bluesman at first. He recorded his first solo album with members of Fleetwood Mac and toured the US in 1970 with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Had he not been a blues singer, who knows? As he suggests in this song, he could have been a gambler, a lover, doctor or maybe even president.
Instead he chose to sing the blues. In 1975 Jimmy Page signed Bennett to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label. On a March night in 1976, after performing with Memphis Slim, Bennett apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his van and collided with a truck. He was 29.
In 2007, Sony released the Complete Blue Horizon Sessions. Now, like so many artists before him, his legacy is there--ready to be discovered-- by future generations.