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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Declan Bennett & Ani DiFranco, on Stage in London

What prompted the timing of this blog entry was seeing a video of Declan Bennett join Ani DiFranco for an impromptu performance on 1/10/12, in London, of her song “Overlap.” This was a dream of his to perform with his musical hero.

I became aware of UK singer/songwriter in 2009 and immediately became a fanatic for his music. I even bought a second copy of his 2007 CD “An Innocent Evening of Drinking,” to just keep in the car; I’ve very rarely done that. And I of course bought his first CD, from 2005, “The Painter’s Ball,” when, on that release, he was going by the pseudonym Sumladfromcov, but with his talent he was much more than Some Lad from Coventry, England. Also, he had some earlier success in 1999 and 2000 as a member of the boyband Point Break, scoring five top 30 hits in that time period.   

His music career has run alongside his theatre career, as he appeared with acclaim in the London cast of the Boy George musical “Taboo.” He’s been in a U.S. touring company cast of “Rent” and in 2010 he appeared on the Grammy Awards with Green Day in the cast of “American Idiot.” In fact it was Green Day member Billy Jo Armstrong who saw Declan perform songs for a new album and stepped in to finance the album demo. That album became the wonderful 2011 release, “Record:BREAKUP.”

“record:BREAKUP” easily made it to my Best of the Year radio show, and the video from it, “Freer,” deservedly won “Most Moving Video” last November in the RightOut TV Video Awards. It’s a Very powerful video.

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