Tag Archives: Marco Benevento

JC: Surprise Me Mr. Davis

Before his band began to play in the Zebra bar, Surprise Me Mr. Davis front man Nathan Moore said to the crowd, “It’s not every day you start your set at 2am…usually they’re kicking your butt out at that time.” Nothing on Jam Cruise is the usual, and this eclectic super group is another example of just that. I should mention – although I said ‘crowd’, there couldn’t have been more than 50 people gathered in front of the stage for this set; it was a light crowd for Jam Cruise. But what was evident (and telling) were the amount of musicians in the audience.

SMMD consists of The Slip, Nathan Moore, and Marco Benevento. The distinctive differences in these three acts make the scope of their collective sound practically limitless. There were songs during their late night set that could be described simply as folk…others were rock…while most tunes could not be neatly classified. While it’s difficult to describe the music, it’s easy to say that this band is even better than the sum of its parts.

With very few acts on Jam Cruise focused on ‘the song’ (it’s called JAM cruise for a reason), it was a breath of fresh air to hear brilliant lyrics and vocals from Nathan Moore. With the backing of such solid musicians and a bond of friendship clearly guiding their tight sound, SMMD delighted many cruisers who appreciated their skill for crafting a song.

Surprise Me Mr. Davis

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Song Of The Day

The Barr Brothers – “Beggar in the Morning”

I’ve been a big fan of The Slip for a long time…and more recently my boyfriend got me into Surprise Me Mr. Davis**, which is The Slip with Nathan Moore and Marco Benevento (**this band will be on Jam Cruise! Woo!). Well now there’s even more to love from Andrew and Brad Barr…they’ve joined Sarah Page and Andres Vial to record a self titled album as The Barr Brothers, which is gorgeous! This is the single “Beggar in the Morning”, which they performed on David Letterman last night (performance also below). The song is so pleasant to listen to, with beautiful lyrics and an awesome (albeit creepy) music video:

The Barr Brothers

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NEW Music: Surprise Me Mr. Davis

Surprise Me Mr. Davis is The Slip with singer/songwriter Nathan Moore and (the newly added) Marco Benevento. On Tuesday, April 13th, these guys will release a new 7-song EP called, That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast. I first got wind of SMMD at High Sierra a few years ago (which they’ll play again this year), but I couldn’t manuever myself into the packed late-night cabin where they were performing. From what I heard from friends who did check out the set, The Slip with Nathan Moore was a winning combination. And with the new addition of Marco Benevento on keys, this group has really formed a solid sound.

That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast is tight through and through. The standout tracks for me are the dreamlike “Roses In Bottles” and the playful, fun “Emily Green” complete with its marching beat and Beatlesque harmonies. “Joelle” is a slower love ballad with some tasty electric guitar licks and the lilting “Home Away From Home” has lyrics that really grabbed my attention…”And if your misery has no company I offer you charity, blood from my stone. And beneath everything, I could tell you ’bout the river or you could just get in”.

“Sissyfuss”, “One Sick Knave” and the lead single “I’m No Good At All” can be described as experimental guitar and drum-driven rock tunes. But even with these tracks, there’s something different about the sound. I usually like to say “If you enjoy (insert band) or (insert artist), then you’ll like Surprise Me Mr. Davis”, but it’s hard to compare these guys to anyone else. If you like The Slip, Nathan Moore, or Marco Benevento, definitely check out this band…and if you’ve never heard of any of them, give SMMD a shot anyways.

Here’s the quirky new video for “I’m No Good At All”:

Surprise Me Mr. Davis has got some shows coming up, so you can catch them live and pick up this great new EP. Peep the dates:

April 13 | Club Passim | Boston, MA
April 14 | Red Square | Albany, NY
April 15 | Firehouse 13 | Providence, RI
April 16 | Union Hall | Brooklyn, NY
April 17 | Mercury Lounge | New York, NY
April 24 | Tipitina’s French Quarter | New Orleans, LA
April 30 | Hi Ho Lounge | New Orleans, LA
June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR
July 1 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
July 4 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
July 6 | Cafe Du Nord | San Francisco, CA
July 7 | Moe’s Alley | Santa Cruz, CA

Surprise Me Mr. Davis
Read my review of The Slip at Lupo’s HERE

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