Richard Bennett Interview #2

(Originally aired on July 22, 2010)

A guitarist of many talents, Richard Bennett is a session player, producer, sideman and soloist. He began working in the studio in Los Angeles, under the watchful eye of guitarist Al Casey, a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew. Bennett's recording credits include Alabama, Joan Baez, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Glen Campbell, the Everly Brothers, Roseanne Cash, Steve Wariner, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Barbara Streisand, George Strait, George Jones, Neil Diamond, Waylon Jennings, Smokey Robinson, Dave Mason, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, The Ventures and Duane Eddy. Bennett has also produced acclaimed albums by Steve Earl, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart and The Mavericks.

Since 1994, Bennett has played guitar in Mark Knopfler’s ace band — doing five world tours and recording the albums Golden Heart, Sailing To Philadelphia, Ragpicker’s Dream, Shangri-La and All The Roadrunning — and contributed to Knopfler’s film scores Wag The Dog and Metroland.

Bennett has three solo instrumental albums. His 2004 Themes From A Rainy Decade stands at the crossroads of cosmic twang — a mysterious blend of Hank Marvin's keening Strat in the Shadows' "Apache," Vinnie Bell's throbbing baritone in Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks Theme and the lonesome, reverb-drenched electric in Ennio Morricone's score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. On his 2008 Code Red Cloud Nine, Bennett weaves the swinging sounds of ’60s West Coast jazz with the sultry tones of late-night lover’s themes. Bennett’s latest album, Valley of the Sun, is a sonic memoir of his life as a budding guitarist in Arizona.

In our exclusive interview, Bennett shares his memories of discovering the guitar, his first gigs as a young teenager in tough Phoenix bars and how his first recording session changed his life. We'll also hear selections from Valley of the Sun.