Words Fail.

May 25, 2009 at 5:24 am (Uncategorized)

Tragic news from Illinois courtesy Jim DeRogatis tonight:

Jay Bennett passed away in his sleep last night, no cause determined as yet.

I haven’t the words to put to this loss, but I will say that if you only thought of Jay as “one of the guys in Wilco”, you gravely underestimated his importance to that band. Bennett was a genius in the studio and at arranging songs, and was a rather formidable talent in his own right–anyone who’s heard his post-Wilco solo stuff…or listened to a Titanic Love Affair disc…or seen him playing guitar alongside folks like Tommy Keene….well, they can tell you the real depth of this loss.

Jeff Tweedy has sold quite a few more records as a member of Wilco than his former bandmate Jay Farrar–who maybe came out of Uncle Tupelo with more native talent–ever has as Son Volt. A big part of the reason for that is that Tweedy has never been shy about surrounding himself with equal talents (Wilco bassist John Stirratt gave up a career fronting his own band to join Wilco 15 years ago to join Wilco, for instance) to push him to higher levels and develop his own abilities. Farrar never had a musical genius and competitor and aide-de-camp and challenger and like Bennett in his band.

Huge condolences to those reading this blog who knew him very well. I’m very sad.

%d bloggers like this: