In the space of less than a year, Tom Bennett has polished his guitar and harmonica skills, written a good many songs, and just recently released his first full-length folk album, The Man who Shook the Trail of the Devil's Hounds. He came to Salt Lake City from Atlanta, Georgia, via trains and hitch-hiking, and served as a missionary, but became disillusioned when confronted by polygamists. His pursuit of music led to forming a Salt Lake City record label called Sweet Salt Records, and he has booked a large number of local shows featuring talented artists, including a regular weekly Americana show at the downtown Zest organic vegan grill and bar, which features locally produced food.
His album release show last week was held jointly at Mod A Go-Go, with the talented local artist Kristi Lauren, who is accompanying him on his tour scheduled for the next two weeks. Kristi just earned a Masters degree in Architecture from the University o f Utah.
John Thomas Draper opened with a solo set accompanied by his acoustic guitar. He was followed by Tom Bennett, whose set included several songs from the new album. Tom's one man band comprises a Fender resonator guitar, a harmonica, and a drum pedal, and not least the talent to manage all three in a rich combination of sounds. Then came Jenny Gautney and her band, with a lively rock set. The final artists, Zazu & the Golden Boy, have a small arsenal of rowdy songs.
The audience greatly appreciated the music, buying several copies of Tom's album and some of Kristi's prints.