Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jay Bennett (1963-2009)

I saw this terrible news come across my twitter feed tonight and I was hoping that it wasn't true. Unfortunately, the Chicago-Sun Times confirmed the worst. An excerpt from the report:

Jay Bennett, a rock musician with deep ties to Chicago best known as a former member of Wilco, died early Sunday morning in downstate Urbana, where he had been running a recording studio, according to a spokesman for his family.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist was 45 years old.

"Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed," said Edward Burch, a friend and musician who collaborated with Bennett on the 2005 album "The Palace at 4 a.m." "The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time."

My introduction to Jay Bennett's music came by way of Wilco. He joined Wilco in touring support of Wilco's album A.M., and then contributed to Wilco's next three albums. I first discovered Wilco via Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, an album Bennett co-wrote with Jeff Tweedy on eight of the eleven tracks.

Bennett released five solo albums, the most recent of which was released last year as a free download. I have linked a sample track, and the link to entire album:

Another Town Another Ride Another Window.mp3
Whatever Happened I Apologize (2008)

There are also several Jay Bennett solo sessions on Daytrotter.

R.I.P. Mr. Bennett.

1 comment:

PKL said...

Well, I know all about the rift and the recent lawsuit and all that stuff, but Jay Bennett was a great musician and made wonderful music with Wilco and by himself.
RIP, I'll be missing him.