M897 Artist Spotlight: July 2014
Boys of Bennett show talent beyond their years
Story by LCC Radio Volunteer Correspondent Sarah Spohn
At first glance, they’re a few fresh-faced, squeaky clean guys. Dig deeper and
you’ll find the boys behind Bennett are genuinely talented musicians.
Deemed as “a group of brothers at heart,” the bands’ modern folk pop harmonies lead listeners to believe they’ve been singing together since the womb. That’s not the case for Nick Rolls (violin, mandolin, vocals), Nick Warren (keys, vocals) and Josiah Gentry (guitar, vocals). These three best friends just celebrated the band’s second birthday.
“February of this year was our two year. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s been quite the adventure for us. But we have no intention of slowing down or stopping anytime soon,” said Bennett member, Nick Rolls.
Named after the street in which Gentry grew up on, the band hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Grand Rapids has been very good to us. It’s our home! And a big part of who we’ve become as people and artists.”
Despite two-thirds of its members being under the legal drinking age, Grand Rapids’ own (Beer City USA) Bennett hasn’t experienced too many hurdles in terms of bar bookings.
In addition to bars, coffee shops, and music venues, the band has spent quite some time on the road at festivals and gigs across the country. Last year, Bennett was included in Lansing’s own Common Ground Music Festival, performing alongside one of their favorite bands, The Avett Brothers.
“Last fall we had the pleasure of playing at Wheatland Music Festival (and we were asked back for this year’s Wheatland)… spent some time on the East Coast in the fall playing some smaller music festivals in NYC and Boston.”
Not only has Bennett put the pedal to the metal touring the U.S., but recently, the band racked up a few frequent flier miles, crossing borders to perform in Mexico. Opening up for Justin Moore, The Cadillac Three, and The Voice’s Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbury at the Live Country Experience at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is a highlight of the band’s already successful career.
Currently in Nashville to record their new EP (thanks to a cool $15,000 raised via IndieGoGo), the band is busy exploring their folksy roots in the Country Musical Capital of the world.
“We’ll be spending most of July down here working with two excellent producers; Konrad Snyder and Gabe Simon. Konrad has worked with bands such as Mat Kearney, Kopecky Family Band, Night Beds, Sugar & the Hi-Lows just to name a few.
Busy bees the boys of Bennett prove to be, and Rolls says the band has got even more going on in the works. “We’ve been quite busy. And the funny thing is, we feel that we’ve been even more busy behind the scenes working on this record and strategizing for the next year or so than most people are aware of.”
While the band has had its fair share of “starving artist” moments, and opened for plenty of bigger artists, Bennett is definitely one to keep an eye on. A trio of genuinely talented musicians beyond their respective ages, this band will undoubtedly take off to become a household folk country mainstay. Just don’t expect any big egos; this band is just happy to do what they love.
“At the end of the day, everything we do together is memorable. We really are best friends. We wholeheartedly love making music. And we’re living out our dreams on a daily basis.”