Paper Jams: One-man band Tom Bennett brings the blues to Canyon Media with ‘Spencer’s Song.’ Listen now

FEATURE — The vaulted ceilings of the Canyon Media building echoed with the sounds of coyote calls, pulsating beats and slide guitar strumming when traveling bluesman Tom Bennett brought is unique blend of country blues to the latest session of “Paper Jams.”

Written lyrics by bluesman Tom Bennett used during a set of Paper Jams at the Canyon Media offices, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2018 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

Just days before setting out on his “Desert Sands to Georgia Clay” tour across the country, Bennett stopped by the offices to promote his latest work, “You Make Me Want to Howl,” which he recently recorded with Dave Durrant at the Bat Kave in Toquerville. The album is being mixed and mastered and is set to be released in early 2019.

Bennett, a storyteller at heart, grew up on the back roads of west Georgia on a little dirt road called Route 562 D, 45 minutes west of Atlanta. During his set he spun a tale about an 84-year-old man back home that resided at the north end of his property when he was a kid.

Click on the media player above to watch Tom Bennett’s first “Paper Jams” session.

“Spencer’s Song” is based on the story of old man Spencer, Bennett said, who lived in a shack off the side of the road. His property overgrown with bushes from being away at prison for many years. The day he was released, Bennett’s mother immediately ordered him, “Don’t ever talk to that man.” But would that stop a curious boy of eight? Heck no.

Bluesman Tom Bennett strums his fender during a set of Paper Jams at the Canyon Media offices, St. George, Utah, Oct. 26, 2018 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

Eager to know more about the mysterious man, he took him down a plate of food one day, and in return for the meal, Spencer attempted to give the young boy a bottle of moonshine. Realizing what it was, Bennett refused and was called a coward in very colorful terms, but the meeting gave him the chance to ask what had gotten the man locked up in the first place.

“Spencer’s song” was written many years later about the man and the story that never left his mind. It’s foot-stompin’ beats and pure harp jams are like what you’d expect to hear in the back of a rolling freight train car and you’re sure to feel the blues.

Read more: Artist spotlight: Howlin’ under the desert skies with traveling bluesman Tom Bennett

For those that just can’t get enough of Bennett’s homegrown lyrics and want to catch him live, he has several upcoming shows in the area. On Dec. 21 he will be playing at Toadz in Cedar City, Dec. 22 at George’s Corner restaurant, Dec. 28 at Dubs BBQ in St. George, and Dec. 29 he will jam at The Grille at Sand Hollow Resort.

To find out more information about Bennett’s upcoming shows and the release of his new album, follow his Instagram and Facebook page at Tom Bennett-Country/Blues.

Email: apinckney@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @andrewjpinckney

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