The Bridge School Benefit is an annual charity concert held in Mountain View, California, every October at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. The concert lasts the entire weekend and is organized by musicians Neil Young and Pegi Young…
If Steven Wilson’s remixes of albums by Yes and XTC aren’t enough surround sound excitement for you, then check this out: Jethro Tull’s third album, 1970′s Benefit, is being reissued as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring the talents of the Porcupine Tree frontman. Benefit was, perhaps, the first step in Tull’s immersion in the greater world of progressive rock. The quintet moved away from the blues influences of their last two records toward a more heavier sound.
Recorded live at Warren Haynes’ 18th Annual Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC on December 16th, 2006 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, The Benefit Concert Volume 8 is the third release in an on-going series documenting the annual concerts. The concert saw Warren Haynes put together a stellar lineup of musicians featuring Gov’t Mule, Dave Matthews, The New Orleans Social Club, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, The Taj Mahal Trio and The John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic. Warren Haynes also welcomed very special guests Randall Bramblett, Taylor Hicks, Branford Marsalis, Mike Barnes, Mickey Raphael, Brendan Bayliss, Kevn Kinney, Robert Kearns and Dave Schools.
Tull's third album finds them pulling definitively away from their blues-rock beginnings and heading towards the folk-influenced prog-rock that would become their trademark. It captures a brief, crucial moment in the band's life. They hadn't yet adopted the complex, medieval-oriented approach of their most famous works, but they had progressed enough to record some of Ian Anderson's most unpretentious, personal and affecting songs. Instead of courtly prog-rock or Cream-ish electric blues, BENEFIT is full of visceral, electrified folk-rock. The light, acoustic-flavored "With You There to Help Me" and "Inside" are full of thoughtful passion. The harder-edged "To Cry You a Song" and "Teacher" are examples of Tull's ever-present way with a hooky riff. For those distrustful of fancy time signatures and complex song suites, a strong case could be made for BENEFIT as Tull's most satisfying effort.