Benevento Russo Duo Welcomes The Slip’s Brad Barr At High Sierra On This Date In 2005
The High Sierra Music Festival played an important role in the careers of both the Benevento/Russo Duo and Brad Barr. The Slip — a band featuring Brad, his brother Andrew Barr and Marc Friedman — has performed at the festival more than any other act and The Duo booked their first tour around a slot at High Sierra 2002. In honor of High Sierra weekend, which sadly is only taking place virtually this year due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, this edition of Full Show Friday profiles The Duo’s late-night set at the event featuring special guest Brad Barr that took place on this date in 2005.
Brad’s relationship with Marco Benevento dates back to their time as students at Berklee School Of Music. Marco eventually moved to New York City, where he formed The Duo with drummer Joe Russo. The pair spent their early days performing often in NYC and then embarked on their first tour in the summer of 2002. Benevento confirmed to Relix the excursion was booked around their appearance at High Sierra.
The Duo followed in The Slip’s footsteps and returned to High Sierra multiple times over the next few years including in 2005. At that point, Marco and Joe were just three months removed from the release of Best Reason To Buy The Sun, a studio album reissued today along with 2006’s Play Pause Stop.
Benevento and Russo went heavy on material from Best Reason To Buy The Sun at High Sierra’s Funk’n Jam House on July 3, 2005 including performances of “9×9,” “Scratchitti,” “Becky” and “My Pet Goat.” Brad Barr emerged in the middle of the set to augment The Duo on “Sunny’s Song” from their recently released LP. The guitarist would reprise the collaboration with The Duo on the same song a number of times in the three years that followed.
The set began in interesting fashion. Read a note accompanying taper Ian Stone’s audience recording:
The Duo was soundchecking through their amps (no PA) well before the set was supposed to start… I got there 15-20 minutes early and they were playing. They finished with their soundcheck about 10 minutes before the set was supposed to start and they called for the house music. Some fans near the stage took this to mean they were going to play some “house” music…. never [ones] to disappoint the Duo started playing a jam in a house style.
Marco and Joe also fit two covers into their late-night performance. Up first was a rendition of Elliott Smith’s “Waltz #1” and then The Duo tackled “Myxomatosis” by Radiohead. Listen to audio of the set taped by Ian Stone below:
Set: Jam > Impact, 9×9, Scratchitti > Mephisto, Sunny’s Song (w/ Brad Barr), Becky, Waltz #1 > Myxomatosis > My Pet Goat