Benevento Russo Duo Reissues ‘Play Pause Stop’ & ‘Best Reason To Buy The Sun’


The Benevento/Russo Duo re-released their mid-2000s studio albums on Bandcamp via Royal Potato Family. Both 2005’s Best Reason To Buy The Sun and 2006’s Play Pause Stop are now available for streaming with limited edition, double-vinyl up for pre-sale.

Today, Bandcamp waves its revenue share along with Royal Potato Family, as 100% of all digital sales will go directly to The Duo — keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo. Play Pause Stop includes five bonus live recordings Benevento dug out of his archives.


The Duo cut their teeth at small clubs in New York City in the early-2000s before finding an international audience. Joe & Marco hit the studio for their debut album, Darts, which was released in 2003. Best Reason To Buy The Sun came next two years later and features some of the pair’s most beloved songs. Then, Russo and Benevento worked up a new batch of gems for Play Pause Stop, an album that currently stands as the last Duo LP. Best Reason To Buy The Sun was originally released on Ropeadope with Reincarnate Music first issuing Play Pause Stop.

Marco and Joe teamed with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon for a co-headlining tour in the summer of 2006 that also featured Phil Lesh & Friends. The Duo opened each concert of a run which focused on amphitheaters. However, Benevento & Russo didn’t play many shows after the tour and mothballed the project in 2010. The pair still performed together in Led Zeppelin tribute act Bustle In Your Hedgerow and Joe called upon Marco to play keyboards for what was slated to be a one-off tribute to the Grateful Dead at Brooklyn Bowl on January 26, 2013.

The one-off Joe Russo’s Almost Dead concert at Brooklyn Bowl for NYC tastemaking e-mail list the Freaks List’s annual Freaks Ball celebration was such a huge success, the quintet — which also included bassist Dave Dreiwitz and guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton — decided to play another gig … and then a tour … and haven’t looked back since with over 200 shows under their belts in past seven-plus years. Joe and Marco didn’t forget about The Duo and played a handful of shows in 2017 after ending a six-year hiatus with a surprise concert in Brooklyn on December 27, 2016.


Tracklists & Audio

Best Reason To Buy The Sun

  1. Becky
  2. Welcome Red
  3. Sunny’s Song
  4. Vortex
  5. 9×9
  6. Scratchitti
  7. The Three Question Marks
  8. Bronko’s Blues
  9. My Pet Goat

Play Pause Stop

  1. Play Pause Stop
  2. Echo Park
  3. Soba
  4. Best Reason To Buy The Sun
  5. Powder
  6. Something For Rockets
  7. Walking, Running, Viking
  8. Hate Frame
  9. Memphis
  10. Echo Park (Live)
  11. Play Pause Stop (Live)
  12. Soba (Live)
  13. Something For Rockets (Live)
  14. Walking, Running, Viking (Live)

  • Building Castles In The Sky: Recalling The Early Days Of The Duo

    Building Castles In The Sky: Recalling The Early Days Of The Duo

    Aaron “Neddy” Stein recalls the early days and natural formation of the Benevento Russo Duo who will reform aboard Jam Cruise 15.