Today’s New Albums: Marco Benevento, Mapache, Big Gigantic, Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders
Don’t miss these new releases out today, Friday, June 10.
Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Marco Benevento, Mapache, Big Gigantic, and Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Marco Benevento – Benevento
Keyboardist Marco Benevento is back with Benevento, a new album out today on his Royal Potato Family imprint. Marco recorded the 11-track follow-up to 2019’s Let It Slide at his Fred Short Studios facility in Woodstock, New York. The keyboardist decided to name the album Benevento in tribute to Paul McCartney, who titled his 1970 debut solo LP McCartney. Marco, like Macca, provided nearly all of the instrumentation found on Benevento. Exceptions come from members of his family, who provided backing vocals, and percussion by Mamadouba “Mimo” Camara.
“This record really acts as a psychedelic window into my studio and my brain,” Marco explained of an LP prepped during the peak of the pandemic. “The studio was a good place to be trapped for the last few years. I was surrounded by tape machines and gear. The album started to become this document of a crazy dude losing his mind in the woods—and maybe regaining it.”
Mapache – Roscoe’s Dream
Mapache, the duo of guitarists/vocalists Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci, today released their third full length album of original material, Roscoe’s Dream, on the Innovative Leisure record label. Like their 2021 collection of covers 3, their 2020 sophomore LP From Liberty Street, and 2017 self-titled debut album, the new record was produced and engineered by bassist Dan Horne. Roscoe’s Dream was recorded in Los Angeles at Horne’s Lone Palm Studio and features several additional musicians, including a few tracks with Farmer Dave Scher on melodica and lap steel guitar. The 18-track LP features covers of Bo Diddley’s “Diana” and Gabby Pahinui’s “Kaua‘i Beauty,” as well as Spanish language originals “Asi Es La Vida,” “Nicolette” and “Casas De Sueños.” The album, which takes its title from Blasucci’s dog Roscoe, opens with the song “I Love My Dog.”
“Roscoe’s been through a lot of shit,” Blasucci stated. “He’s been all around the country, come on tour a little bit.”
Big Gigantic – Brighter Future 2
Big Gigantic is back with a new guest-filled album, Brighter Future 2. The follow up to 2020’s Free Your Mind and 2016’s Brighter Future, Brighter Future 2 sees producer/saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken teaming up with a host of special guests including GRiZ, Aloe Blacc, Kota The Friend, Vic Mensa, Mark Jenkins, Elohim, Party Pupils, Brasstracks, Rothstein, Nevve, Super Duper and more.
Big Gigantic previewed the album with “Deja Vu (Feat. Kota The Friend)” as well as “Open Your Mind” with longtime collaborator GRiZ. Big G also reconnected with Aloe Blacc for “Keep On Rising” with whom the duo has a history as well.
“Our ‘I Need A Dollar’ remix really kicked off our career,” Lalli said, “so it was great to reconnect with Aloe Blacc on our new song, ‘Keep On Rising.’ Aloe’s lyrical storytelling and energy are such a perfect match for the Big Gigantic sound. It’s an anthem for positivity, rising above, believing in yourself, and never giving up on your dreams, which we think is needed in the world now, more than ever.”
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders – GarciaLive Volume 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley
From the Garcia Family Vaults today comes GarciaLive Volume 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley featuring late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and his longtime collaborator, late keyboardist Merl Saunders. Garcia and Saunders were joined at Keystone Berkeley on November 2, 1974 by bassist John Kahn, drummer Paul Humphrey and saxophonist Martin Fierro. Keystone Berkeley hosted many Garcia/Saunders shows, which have been previously featured on Live At The Keystone compilations and other archival sets. Grateful Dead sound engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson was on hand to record the previously uncirculated audio of the performance. The GarciaLive Volume 18 first set began with Donnie Hathaway’s instrumental “Valdez In The Country,” Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” and Randy Newman’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” Second set highlights include expansive versions of “Freedom Jazz Dance” by Eddie Harris and the Saunders original “Wondering Why.” The show concluded with Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train.”
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.