60 seconds with... James Bennett / by Kian West

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james-Bennett-4_greyIN A PREVIOUS INTRODUCTION FOR THIS MONTH'S MIRAGE, I MENTIONED GETTING AROUND THE OLIVE TREE MARKETS AND STUFFING MY FACE WITH DONUTS. THE ONE FACTOR THAT I DON'T FEEL ASHAMED ABOUT ON THAT DAY IS THE DELICIOUS TUNES ENTERING MY EAR-DRUMS VIA A YOUNG SONGWRITER FROM PORT MACQUARIE. NOW WITH A MOVE TO NEWCASTLE IN THE NEAR  FUTURE, WE THOUGHT WE SHOULD HIGHLIGHT WHAT IT IS THAT OUR COVER BOY DOES.  

By Kian West

So James, tell us a little about yourself? I’m 24 years old, & was born in Byron Bay (at a very young age). I’ve been playing music professionally for 3 years, though I’ve always played around on the guitar with my own songs and random covers for as long as I can remember.

james-Bennett-1_grey I’ve caught you a couple of times at the Olive Tree markets, but for those who haven’t heard you, how would you describe your music? I would describe my music as Rootsy Folk, my best description for this when I tell people normally “just think of a cross between John Butler and Bob Dylan”. I have a huge list of people who influence my music and not just other musicians.

You have a few CDs available, where can people get them? Any new music on the horizion? I have 2 EP’s and a single. All my music is available on iTunes and hard copies are available at any of my gigs, or from my website – jamesbennettmusic.com. I’ve just completed recording for my first album, it just needs some finishing touches and I’m looking to release it later this year or early next year. I am forever writing new music, it’s very addictive to me. I’ve always been that way. I think I’ve written over 100 songs, and it’s a shame that some of them will probably never be recorded as I tend to fall in love with my newer stuff all the time, and the old stuff gets put aside.

Is there any important dates coming up in the rest of this year? My website is updated twice monthly with upcoming gigs. I usually play at least 2 gigs a week. I’ve also got 2 great festivals coming up.. WILDWOOD – Sunday 5th of October in Port Macquarie and LAKESIDE – Saturday 1st of November in Tuncurry.

james-Bennett-2_greyYou have mentioned about moving from Port Macquarie to Newcastle, why the move? I will be moving to Newcastle next year to be closer to Sydney, but not in Sydney. There’s a lot more going on musically south of Port Macquarie than north. I have family in Port, Forster and Sydney so I’ve got more than enough “halfway houses”. I’ve had a great response from the people of Newcastle every time I’ve been there so it seems like the perfect location to base myself.