Layered sound gives solo artist Bencjones a sharp edge

Published on July 09, 2021

Photo of musician Bencjones

Bencjones creates music that can be called “alternative,” but that label doesn’t fully tell the story of his sound, which can be a mix of funk, blues, keyboards, country slide guitar and rock ‘n’ roll.

His layered sound is pushed to full effect and showcases his singular talents – he is a solo artist/songwriter/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist. Bencjones’ debut album, Just One Gun, is available to stream now free and commercial-free on Amplify 817.

The title track is a riff-rollicking trip that showcases his dexterity as a musician. The song prepares the listener for a hard-charging rock experience, but then Bencjones shows he’s much more. “Be Together” pops up as a mellow love duet.

“Me and you we should be together
Let’s make it now, ‘cause it’s now or never
I do believe things will be better
If you and I would be together, together, together.”

“To have your love I’d do whatever
I’d bring the joy I’ll bring the pleasure
make a life that we both treasure
if you and I would be together, together, together.”

Back on solid-rock footing, “Rag Doll” and “Pretty” are grounded in Black Keys-like guitar hooks, but Bencjones brings his own personality and humor to the party. In the official video for “Rag Doll,” for example, the visuals reinforce the story of a guy who makes bad choices and ends up on the receiving end of some voodoo revenge from his lady. The video also features some scenes around Fort Worth.

“Here we go again, it’s why I never win, I always get caught
The fire in her eyes, it’s never a surprise, it’s always my fault
Then she beats me like a rag doll.”

Songs such as “Caught Up” and “Shutting It Down” both push forward with upbeat character, venturing toward pop sensibility while remaining rooted in guitar-driven rock.

The heartfelt “Goodbye” is the final sendoff of a love that’s beyond over. The slide guitar and stocatto piano compete for your attention, but the heartbreaking lyrics take center stage near the end of the album.

“I’ve so many, got so very many reasons why I gotta let you go
Please don’t ask why, just let me say goodbye.”

Released in 2019, Just One Gun found fans and airplay on DFW rock radio. He was the subject of a feature article in The Fort Worth Weekly and he also landed on the list of the Top 20 Music Videos of 2019. Bencjones has since produced two additional releases, a full-length album with First They Get Your Money (2020) and the upcoming EP Disaster coming this summer.  

Hosted by the Fort Worth Public Library, Amplify 817 highlights Fort Worth-based talent and makes their music easily accessible to the public. Amplify 817 is supported by the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation and Hear Fort Worth. The program aims to contribute to the city’s arts and culture by highlighting the musicians and their music, and also by promoting community vitality by supporting talented entrepreneurs who call Fort Worth home.