The Soul of Rock and Roll Mourns Jay Bennett

I'm sad to once again have to report the death of a great musician. Jay Bennett, age 45 was found dead just this past Sunday in his home in Urbana IL. A member of Titanic Love Affair and Wilco, as well as having an extensive solo career, Bennett's songwriting is unique, powerful and complex...the music community is surely a less creative place without him.

Although I've heard a few tracks off of his solo albums and a few tracks from Titanic Love Affair, it is Bennett's work with Wilco that I am most familiar with. Joining that band in 1996, his collaboration with the more well known Wilco frontman, Jeff Tweedy, produced one of the band's best albums: Summerteeth. Although there were obvious tensions between Tweedy and Bennett, it's that very tension that makes that album, and those collaborative songs so powerful. Unfortunately it's that same tension that caused Bennett to leave the band during the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That album still contains some amazing collaborative work between the two songwriters and just so happens to features some of my favorite Wilco songs... songs that just happen to be Tweedy/Bennett compositions and are great demonstrations of the unique chemistry between the two.

As of this writing no cause of death has been reported, but no matter what the cause it is always sad to see someone with great talent pass on. It may not be much, but at the very least at least we have Bennett's music to remember him by and to serve as a lasting tribute to that talent. I personally I will be taking a little time to listen to some of Bennett's music, with and without Wilco, as a small tribute. I encourage you to do the same if you're familiar with his work, or to check it out if you are not.

During this sad time, the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll sends it's most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Jay Bennett, along with the remaining members of Wilco (past and present), and all the fans around the world.

You will be missed Jay Bennett.


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