JAY BENNETT R.I.P. 1963-2009

May 26, 2009 – 1:46 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Seattle 2002 [no label, 2CD]

Live at Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA. August 14, 2002. Very good soundboard.

Jay Bennett, a member of Wilco from 1994 to 2001, died in his sleep on May 24, 2009. The multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer and singer-songwriter was 45.

Since April, Bennett had been dealing with intense pain from a hip injury suffered during a dive from the stage while playing with his group Titanic Love Affair. At the beginning of May, Bennett filed a lawsuit against Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract and unpaid artist’s royalties. [Click here for more.]

Just after he left Wilco, Bennett teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Edward Burch and released The Palace At 4am (Part 1) in 2002. In a Rolling Stone review, Evan Schlansky wrote: “Eschewing much of Palace’s pent-up pop orchestration, Bennett takes the role of cracked-voiced troubadour, with acoustic guitars providing much of the album’s backbone… Don’t worry though - he hasn’t completely sworn off the mellotron. Bennett’s weary baritone is the weakest instrument here, but his gift for melody is obvious, and worth returning for.” [For those who need convincing, check out Disc One’s Puzzle Heart.]

On the other hand, a Bennett fan blogged: “Brimming with alt.country perfection, this CD is great. Some Wilco fans even argue that this should be the follow up to Summerteeth instead of the overly indie-avant garde Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Where with YHF, you can kind of feel where the country in alt.country comes in, on Bennett’s CD the country is worn on his sleeve.”

Taking the album on the road in 2002, Bennett and Burch practically perform the entire Palace At 4am album live at the Tractor Tavern. Here’s to the memory of Bennett.

And thanks to the person who once shared these tracks on the Dime site.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download them at a later date.

Those who are sensitive to strong language might want to skip this.

01. Whispers Or Screams
02. C.T.M.
03. Thunder Road
04. Like A Photograph
05. Little White Cottage
06. No Church Tonight
07. Long And Heavy Chains
08. Puzzle Heart
09. Venus Stopped The Train
10. Gorilla, You’re A Desperado
11. Junior

01. My Darlin’
02. Talk To Me
03. Shakin’ Sugar
04. Forgiven
05. Saturday In The Park
06. Everything I Own
07. One Too Many Mornings
08. Drinking On Your Dime
09. Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)
10. {cuts in} California Stars

Click here to order The Palace At 4am.

  1. 8 Responses to “JAY BENNETT R.I.P. 1963-2009”

  2. very cool. i’m still shocked this happened. thanks for the live jay.

    By Daniel on May 26, 2009

  3. thank you.

    By d2p on May 27, 2009

  4. thank you. Saw Jay and Ed perform this set in Tucson in June 2002 and it was so wonderful.

    By adg on May 28, 2009

  5. Thanks for this show. When I lived in Seattle the Tractor was one of my favorite places. Right now I just need to listen to as much of Jay’s music as I can.

    By natty on May 28, 2009

  6. Wow. RIP. I’m so sorry. Kind of seems like Tweedy sent Jay on something of a downward spiral. Very sad. A real talent.

    By David on May 29, 2009

  7. I’m a Jay fan and I downloaded the Thunder Road to take a listen, and the next song that came up on my iTunes was an old JD Souther song, “Wishing on Another Lucky Star.” I had discovered it seeing the movie “Permanent Record.” It’s a fairly overproduced piece of 80s pop, but a nice song, with some great, even haunting, lyrics: “Life goes on/sure as the sky/it’s come and gone/in the wink of an eye/you leave your home/on the wings of a lie/you will never die.” R.I.P. Jay.

    By Scott on Jun 1, 2009

  8. Whoa!! Exciting to find this! I’m the bass player on this! Been looking for stuff from this tour and I finally found something. Sounds better than I remember it as this was my first show. It was a genuine pleasure playing with these guys and Jay in particular. Always hoped I’d get another chance to play with him but never did.

    By jmh on Aug 20, 2009

  9. thanks for reposting, this is wonderful!!

    By walter on Mar 15, 2011

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