Surprise Me Mr. Duo
As previously reported, longtime friends the Benevento-Russo Duo and Surprise Me Mr. Davis co-headlined a late-night New Years show at New Yorks BB King Blues Club. Nodding to their fraternal nature, instead of offering back-to-back or interlocking sets, the close friends continuously alternated stage time throughout the night, often mashing their songs together and nodding to the six musicians various side-projects. The evening opened with the Duo performing 9×9, before Surprise Me Mr. Davis (which features The Slip and singer/songwriter Nathan Moore) took the stage for its original Play
Pause Stop. The two groups continued to switch on and off throughout the night until, eventually, all the musicians took the stage for originals like Surprise Me Mr. Davis I Hate Love. As the night rolled on the musicians broke down into various combos, including The Slip with the Duo Marco Beneventos Marc Friedman and Andrew Barr, Brad Barr with Andrew Barr and Joe Russo and Moore and Brad Barr, among others.
The evenings extended encore found Benevento leading the group through a cover of the Knifes Heartbeats that teased several popular standards before opening up into an extended jam. The keyboardist covers the dance track on his new solo album Me Not Me. At one point in the evening, Disco Biscuits guitarist Jon Gutwillig wandered onstage and riffed into the microphone for a few minutes, but never actually picked up an instrument (the Disco Biscuits had wrapped up a show at the nearby Nokia Theatre a few minutes earlier).
Though the members of the Duo and the Slip have performed together in almost every configuration imaginable, the ever-social groups share a few more defined side-projects. Most notably, the Andrew Barr plays in the Marco Benevento Trio and Barr and Slip Bassist Marc Friedman have toured together as MAM. In addition, Brad Barr has toured as an auxiliary member of the Duo.