Blonde Girl, Blue Dress
By Benmont Tench, from the forthcoming You Should Be So Lucky (Blue Note); streaming here
The man with the fantastic handle – Benmont Tench! – has made a name for himself as an ace sideman and the keyboard-playing veteran of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Now he steps to the front of the stage with a new album and its lead single Blonde Girl, Blue Dress, a sweet-grooved soft-rocker about a lady leaving. That’s Gillian Welch on harmony and none other than Ringo Starr on tambourine, but this is Tench’s gig. The organ tone is blanket-warm; his voice is kind and frayed. And when he wistfully asks, “Did you ever come so close,” that blonde in blue really does seem only inches away.