Benham Jones Reports from Bonnaroo, pt 7: Ham&Cheese, Elvis Perkins, Jimmy Buffett, Drive By Truckers

by Landry on June 13, 2009

Sunday, June 14th

3:20 pm CDT

There have been some magic moments today at Bonnaroo, much moreso than yesterday, and I’m thinking that it might have a lot to do with the ham & cheese burrito that I treated myself to this morning. For example, when I was walking over to Elvis Perkins, away from the surprise Jimmy Buffett set, looking into the faces of those walking towards Buffett was so incredible. Every single face, bright and shining like a sun spot, gently mouthing the words to “Changes In Latitude”; there was a special sweetness to that moment that I can’t quite put into words but that I’m sure you can’t buy. I am late for Booker T. and the Drive-By-Truckers. Elvis Perkins in Dearland was so solid though. In a way, the band is hyper traditional and without gimmicks, subtle and sensitive to the kind of earnest and mournful folly that Perkins writes. The atmosphere in the tent was like a religious revival festival slowly descending into a barn storm, perhaps one of the only sets I’ve seen so far that both utilized and deserved audience hand claps for the sound. Perkins’ voice is a really beautiful instrument, akin to Mark Mulcahy’s strained tenor in Miracle Legion, stretching out the word “loooovveee” like it’s a string on the harp. And when he kicked into falsetto, it was like Al Green swallowed my gothic soul.

Benham Jones currently lives in New York City with his four year old cat Stella.

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