Music and Merch
Cartoon by Jeff Moores
All of my releases and merch are currently available to stream, download, or purchase on Bandcamp.
March of the Mollusk
My latest record of ‘clawhammer meditations for modern humans inspired by ancient gastropods’ is getting recognition in the folk music world! It debuted at #15 on the FAI Folk Radio chart in February, 2023, and rose to #12 in March. It’s been featured by numerous playlisters including Putumayo’s New Folk playlist. Here’s a snippet from the liner notes:
“Consider the snail. They are never in a hurry. They carry their homes with them wherever they go, and can retreat there on a dime. Yet they are respectful and curious about other snails. They can smell the world around them in stereo. They generate so much slime that they get to glide wherever they go almost friction-free. They eat mostly fungi, plants, and earth, yet they never take more than their share. They help the whole forest by precessing the leaf litter and occasionally one sacrifices itself for the benefit of a fellow creature like a turkey. And since they’ve been around since the Cambrian Period and they still thrive all over the globe, maybe we can learn a thing or two from them.”
“Benny Bleu coaxes more tones out of the banjo than anyone I’ve ever met.” – John Bernunzio, Bernunzio Uptown Music
“There isn’t a dud in the bunch, which is best heard in one continuous zen session. … Haravitch’s technical proficiency is undeniable.” – Daniel Kushner, Rochester CITY Newspaper
“He blends local Finger Lakes folk music with his interpretation by putting his own soothing grooves to well known folk standards.” – Jacob Schermerhorn, Rochester Beacon
“This is an album of deep, meditative grooves. No flashy hyperspeed tricks here, just deep, soothing, beautiful music. There are some originals and some slightly quirky interpretations of classic old-time standards.” – Reddit Reviewer
Swatting the Flies
‘Swatting the Flies’ is my second full-length album and I’m really excited about it. It’s got Cajun flair, banjo brilliance, and lyrics worth thinking about. Here’s a snippet from the liner notes:
“Let these songs help you focus on the good stuff. The ancient stuff – the cosmos and your body’s relation to it. Maybe while hiking or cooking or yoga or eye contact with your dog. Each song on here I wish could be the last song. They’re all last songs. Remember that as you listen … We weren’t ready for the Industrial Revolution. And we’re not ready for the Tech Revolution either. Our minds are turning to mush and our view of the stars is fading. The distractions we get peddled are the flies we gotta swat. I don’t have any answers, all I know is that it’ll take a really big fly swatter.”
” ‘Swatting the Flies’ sounds … more soul-weary and introspective — no surprise given the events of the past two years. And so Benny Bleu attempts to give listeners the musical antidote. ” — Daniel J. Kushner, Rochester CITY Newspaper
“Swatting the Flies takes me right back to my days growing up on the farm. Great groove for one of my favorite things- “contemplating the infinite”!“
“Laid back modern old time music, done just the way only Benny Bleu can deu.“
My first album is half old-time and country favorites and half original songs which focus on compassion towards those facing homelessness, addiction, and loneliness. Old-timey fiddle and banjo blended with subtle drums and electric lap steel forge an earthy yet atmospheric palette, always focused on the feel.
“Easygoing pluck-and-twang” — Frank DeBlase, Rochester CITY Newspaper
“His original songs don’t shy away from difficult topics – like loneliness, addiction, and just being different – and they also draw you in, with interesting characters and reflections on time and place.” — Janice Hanson, Golden Link Folk Singing Society
“Creating a sound that truly reflects the Appalachian Mountain Range through folk music” — Dan Gross, Rochester Indie Musician Spotlight
“The songs are so… real. They’re not trying too hard.” — Scott Regan, WRUR
Hand tie-dyed, hand-printed T-shirts on sale!
Weekly posts on my YouTube page featuring videos of original songs, covers, and banjo & fiddle tunes.