Doko Benjo breaking barriers
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 Cole Christensen

To play the Acoustic Stage at the 2009 Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green, they had never played a “truly acoustic” set as a band. Considering their standard stage line-up of horns, drums, electric instruments and frequent use of softer hip-hop style vocals, performing without amplification appeared to be a big challenge in keeping with  their  adventurous musical spirit. Doko Benjo delivered an outstanding acoustic performance, leading the band to wonder if they should attempt more acoustic sets.
Based out of Chicago, Doko Benjo represents a growing trend of musical amalgamation that continues to be explored by younger musicians with diverse musical tastes and backgrounds.
 With artificial musical barriers removed, the octet effectively explores the digestion of unique instrumental and vocal styles. The result is a tight, consistent and tasteful music palate that serves as the foundation for their eclectic song writing and vocal delivery.
“We have a voice as a collective band,” lead singer and guitarist Cary Kanno said. “We all bring our individual elements, but they tend to fuse together into a more unified sound. It is tough to balance all of these unique musical tastes, but when a song is brought into the group, everyone puts in their touches.”
Formed in 2004 as a loose collection of musical friends rehearsing for fun, Doko Benjo has honed their sound and developed a strong fan base across the Midwest due to their frequent summer festival touring schedule.
They are currently supporting their second full-length album release “I Say Disaster,” released in August. Kanno said the new album represents a different approach for the Doko Benjo sound, bringingin stronger rock influences, tighter song writing and better production values. “It kind of reflects the way we have gone and the way  we  have grown as a band,” Kanno said. “Instead of  veering towards a pop/funk sound that the last album had, this one is much more in the category of rock.” However, the influence of funk, hip-hop and jazz sounds continue to be the backbone for Doko Benjo’s live show, and something music lovers of all genres can expect at their show in Bowling Green.

Doko Benjo returns to Bowling Green for a free concert at Grounds For Thought, 174 S. Main St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 20.

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