Just returned from Nashville(USA) recording their debut release with Andrija Tokic (of Alabama Shakes fame), Benny C and the Associates will make you move with a passionate mix of SRV, Hendrix and Nile Rodgers.
Serious groove, charismatic vibes makes soulful tunes with lyrics of substance and musicianship with depth.
Benny C & the Associates combine the thump of true blues and soul with an eclectic mix of influences from funk to folk.
Fronted by the dynamic Benny 'C' Cunningham who's vocal tone is straight from the pages of BB King, Hendrix and and Rick James BCA bring passion, lyrical honesty and intimacy to every performance.
BCA came together at the end of 2013 in Adelaide Australia and features Angela Portolesi on vocals, Kelvin Sugars on drums and Steve Portolesi on Bass along with a bunch of other music 'buddies' as the Associates.
Keep an eye out for these guys and be sure to catch them live, and check this website, subscribe to the mailing list or FB for the latest news on album release dates, tours and everything 'Benny C & The Associates'.
first musical experience was as a bass player with a group of mates just out of high school in Adelaide Australia. The lead singer of that band and still long time friend Mark Hosking recently said "people would come and see the band and at the end of the night say to me "you should get that dude to sing" speaking of Ben....."not a great accolade for me, but we knew Ben had something unique even then". Ben's early influences were some what unusual for a teenage kid from the southern suburbs of Adelaide. While most of his friends we're listening to Aussie pub rock Ben was developing his style from a variety of relatively unknown US blues and soul vocalists and guitarists such as Rick James, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Nile Rogers and P-Funk.
was the first to meet Ben through a mutual friend in the late 90's and would frequently see his band 'Headfunk' playing around Adelaide. Around that time Ange was in a cover band with
and when their guitarist left she introduced Ben and the 3 clicked immediately. As Ben says "you know you're in a good band when the coffee and conversation topics during the set breaks are more fun than the sets themselves!!"
Angela and Steve had been writing together extensively for an original project called 'Zest' doing Neo-Soul/Acid Jazz. Ben joined Zest initially as guitarist but his outstanding vocals and persona soon saw him singing many of the tracks both live and on their recordings. Zest then morphed into 'Sugareen' taking the guys back to earlier underground RnB and soul influences with the release of 'Charismajik'.
It was here
joined the band and the line up was complete. Kelvin was formally schooled in Jazz at the Elder Conservatiorium, however his real passion of Zappa to \m/etal was where he spent most of his playing hours. This added a completely new dimension to the groups' sound and is a big factor in moving the team towards the now eclectic style of 'Benny C & The Associates'.
The pending release of their debut album Ladies & Gentlemen started with a bunch of songs being written in January 2014. What initially had planned to be a locally produced EP soon took legs with a fully fledged album being tracked in various studios around Adelaide from April to June. After seeing
on the Grammys the band took a punt at approaching their producer
who's based in the ever increasing musical and arts hub of East Nashville. Andrija liked their stuff and the album was mixed in July 2014 featuring some of Nashville's best musos as guests including some amazing keys playing from Jack White keyboardist
**** We were extremely saddened by the news of Ikey's passing. Much love and respect to his family and loved ones. We are honoured to have his genius stamp on our project. ****
Keep an eye on this site for the latest news on album release dates, tours and everything 'Benny C & The Associates'.