Beston has been playing music and singing his whole life. Raised in Nashville, he had two music teachers: the local culture of songwriters and his parents’ esoteric record collection. The result: “Absolutely I picked up something from Leadbelly and Townes Van Zandt, but I was also working hard on Monk and Trane, on old soul and Caribbean stuff.” This musical vocabulary won him gigs playing guitar, bass, piano, drums, and singing in groups from New Orleans to LA.
- At the Sligo Fair (2014) is a collection of Irish poet laureate William Butler Yeats’ poems made into songs. Recorded in Nashville with producer Daniel Tashian, Irish tin whistle and fiddle blend with pedal steel, high-strung guitar, drum kit, and flights of melody.
- The Noise of Wings (2011) draws on Beston’s Tennessee roots to explore a classic set of hundred-year-old gospel songs, finding them haunted by rhythms and melodies from all over the African dispora.
- loneliness and freedom waltz together through the night (2007) pares Beston’s songwriting down to a bare minimum: guitar, voice, melody, story. In an intimate hush, Beston traces a relationship arc from break-up to forgetting.
- Curious Melodies from the Lost Travel Diaries of Sir Albus Manchild (2006) exhibits Beston on acoustic guitar in his first modern jazz setting, accompanied by Patrick Marion (upright bass) and Dave Pschaida (kit drums), and featuring “Schwee” Michael Schwartz, bandleader of Critical Brass, on soprano sax. The Beston Barnett Quartet plays creative interpretations of the late period work of Sir Albus Manchild, eccentric Victorian composer. Using his strange melodies and the structures of high-period hard bop, the musicians tell the story of Manchild’s last days with wit and pathos.
- So Very Near (2004) has Beston downshifting into singer/songwriter mode with a simple acoustic production and melodic lullabies of love and loss. Recorded in a large wooden box in the garage, Beston seems to be whispering in your ear with an honest nostalgic voice and a story to tell.
- Beston and The Kitchen (2003) showcases his live (though now defunct) San Diego-based band, The Kitchen, creating an original fluid soul sound in a musical stew of funk, hip-hop, samba, and son.
- On & Up (2002) pairs Beston’s musicianship and songwriting with the electronic wizardry of producer Rafi Benjamin: a combination both raw and floor-shakingly hype. This is real pop music, done right, and the kind of successful collaboration that most artists can only dream of: songs from On & Up are still appearing on television shows like Roswell, Barbershop, Kevin Hill, and more.
- How To Pass Wonder On (2001) explores the many musics he encountered traveling in Brazil, Europe, and Africa, while deepening his lyrical concept into something between spoken word poetry and rap.
- Chrysalis (1999), Beston’s first solo album, brought together his love for the West Coast sound with his roots in the blues, jazz, and songwriting traditions.
SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR – June 2007
TV / Movie Placements