DANVILLE -- Their moniker, Royal Benson, conjures up dashing images of suave, globe-trotting spy from a classic English film.
Their music is a tapestry of vibrant jazz and traditional rock that grabs one by the collar and captivates until the last note resonates across the room.
And Royal Benson couldn’t be happier.
“I have been in many bands over the years and unfortunately, some of them had awful names. So when it came time to think of a name for this band, we tossed a lot of ideas around and eventually came up with Royal Benson since it sounded like a name of a character from a film yet sounded like it could be a real person,” said Matt Fern, guitarist, vocalist and co-songwriter for the five-piece group.
“That was back in early 2008 and we have been making music ever since.”
The regional band, with members scattered about in Lewisburg, Williamsport, State College and Harrisburg, will kick off a triple shot of music that starts Saturday at the Old Forge Brewing Company in Danville at 9:30 p.m.
“Since the band members are in different areas, it can be a bit of a challenge, not for shows, but time to practice,” said Fern, 33. “We have never practiced in State College since Lewisburg seems to be central to where everyone is located.”
The old adage “practice makes perfect” holds true for the regal sounds of Royal Benson, a band that performs mainly original music with a few choice covers thrown into the mix.
In addition to Fern, a State College resident, the group also includes Adam Tarin, providing vocals and impressive keyboard skills, Tim Myers on bass and vocals, followed by Jordan Thompson on percussion and the saxophone master, Doug McMinn.
“Doug joined us when a former member moved away. Since that time Doug has been an awesome player and a huge help with other aspects of the band. He is a great talent,” Fern said.
Performing across the Valley, towns and burgs along the Susquehanna, Royal Benson has also impressed audiences in Pittsburgh, Philly and New York City.
In addition to their gig at Old Forge, next week these regal music makers will rock the house at the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport next Friday and the following day will find them grooving at Balzano’s in Bloomsburg.
“We love the fact we can get out often and share our music with others and let them forget about their cares for a while,” said Fern. “We spend a lot of time crafting our music so our shows are a fluid experience with no hiccups. Sometimes we can be like perfectionists and make sure every minor detail is alright and everything is as perfect as it can be.”
Talking from his home in Happy Valley, Fern’s voice, one that was meant for making music, speaks enthusiastically about the band and its original music.
“Occasionally we’ll dip into the pot a bit to find some covers. Something that isn’t on the Top 40. We look for songs that are a bit older and maybe not heard as often, like something from Paul Simon,” he said. “Writing our own music, however, allows us to fill up the Royal Benson sandbags with tangible music that gives people an understanding about the band and us as musicians.”
Because of the band’s skills and understanding of the dynamics of each player, the band can perform one night at a crowded club with a party atmosphere to a toned down version for a casual restaurant of small pub.
“If you like music and like experiencing music that is different, you should come to one of our shows,” Fern said. “You won‘t see or hear a band like us on any given night. Once you hear us play, you’ll want to hear us again.”