Benmont's genius instrumentally was a given!! I was speaking only to his taking the lead vocally and lyrically, as he has done here in this performance.
For a great musician you have to have one of two things: a great voice or great lyrics, or both. For example: Bob Dylan has great lyrics..not so great voice. Tom Petty has great voice and great lyrics (although his voice isn't as strong as it once was in my opinion). Benmont's voice is a little weak, but I am intrigued enough to listen because of the lyrics. Maybe he should have practiced more singing in front of people....done a few night club gigs etc. A singer has to really hone his voice. I am so glad he is doing this though. I think the band has more talent than just Tom (although he is certainly a great talent no doubt) and Ben does not have to prove himself to anyone.....just enjoy the opportunity to showcase his talent a little. I like the lyrics of the songs I have heard very much! "Why Don't You Quit Leaving Me Alone" is my favorite so far. It could easily be a hit song! Has a great "hook" as they say.....
I learned of JJ Cale through Eric Clapton. I loved his versions of "Cocaine" and "After Midnight". Then I got the albums and discovered who the writer really was and began a love affair with JJ. When I heard JJ do these two songs many years later....I have never felt the same about Eric's renditions. Those are truly JJ's songs and he sang them well. It is sad to see him leave us. But think of the music we will hear when we pass to the other side!!!!! Keep on pickin' JJ!!