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February 28, 2021

Local father-daughter musical duo releases first album

WATSONVILLE—April Bennett was only about 2 years old when she went up on a stage with her father, Steve Bennett for the very first time.

Steve was in the house band at Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton for many years, and April would often join in.

“She pretty much grew up there, surrounded by that music,” he said.

The duo, which since 2015 has gone by the moniker Wild & Blue (named after a track by John Scott Sherrill), has just released its first full-length record, “Restless.” It is a blend of vintage country, R&B, Rockabilly, folk and bluegrass sounds.

The album is a culmination of their lifelong musical partnership. Steve wrote a handful of the songs years before April was born, with one dating back to 1976.

“The songs on this record span decades, and all of my life as far as the writing goes,” April said. “We’re sharing a lot of life experiences between the both of us.”

Having grown up in a musical family, Steve would continually supply April with the context of the music they both heard and performed—artists ranging from Sam Cook and Dolly Parton to Ella Fitzgerald and John Coltrane.

“I had the benefit of growing up with a musicologist for a dad,” April said. “We have a really deep shared language when it comes to music.”

Lyrically, the songs reflect various themes and emotions. Some are very personal. “Wedding Dress for Sale,” for instance, was written by Steve about April wanting to rid herself of a wedding dress after an abrupt end to an engagement. 

The track “Being There,” April said, is about her close friend and now-husband who helped her through another difficult time in her life.

“It’s about recognizing that it’s OK to be vulnerable,” she said.

ALL NATURAL Wild & Blue’s “Restless” features album artwork by Amanda Marie Bell of Austin, Texas.

About four years ago the two officially began putting “Restless” together, which April said was a long and sometimes arduous process. Thankfully, most of the album had been recorded prior to the pandemic and April’s recent move to Brooklyn. They were able to add in other musicians’ parts remotely, and Steve led post-production and overdubs with co-producer and recording engineer Jesse DeCarlo.

“[Jesse] would email me the mixes, I would give him notes, and then I’d send it to April for her input,” Steve explained. “So it was a little more complicated than if we were all here, in one place. But we got it done.”

While no gigs are scheduled due to the pandemic, Wild & Blue has been making appearances on live radio shows, including KPIG last week. On Saturday at 4:15pm they will be live on KKUP (91.5 FM) with “Sleepy” John Sandige, and will appear on Boulder Creek Community Radio (90.1 FM) on Feb. 22 at 5:30pm.

April says she hopes listeners are touched by their music, and that they relate emotionally.

“I hope they appreciate the authenticity we offer,” she said. “So they’ll want to hear more.”

“Restless” is now streaming on all major music platforms, and also available to download on Apple Music. Physical copies can be purchased through Wild & Blue’s website at wildandblueband.com.

Johanna Miller
Johanna Miller
Reporter Johanna Miller grew up in Watsonville, attending local public schools and Cabrillo College before transferring to Pacific University Oregon to study Literature. She covers arts and culture, business and agriculture.

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