Behold & Lo on The Radiator

Behold and Lo Words by Jim Dean. Photo by Lily Chau.

The Radiator featured Nick Awad (banjo, guitar, & vocals) and Ben Slotnick (mandolin & vocals) last month to discuss their new music project and hear some original tunes. These two unique artists comprise the group Behold and Lo. They met through the University of Vermont during a spontaneous jam session one afternoon in the quad. They both felt their original pieces could really benefit from each other’s accompaniment and have been progressing since then.

After first being introduced to this new group, I discovered that these were two independent musicians who complement each other very well. For the most part, they each sing and play lead for their own songs. They seem to work well together in that sense, but also seem to be collaborating more and more in their writings. Ben Slotnick is a very traditional bluegrass man, which really thickens the sounds of Nick’s Americana, folky tone.

Nick Awad has fairly traditional Americana influences, as well as such folk groups as Trampled by Turtles and The Avett Brothers. He derives a lot of his literary influences from Charles Buckowski and Nick Flynn. He also tends to incorporate a great deal of oriental themes in his writing, mostly through his various studies of eastern poetry.

Ben’s main influences are Tony Rice, Bill Monroe, and Tony Trischka. These men all have strong bluegrass routs, but all have their own unique sound that is captured well by Ben. He has been an avid mandolin player for the majority of his life and he demonstrated his talents well while performing on the Radiator.

Behold and Lo made another appearance last Friday to display their new findings within this project. Ben and Nick both feel they have drifted outside from their original folky bluegrass roots to build towards a tighter, more defined sound. They perfected many of their previous songs and demonstrated a blatant intensification of musical chemistry while playing their new and old tunes.

Behold and Lo returned to the Radiator with a much more matured sound. Their musical interests have blended well throughout the summer. Ben Slotnick and Nick Awad went from two independent musicians playing off each other to a truly collaborative effort. When asked to define their sound, they no longer associated themselves with Americana, Folk, or Blue Grass; but instead replied simply, “it’s just music man.”

They are hoping to release a demo in the next few months. In the mean time, you may see them on Church Street; or if you get a chance, the Radio Bean is hosting them September 1st.