Ben Kenney fans?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by kazuhank, May 19, 2004.

  1. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I've been a big fan of Ben Kenney's playing with Blackalicious and the Roots. So I was pleasantly surprised with his playing in Incubus. I know there are several here that favor Dirk Lance, but Ben is the man, and one of the few I know that have been successful in both the rock and hip-hop realms. Not to mention the other instruments and side projects that he has done (the division group is a cool little rock record with Ben on guitar and vocals).

    I was pleased to see Bass Player give Ben some props and am surprised that a search here on TB only produces three threads. The dude is worth checking out.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    well, if he's played with the Roots, he must have the groove factor going on. i did read about him in BP mag as well.

    i don't think i have heard him play, maybe i should get some albums with him on them
  3. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    I'm a big fan of Kenney as well. I'm a big Incubus fan, and most of that is from Dirk's playing, but I really enjoy the new stuff with Kenney.

  4. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    My first exposure to Incubus was from students that brought in the stuff with Lance. While I always thought they were cool (and different than most of the rock that was being brought into lessons), it wasn't until Kenney joined that I really took an interest in the band. I think Ben's simple hip-hop r&b sensibility transfers well into the rock world. He recorded almost everything on a Joe Osborn and plays with flats for a traditional rootsy rock tone (he even sports a new Lakland Hollowbody in the 'talkshows on mute' video). Kind of a fresh (via the old skool) perspective in rock.
  5. AmplifyYourBass


    Dec 7, 2003
    Ben Kenney is a very solid bass player. His bass line on "Talk Show on Mute" is simple but very, very catchy. I'm not a big Incubus fan (even though I have a few of their albums), but I definitley favor Dirk Lance above Ben Kenney as a bass player.
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I liked his guitar playing with the Roots, but he also filled in for Hub when he couldn't do some tours. He's a really good musician.
  7. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    I missed Incubus live recently, but I'm curious to know if Ben Kenney slaps on their older material, such as "A Certain Shade Of Green", which I believe they have been playing live, or the little slap break in "Redefine"...

    Russ :bassist:
  8. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Ben isn't nearly the same caliber player as Alex, but his playing has grown on me a bit more. I actually think that Ben's style fits nicley with the direction the band is going in now. I still miss Alex, and the Alex influenced, Incubus era.
  9. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    I agree completely. It just sticks in your head for hours. :)

    I like his style. Simple basslines, but they really groove...something I often wish I was better at. :meh:

    At first I didn't care for Incubus' latest CD, but after listening to it a few times and paying more attention to Kenney's basslines, I'm starting to like it more.
  10. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    Not sure... you are right that they have been playing it live, set lists for the bootlegs have it, but the old BP one pager on him said the rest of the band told him they weren't going to play the "old stuff" anymore. So I'm not sure if the cut-off was before or after science.

    I know he's an accomplished bass player, but I seem to remember him saying something to the effect that he "leaves slapping to those who are good at it." Those slap lines you mentioned aren't a walk in the park, and the cynical part of me wants to say no, he doesn't because he sucks too much.
  11. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Yeah Halftooth, I agree that they are not in the same caliber--I'd say Ben is in a league of his own. Hard to argue who is better as the band has gone in such a different direction, but as a complete player, I'd give the nod to Ben simply for his versatility. I can't think of another player that has been as successful in such disparate styles of music as modern rock and hip hop. Ben filled in for Hub flawlessly, so he simply does not suck.

    Slapping should not be the measure of a great bass player. Jamerson comes to mind...
  12. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    im a huge fan of dirk lance and was sad to hear that he left incubus....and that a guitarist from the roots was filling his spot. i didnt expect much when i bought the new album but i gotta say that i really dig ben's playing. its very solid and fits in with everything else. i cant wait to see him live with the band in july.
  13. HUGE fan of the Roots. i saw them twice when they had Ben. I think Ben is a great guitarist/bass player... But Dirk Lance just had somethin for Incubus that was distinctive.
  14. Futterman


    Feb 12, 2003
    Bens a solid and groovy player, one of my favorites for sure, gotta love Blackalicious and the roots. I was really impressed with his stuff on the Time Lapse Consortium project.
  15. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    Not only is Ben a good musician, he's a nice kid, well young man now. In high school my son was in a band called Worthless, Ben hung around with them. Later he played drums for them, he was pretty good. When I saw him on the cover of Bass Player both my son and I were blown away. Its nice to see a local get a break. He's a damn good bass player also.

  16. Char-Lee


    Aug 29, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    I agree with halftooth, Dirk is in my opinion a bit more technical and thats what really turned me on to their music. I think Ben is perfect for the stuff they are doing now and I really enjoy his style, I don't think Dirk would have been to happy playing the new stuff which is one of the reasons I believe he and the band parted ways. Anyway I've seen dirk play 4 time and everytime he was the coolest cat on stage and the melody he had wow!!! Ben I'm looking forward to seeing you in Seattle.

    Bye Bye
  17. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    I saw Incubus last night and Ben blew me away.Very groovy and he always plays the right note in his fills.He doesn't slap for A Certain Shade of Green and in fairness its not the same but nearly every song he put his own twist on and stayed to the smae basic line as Dirk and it worked every time.And he is a fantastic entertainer
  18. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    No, he plays those songs with a pick, and for A Certain Shade of Green during the bits where Dirk would be doing some crazy slap stuff Ben mutes all the strings with his left hand and does sort of slow muted strumming...

    I'd say Dirk was by far the better bassist and songwriter, the new incubus stuff sounds terrible without Dirk's skills in both respects.
  19. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    i wouldnt say they sound terrible at all. it's just different.
  20. Ben Kenney slaps now. When playing songs like "Certain Shade of Green" live, he doesn't pick anymore, he slaps.. and very well, I might add. I don't really agree with the fact that Dirk is more skilled than Ben, and if anything, I think their sound is more individual without all the slapping. Its funny, I let a friend listen to some of the old stuff, and his dad walked into the room thinking it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. (Don't reign hell on this statement lol) The idea here is that Dirk's frantic, wild style is very reminiscent of Flea's earlier days.

    I enjoy a solid, creative, catchy groove over wild, extremely busy slapping any day. Then again, I'm probably a bit biased since I love old-school bass sounds :smug: