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Arvie Bennett speaks from the heart on eve of 'Carolina Smile' CD party

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, November 8, 2013

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• Arvie Jr. Band “Carolina Smile” CD release party
• Saturday, 9 p.m.
• Mason Jar, 202 Trade Street
• Label: Tate Music Group
• Band members
Arvie Bennett, songwriter, lead guitar
Bunny Bennett, (wife), background vocals
Daniel Petty, lead guitar
John Bedford, bass
Jerry Whitten, drummer

Submitted by Arvie Bennett

• Arvie Jr. Band “Carolina Smile” CD release party

• Saturday, 9 p.m.

• Mason Jar, 202 Trade Street

• Label: Tate Music Group

• Band members

Arvie Bennett, songwriter, lead guitar

Bunny Bennett, (wife), background vocals

Daniel Petty, lead guitar

John Bedford, bass

Jerry Whitten, drummer



Enlarge photo

Arvie Bennett, a teacher, father, musician, songwriter and manager, would probably have liked the clock to had moved back at least an hour each day this week.

Submitted by Arvie Bennett

Arvie Bennett, a teacher, father, musician, songwriter and manager, would probably have liked the clock to had moved back at least an hour each day this week.



Enlarge photo

Arvie Bennett is a popular artist that is a storyteller through his lyrics and music. 

Submitted by Arvie Bennett

Arvie Bennett is a popular artist that is a storyteller through his lyrics and music. 



Enlarge photo

Submitted by Arvie Bennett

"I try to write songs that convey an idea or a story to which the listener can relate."

Arvie Bennett



The Arvie Jr. Band is having a CD Release Party Saturday at the Mason Jar (202 Trade Street) at 9 p.m. to promote “Carolina Smile”.

Arvie Bennett, a teacher, father, musician, songwriter and manager, would probably have liked the clock to had move back to at least an hour each day this week. He has been conducting interviews and preparing for the band’s release party.

Bennett is a popular artist that is a storyteller through his lyrics and music. He explains the inspiration behind “The Little Things”, written for his wife, Bunny. Bennett tells how he began playing the guitar to lead worship service, only to become disillusioned with church and now finding that faith returning to his heart.

The release party is open to the public and his CD will be on sale.

Question: You have mentioned you are telling stories through your music/lyrics. Please explain.

Arvie: Throughout history, I believe music has been used to transfer valuable historical information to future generations.  However, in recent years, the music industry has become polluted with a large amount of sampled beats and computer generated sounds that do not share a story but simply a primal beat.  I try to write songs that convey an idea or a story to which the listener can relate.  I want the melody and music to be catchy and pleasing to the ear but I also want the listener to be able to understand every word and involve themselves in the story.

Q: Help describe the defining moment on “The Little Things” CD and some of the “little things” you mention.

Arvie: The Little Things" was written about the growing relationship with my wife.  She has so many wonderful characteristics that caused me to fall in love with her.  However, I noticed that it was mostly the little things about her that impressed me the most.  Like the way she would brush her hair away from her face or the way she would slip her hand into mine.  In a busy world it is so easy to miss the little things. I wanted to remind myself and my audience of the little things.

Q: How did “Carolina Smile” come about?

Arvie: “Carolina Smile” was also written for my wife.  One of the first things I ever noticed about her was her smile.  It is radiant and infectious.  So, I sat down and thought about all of the places or experiences growing up that gave me the same feeling as her smile.  That’s where I came up with the first line ... “Like the sunrise over a Carolina cotton field, Like the green grass growing up on Butler Hill, Like the midnight moon in the southern summer sky, Like Mom’s sweet tea after walking a country mile. . . girl I love your smile."

Q: How has move to Tate Music Group benefitted you/band and where do you expect it to go? Was that a factor in your recording in Nashville?

Arvie: At this point, I really don't know how the deal with Tate Music Group is going to benefit me.  I signed a one record marketing and publication deal with them.  In many ways I have learned to keep my expectations low when dealing with record labels.  They sometimes promise the world and deliver very little.  In essence, it is what it is and I leave it in the Lord’s hands. 

As far as recording in Nashville, that was a completely different story in and of itself.  I signed with a producer out of Nashville to record 15 songs.  He was supposed to pitch the songs to various record labels, artists, and music libraries.  Once my contract ran out and he had not been able to sign us to any type of deal the songs became my sole property to do with as I please.

Q:  You also mention that you began playing guitar as a youth minister to lead worship service. This tells me the Christian faith is powerful with you and (amusingly) you enjoyed taking command of the audience?

Arvie: I spent almost 10 years in vocational ministry and found it very difficult to procure good worship leaders.  I grew up singing in the church but had never tried to pick up an instrument.  So, I bought myself a guitar and taught myself the basic chords needs to play simple worship songs and progressed from there. 

Honestly, over the past five years, I have struggled with my Christian faith.  Like many others, I have been hurt by organized religion or the “Church” as we call it.  In many ways, that is why I turned to doing music in the bars and clubs.  For almost two years now I have played in over 200 bars and clubs.  I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of what happens in those places.  I have met some really wonderful people who are struggling and hurting. 

Do I enjoy taking command of the audience? In the beginning, I really enjoyed the thrill of it.  I enjoyed the fact that I could make people move and clap and cheer.  I enjoyed being the star on the stage.  However, over the past three months, the power of my Christian faith has been moving in my heart.  I have come to the realization that I am commanding an audience for all the wrong reasons.  I am commanding an audience so they will buy my CD, T-shirt, or spend more money.  I find myself so far from where I started when I first started playing the guitar and writing music.  I long to go back to the days when I was not commanding the audience but I was simply an instrument being used by God.

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