Singer-songwriter Benton Blount began his journey with his debut audition on July 7th, 2015 with the airing of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Benton seemed to cruise through the audition with ease as all four judges complimented his undeniable talent. Country radio had missed this unbelievable talent, showing that once again another amazing artist was overlooked by the Nashville establishment. Benton made it through as a Top 10 finalist, ending his incredible streak at #5. A highlight from his tenure on Americas Got Talent was his incredible rendition of the Dolly Parton hit “Jolene.”
Watching Benton on TV was incredible, but seeing Benton “Live” at The Wildhorse in Nashville this year was priceless. The Wildhorse stage was electric with anticipation of the season 10 top 10 finalist from Americas Got Talent. Benton Blount gracefully made his way to the front of the stage commanding attention with his imposing size. From the second he began to sing, the audience was captivated by his incredible vocal strength and dexterity. Benton held the audience in his palm with the storytelling bravado of a young Merle Haggard or Conway Twitty. It was VERY easy to see how Benton won the heart of the American television audience. His songs are heartfelt and genuine only out shined by his graceful yet strong delivery and unique voice. In the landscape of current country music, Benton is a shining beacon of originality in a sea of sameness. While Benton does not fit the typical country crooner Nashville stereotype, his originality is in line with that of a Chris Stapleton or Sturgill Simpson. If we were betting people, ALL of our money would go on this man.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Benton after his incredible show. Upon meeting him a few words came to mind; tall, kind and extremely humble. The interview started a little differently than most as sincere hugs replaced the normal “nice to meet you” handshakes. It was clear after sitting down with him for only a few moments that this is someone who takes his faith, family, and music very seriously. Earlier this year Benton released his single “God Talks To Me”, and of course I had to ask what the story was behind this emotionally touching song. Benton said that his friend Brent Baxter wrote it and it really resonated with his home life. “Coming from a very religious background, this song hits very close to home. This song fit me perfectly, I can still believe in God and screw up every day. I know I am not perfect and yet I know God still loves me. I am a churchman balancing between God and reality.” I also asked, does being a church man show any significance with your tattoo “Believe” on your forearm? He then went on to say, “I started playing in the church when I started out in Contemporary Christian Rock music for about 8 years before I began playing just country. I was a youth pastor at my Baptist church for about 1 ½ years which is where the tattoo ‘Believe’ originated from.” One of the things Benton wanted to do as a youth pastor was to take faith to people in a way that they haven’t heard it before in a non-invasive way. One example he remembered was having his youth group make T-shirts that had the word “Believe” on them. “I got this tattoo not just for my faith, but believing in yourself, chasing your dreams or whatever else you can put after the word ‘Believe!’” Because of Benton’s diverse musical upbringing I had to ask what his all-time favorite cover was and why? Benton enjoys playing many covers, but the one he chose was “Put Some Drive in Your Country” by Travis Tritt.” (Put Some Drive in Your Country – Benton Blount) “That song encompasses from fast to slow everything that I want to do. It was my catalyst to the music I do today and I have always been a Travis Tritt fan. The way he tells stories, his singing, and songwriting, Travis is edgy rock, but still country.” Benton definitely knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to share. Of course we ended with a question I like to ask everyone, do you have a guilty pleasure artist that you rock out to in the car? Benton’s answer was priceless, yes folks, Justin Bieber. Benton states, “His best song on the record was “Sorry” and his new album is really good.“ Surprised? Well, we weren’t! It does help that his 3 year old loves Justin and pop music so Benton listens to him often. My interview with Benton was absolutely one for the books! He is a stand-up guy with a very bright future.
Benton’s career has continued to sky rocket. Recently opening for country music icon, Dolly Parton, this sought after singer-songwriter has finally found his label home with Pacific Records in San Diego, CA. Congratulations Benton on your continued success, your fans and the Rusty Boots team are looking forward to your new music. If you want to learn more or keep up with Benton’s career, you can find him on all social media platforms as well as through the Benton Blount app and his website www.bentonblount.com.