Benton Blount didn’t find music—it found him
Benton Blount is a storyteller at heart. The country music singer takes to the stage with one goal in mind—to connect with the people who have come out to hear him, whether it be in a crowd of thousands or a small bar downtown.
“I like my shows to be an experience where everybody feels like they’re a part of it, rather than they just came to see me play,” he says.
Just how he came to find himself under the stage lights is a story in itself, one of happenstance and timing, the North Carolina native explains. As a teenager, Blount played football and had his athletic sights on college. The summer of his senior year in high school, however, everything changed. “Someone at my church asked me to learn to play the bass guitar to play in the church band. I didn’t know how to read music or play an instrument, but they bought me a bass, so I wasn’t going to turn it down. I learned how to play by ear and would sing along to the songs to help me remember,” his place in the music, says Blount, who is now 33.
Over the years, he’s found that being left-handed has helped him learn how to play his guitar quickly since he doesn’t read music. “When I watch someone playing guitar, it’s a mirror image of what I’m doing, so it’s easier for me to watch it,” he says. “The only thing I don’t do left-handed is fish,” he says. His initial role as a bass player for the church band, however, would be short-lived. “I was a horrible player,” he recalls with a chuckle, “but they wanted me to sing.”
And sing he did. “I started singing and turned down my scholarships that I had to play football and just started pursuing music. It was a fluke thing that I fell into because I didn’t even sing in the shower before that summer.” He took off for Nashville, where he started earning a living as a musician. “By the end of 2006, I came to Greenville and recorded my first solo record with Edwin McCain’s Whitestone Studios downtown,” he says. “The first day I was here, I decided pretty much right then and there that at some point I was going to leave Nashville and move to Greenville because I liked it so much.”
Blount, whose self-titled CD was released in late May, lives for performing. “Music is such a big part of people’s lives,” he says. “You can really see people let go of all their stress and worries. They can just come and forget about that for a couple of hours.”