Brett Benton: On the Record 

by Seri Thompson (Steeltoe Metronome)

BRETT BENTON  |  NEW SINGLE  |  What That Means

interview and words by Seri Thompson from Steeltoe Metronome

Benton is swift to the point in this new single What That Means. Using a combination of thoughtful lyrics, slide guitar, and a southern blues beat that’s steady like a train, it cuts and delivers. The tune begins with Benton’s singing, “Have you ever been tired, where you just can’t go on?” Followed by that beat, and the rhythm of the slide, there is a near immediate sense of marching, of perseverance through exhaustion—that feeling that so many of us know all too well. 

This song grew from empathy and compassion, from an understanding of how the weight of the world bears down, and what dangers can come from that pressure. In 2019, two close family members of Benton’s attempted suicide within eight months of one another. Knowing that low and desperate point, recognizing the importance of mental health, and wanting to honor those family members, Benton was inspired to create this message. You are not alone. The world is better with you in it.  Benton makes no assumptions, nor passes any judgements. The song treads carefully through this delicate topic, while expertly cultivating unity. 

When the last verse comes in, the instruments cut out. “If you ever get down, you ain’t all alone” and the song builds again in a call to action that urges the listener to keep fighting, keep going, we’ve got this. 

What That Means is a hill country/blues/rock hybrid-- an anthem for the wretched and downtrodden, for the fighters and defy-ers, for those marching strong and those whose boots are sinking in the mud. We are all in this together. Listen for yourself on all platforms on September 20th, full album Southern Raised to be released on October 11th, and you don’t want to miss the release party on Friday, October 14th at the legendary Conor Byrne in Seattle, Wa! TICKET LINK:

What That Means was recorded at Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, MS with Bronson Tew, sound engineer.

Stream Here:  Spotify

Brett Benton: Vocal and slide guitar

Ed Adams: Slide guitar

Bronson Tew: Bass guitar and drums

photos by Melissa Wax/Ballard VOX

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