Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.
I originally posted this in May of 2014. Now, about a year later, Benton is making waves on America’s Got Talent. Be sure and watch for him in the coming weeks on NBC! Proud of ya, Benton! #TeamBenton
<This post is not just to tell you how cool Benton Blount is. There are valuable nuggets for both aspiring artists and songwriters.>
The first time I met Benton Blount, I thought I’d walked into the wrong room. My cowriting buddy, Skip Black, had set the three of us up to write, telling me, “This guy named Benton… country singer… record deal on Golden Music…” Well, my default answer when it comes to writing with a signed artist is “yes.” (See my post, “Things I Say Yes To”)
So I go walking in, but Skip isn’t there yet. There’s a guy sitting there looking like a rock ‘n roll UFC fighter. “Uh… you seen Skip?” Then Benton opened his mouth and filled the room with his Carolina drawl. Immediately, I knew it was gonna be an interesting day. (That was the day we wrote “Could’a Fooled Me,” which is on his album, “Stripped.” Check it out here.)
We continued to write, but as these things happen (too often), Benton’s label folded and he made the move back to the Carolinas. I don’t know for certain, but my guess is that his phone wasn’t ringing quite as often. But he didn’t quit, he just kept working. Guess you could call that, “drive.”
Benton and I have stayed in touch- not just because he’s a good guy and cuts my/our songs (“I Don’t Have To Prove I’m Country” “Could’a Fooled Me” “Go To Him” “God Sent A Woman”) I’ve been sure to always send him songs when he’s looking and to write when we can for one simple reason:
I believe in Benton Blount as an artist.
And this is more than just a gut feeling. It’s based on a few factors- ones I think you should consider when deciding how much time and energy to invest in an artist.
Benton is a singin’ fool. No doubt that he knows how to sing. And his voice would stand out on country radio. He’s also a solid songwriter (who’s smart enough to cut the right outside song).
Benton isn’t waiting on Music Row to pick him. He’s already picked himself. He’s writing, recording and releasing albums. He’s out on the road playing a lot of shows. It’s obvious that he’s not afraid to work. And his booking agency and sponsors apparently agree.
3. Fan engagement
The Benton Blount experience isn’t confined to one of his shows. He’s been consistently engaging with his fans (and making new ones) through social media. At this moment, he has over 16,000 Facebook fans, 44,000 Twitter followers, and 27,000 Instagram followers. He’s also put out a lot of videos on YouTube. Careers are built on fan support, and he certainly has that (his latest album was fan-supported on Kickstarter).
Of course, hard work, talent, and persistence don’t guarantee anyone a major label record deal and radio hits (though it’d be nice if they did). But either way, I’m happy to have songs I’m proud of sung by a real singer- no matter how many people hear them at the end of the day. But given what I know about Benton… I’m betting it’s going to be a LOT of people.
You can find out more about Benton at… www.bentonblount.com
A GIFT FROM BRENT
Thanks to those of you who have already downloaded my book, Think Like A Pro Songwriter! I hope it’s helping you make the jump from amateur to pro songwriter! If you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, you can get it FOR FREE at www.GiftFromBrent.com or by clicking on the image below. Enjoy!