One artist who has used such a tool is Benton Blount, the South Carolina-based singer/songwriter who was set to release a single on an indie label when the label ran out of money and closed. Rather than chalk it up to "I tried and it didn't work," Benton went back to work, honed his craft and built a rabid collective of fans who helped finance the making of his self-titled debut album via a platform like kickstarter.com. It's that exact platform that Benton Blount used for the recording of his self-titled album.
The physical copy of the album features 10 songs (with lead single "I Don't Have To Prove I'm Country" appearing with a remixed version) and an exclusive track called "Long Gone." As for the rest of the record, it's a flowing mixture of modern country rock with guitars and songs that recall Bon Jovi or other 80s rock bands. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it seems to be a segment yet to be filled in country music and a lane for which Benton Blount can 'Drive' himself down. "Drive" was written by Blount and nashville artist Charlie Hutto and it features a tight group of musicians and Blount shows off a pliable vocal that melds itself nicely to the lyrics which are all about taking risks and chances, something Benton Blount is definitely doing with this album.
"Never Been Better" is another rock-leaning song that showcases Blount's songwriting and vocal skills. In this song Blount sings about the joy he has from a relationship. For as 'rock' as Blount has sounded on "Drive" and "Never Been Better," he really cranks up the country/rock "Guilty As Charged," a song that finds Blount unafraid to call himself a country roughneck kind of guy. "I Don't Have To Prove I'm Country," a song co-written by Benton with Brent Baxter and Skip Black showcases a man whose comfortable in his skin and not afraid to take on all the country artists who sing songs to 'prove how country' they are. He says 'what you see is what you get' over a bevy of loud screeching metal-like guitars which are joined by a hip-hop vibe on the 'countrycrunk remix' of the track that closes out the record.
"That's An American" [Listen here], "Whiskey Stained Glass" and "God Sent A Woman" showcase the softer side to Benton Blount and they showcase a talented soul-filled vocalist that might not have any 'fake twang' in his voice but is still very much a modern country singer with "Whiskey Stained Glass" featuring Blount singing a melodic lyric from Brent Baxter and Mark Narmore over a gospel-like piano while "That's An American" is performed over a simple acoustic guitar with Benton singing a lyric about what makes American what it is; the people.
And it is that spirit, the do-it-yourself attitude that Benton Blount has followed with the recording and promotion of Benton Blount. This is an album that is well worth seeking out if you're a fan of modern country's more rock-leaning sounds or just a fan of strong independent releases.