Kristin Scott Benson

Kristin Scott Benson

Kristin Scott Benson | Brevard, North Carolina banjo instructor

Kristin Scott Benson is the four-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year (www.ibma.org). Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals (www.grascals.com), making an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry.

Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.

Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:

“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has
taken it before.”

Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010

Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, on Mountain Home Records, was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the top-ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The record is a mixture of styles, reflecting her tastes, and features original and traditional instrumentals, as well as vocal songs, all showcasing her banjo playing.

She has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008, including the latest release, And Then, There’s This. This album has enjoyed more chart success than any other, having spent eight of its first 12 months at #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited album chart. As part of the Grascals, Kristin’s media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating nearly 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.

Kristin plays a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Blue Chip picks, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo.

After 13 years in Nashville, Kristin has relocated back near her original home, in the Carolinas, where she lives with her husband and son.

Katherine Forbes