So for this week I've chosen Benton Paul
My first encounter with Benton was back on March 27th at the E-Center. He was the opening act for another artist (who I WILL blog about later, be patient guys) and I had no idea who he was. Immediately, I enjoyed his sound. He had an easy-going personality that carried right over into his music. What really caught my attention though was when he started playing his song "Look for the Light." The month of March was full of ups and downs for me and at this concert, I was kind of at a down. But then he started playing that beautiful, relaxing melody and these lyrics came out of his mouth:
I don't know all the pain
That you've been through
I don't claim to understand
All I know is that it's killing you
And if you just can't handle it
One more day
There is sun on the horizon
A candle in a cave
A little bit of color on the next page
There is always something better
When you look for the light on a dark day
There are those
Who struggle all their life
Only to find just another hill to climb
You got more than you can realize
So open your eyes
And find that light
This was a moment for me. Yeah, lyrics can look cheesy by themselves but I can't even explain how perfect they were and are. It was as if that song was written for me at that moment and the comfort I needed came from where I least expected it. I don't know too much about Benton Paul personally, but from what I've seen, he is a very gracious individual. He professes that "music fuels life; life fuels music." That alone gets him my respect. Another little tidbit that has really struck me is his song "Paris." The song is partly in French and talks about finding a place where you belong. The song reminds me of a similar experience I had in another foreign city, Tokyo, Japan. I already liked the song, but this little quote from the LDS church news made me like it ten-fold:
Asked why soccer matches, Elder Benton Paul of Highland, Utah, explained that part of their mission is to strengthen the members' efforts in missionary work. "What's the point of baptizing them if they fall away?" he asked. "Our goal is to get them integrated into the ward or branch. Football is a great way of integrating members and friends of the Church."
Yes, Benton served his mission in Paris, France. As if the song weren't great enough already.
I was able to attend Benton's latest concert on September 27 at the Murray Theater and it was quite the experience; he was as good as ever. I plan to follow Benton's career and I do plan on it flourishing quite a bit. However, I think he's at the perfect place already. He's doing exactly what he wants as an artist, he's reaching a significant audience that truly admires him for the right reasons and he's got a perfect hold of who he is and what he wants to communicate. Hats off Benton.
Get Benton's album Grey on iTunes