Review: Brett Benton — ‘You Got To Pray’

The first studio album from Brett Benton, You Got To Pray, is a compelling and engaging statement of 21st Century delta and hill country blues. The 10 original tunes and an inspired cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s Kokomo are presented as a Blues duo format of guitar and drums that scored Benton placement in the semi-finals at the IBC in Memphis. The album was recorded in Water Valley, Mississippi at Dial Back Sound with Bronson Tew engineering.

BMA award winner Cedric Burnside sat in on drums for the burning stomp “I Got A .45,” and the infectious swamp blues “Alligator.” Arthur Ortega Marcos handles the backbeat that spars with Benton as he shifts from finger picking rhythms to greasy slide guitar, all the while delivering hypnotic southern howling vocals. Florida guitar man Ed Adams drops in a few lead passages on the album to add spice to the mix. Benton digs deep into the solo reading of “Murder Creek,” and shows off his range on the lonesome blues tune, “Hard Love” and the spacious instrumental “Evergreen.” Benton channels Son House on the authentic Delta-fueled title track; A fine first release.

(Check out ‘You Got To Pray’ below via Spotify and get more info about Brett Benton HERE.)

Brett Benton
You Got To Pray
(Knick Knack)

Rick J Bowen


Rick Bowen

Rick grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan playing in school band, choir and show bands. While earning a BA at Western Michigan University in History and Social Science, he was a member of the Bronco marching band and jazz ensemble Gold Company. Moving to the Northwest in 1994, Rick soon landed gigs and sessions with many diverse local artists and is currently a member of the award winning Stacy Jones Band and the host of the all ages School of Jam. Rick is also an associate producer and session musician for Critical Sun Recordings, a contributing writer at Innocent Words, Seattle Examiner, No Depression, The Washington Blues Society and S.T.E.A.M magazine, and serves on the board of directors for the Washington Blues Society. Rick is endorsed by and plays THUMPER CUSTOM DRUMS. Awards: Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues” award 2009 Best New Band –Stacy Jones Band WBS “Best of the Blues” award 2012 Best Blues Jam - Oxford Saloon Monday Night Jam 2013 & 2014 WBS Best Blues Writer award. 2014 WBS Chris Leighton Blues Drummer BB Award. Nominations: 2009 & 2013 Best Blues Drummer WBS BB awards. 2012 Best NW recording “No Need To Spell it Out –Stacy Jones Band (Rick J Bowen co producer)