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Benton was born in the West Texas town of El Paso, the fabled bad lands that Marty Robbins sang about to earn himself a place in El Paso's identity. While there Benton was raised to love classic rock and roll and hits of Nashville's golden age. By the age of thirteen Benton could play both piano and guitar and even dabbled in reed instruments like the saxophone. As he grew, so did his need for new influence in music. Benton grew to love punk rock and heavy metal. His interests in band's like Avenged Sevenfold, Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden, and Metallica were fundamental in developing his understanding of the guitar. When Benton was 18 he literally got his interest for metal knocked out of his head.
In a pre-season baseball practice Benton received a blow to the chin when a batted ball found his mouth in the Coronado High School batting cages. While in recovery, Benton found himself out of place listening to the fast pace and aggressive attitude of heavy metal and sought a more therapeutic sound to occupy his time. It was then that he rediscovered the classic country sounds of Randy Travis, Clint Black, and most importantly Keith Whitley. The complexity of the instrumentals was brilliantly simple and the lyrics were far more moving that he had previously imagined. It sometime in those first month after the accident that Benton wrote his first country song. His baseball career would never have another opportunity, but his life as a musician had a new fire to it. He was a songwriter.
Benton left the desert and mountains of El Paso for the high plains of Lubbock, Texas to attend Texas Tech University. A follower of the Texas Country movement, Benton knew full well the opportunity that Lubbock could offer for an aspiring musician given its history with Texas Country in Pat Green, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow, and Josh Abbott as well the rich history of songwriters such as the Flatlanders, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, Mac Davis, and of course Buddy Holly. Eager to learn more he took any gig he could get playing open mic nights, coffee shops, sorority events and fraternity parties for his fraternity brothers in Sigma Nu.
With the help of fellow Lubbock songwriters including Red Shahan, Seth Savage, and Kenneth O'Meara, Benton started to develop and understanding for the craft and soaked every in bit of information and recommendations that the veterans could offer him.