Four time winner of “Banjo Player of the Year” from the International Bluegrass Music Association, Kristin Scott Benson, has been a member of The Grascals since November of 2008. Kristin grew up in South Carolina, surrounded by a musical family. She started playing mandolin and stepped on stage for the first time at the age of five. After receiving a much-anticipated banjo for Christmas when she was thirteen, Kristin became enthralled with the instrument and spent her teen years studying the playing of all the banjo greats from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck.
Her most recent solo album, Second Season, features eight instrumentals (four of them originals) and four vocal performances, while the album showcases her powerful banjo playing, it still holds appeal to fans that aren’t motivated solely by instrumental prowess. The project features many of today’s top bluegrass musicians, including, Wayne Benson, Cody Kilby, Jim VanCleve, Mickey Harris, Sally Jones, Larry Cordle, Josh Williams, Larry Stephenson, David Grier, Andy Todd, and Shad Cobb.
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 band and team player among her peers. With cover stories in Bluegrass Now, Bluegrass Unlimited and Banjo Newsletter, persistent touring, and renowned recording efforts, people have become very aware of her talent. Kristin plays a 2007 Sonny Osborne Chief banjo (www.sonnyosborne.com) and a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings (www.ghsstrings.com) and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo (www.heartlandbanjo.com). After 13 years in Nashville, Tennessee, Kristin relocated back to the Carolinas in 2007, along with her husband, Wayne, and son, Hogan.