Sunday, August 19, 2012
Buster Benton - Is The Feeling
Buster Benton was born on July 19, 1932 in Texarkana, Arkansas, but relocated to Chicago in the late 1950s. Inspired by the music of Sam Cooke and B.B. King, he began playing the blues during the mid-1950s while living in Toledo, Ohio. By 1959, he was leading his own band in Chicago. During the 1960s, he cut a series of soul-slanted singles for local labels (Melloway, Alteen, Sonic, Twinight) before hooking up with Willie Dixon in 1971.
In the late 1970s, when the popularity of blues was as its lowest, Buster Benton's waxings for Ronn Records were refreshing. He was a member of Willie Dixon's Blues All-Stars. The release of "Spider In My Stew" on Stan Lewis's Shreveport-based Jewel Records gave Benton a taste of fame. Its follow-up, "Money Is The Name Of The Game," solidified his reputation. A 1979 LP titled Spider In My Stew for Jewel's Ronn subsidiary stands as one of the most engaging Chicago blues LPs of its era, its contemporary grooves displaying his tasteful guitar and soulful singing.
Despite the amputation of parts of both of his legs during the course of his career, Buster Benton never gave up playing his music, which was an infectious hybrid of blues and soul that he dubbed "disco blues." He later cut three albums for Ichiban, but they were disappointing compared to his Ronn output.
On the Chicago circuit, Benton's extreme courage in the face of physical adversity will long be remembered. He was on kidney dialysis for the last few years of his life as a result of diabetes, and a portion of his right leg was amputated in 1993 due to poor circulation. He had already lost part of the other leg a decade earlier. However, he still continued to play his brand of uplifting blues until the end. Buster Benton died on January 20, 1996.
Info from Bluesnexus.com