Friday, June 21, 2024

Music Minute - Jason Benoit: 1000 Mile Grin

 “1000 Mile Grin” YouTube and Spotify



When musicians leave their hometown for bigger musical hubs like Austin or Nashville, it can be a double-edged sword. One obvious drawback is sacrificing being with family and friends for a chance at stardom. Some leave jaded and hurt, often with a 1000-yard stare from the experience. But for Indigenous Newfoundland musician Jason Benoit, the return to ‘The Rock’ had him heading home beaming. The result is "1000 Mile Grin," the title of his steady, confident toe-tapping single out now from his latest EP The Deadwood.


Benoit, 2024 East Coast Music Association winner for Country Recording of the Year for Time Traveller-The Album, said he felt his time trying to make inroads along Nashville's Music Row ran its course. "The single '1000 Mile Grin' is an upbeat song about a time when I was spinning my wheels in Nashville, chasing fame, and going seemingly nowhere," he says. "Then one day, I woke up and decided the 'Canadian Dream' is what I should be chasing. I packed up and headed back to my wife and kids. This song is about having a 1000-mile grin all the way there."


It's been a busy and productive 18 months for Benoit and that productivity is heard throughout "1000 Mile Grin." The music seems to mirror the drive Benoit probably took back from Nashville to Newfoundland: direct, straightforward, rollicking and refreshed. The almost ideal mix of Americana and folk can be heard in Benoit's vibrant delivery alongside some nifty banjo and mandolin work from Donovan Conran.


Benoit says after 2023's Time Traveller- The Album, his "'classic country spring ran dry" and "needed to find a new musical canvas to paint on for a while." Thanks to his mother's wide musical tastes and her Columbia House subscription, the musician took an array of early influences running from country to East Coast folk and Canadiana into "1000 Mile Grin."


Such influences included East Coast folk artists such as Stan Rogers, Great Big Sea and The Rankin Family as well as country influences like Alan Jackson, the late Joe Diffie and Dwight Yoakam. "Also, Newfoundland has its own ecosystem of great music that we heard all our lives, but you wouldn't probably hear about much outside of Newfoundland," Benoit adds. It's that trio of styles that makes the single so warm and inviting.


A two-time winner of the MusicNL's Indigenous Artist of the Year (2021, 2023) and the 2023 MusicNL Fans Choice Entertainer of the Year, Benoit has amassed a stream of critical success including a Top 10 single ('Gone Long Gone'), four Top 30 hits and over 13 million streams globally. He's also supported artists such as Tenille Townes, Old Dominion, Tim Hicks and The Washboard Union. And he's also spending some time on the other side of the microphone, hosting a weekly radio program entitled "That's Country" which comes from Corner Brook, Newfoundland.


To steal a line from "1000 Mile Grin," Jason Benoit knows where he's going thanks to this great story-driven new single. You'll be left smiling if you're within a 1000-mile radius of hearing it.

Jason Benoit -- 2024 and 2025 Tour Dates

June 22, 2024 -- BayFest -- Humber Arm South, NL

July 20, 2024 -- FundyFest -- Sussex, NB

August 2, 2024 -- Boothill Jamboree -- Bothwell, ON

August 4, 2024 -- Nashwaak Music Fest -- Saint Mary's Parish, NB

August 31, 2024 -- Pembroke Music Fest -- Stewiacke, NS

February 8-22, 2025 -- Caribbean Goes Country -- Grand Aston Varadero, Cuba

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