Kristin Scott Benson is a formidable bluegrass banjo player. She is well-versed in traditional picking as well as progressive bluegrass in the vein of Béla Fleck and Alison Brown, but whatever style she takes on, Benson does it with a simple joy, relaxed touch, and the freedom and abandon that makes bluegrass exhilarating.
Kristin Scott Benson was born in South Carolina to a family steeped in the tradition of bluegrass; both Benson's father and her maternal grandfather were mandolinists. At age 13, Benson acquired her first banjo, was playing in a band within two years, and then after high school she moved to Nashville, TN.
In 2001, Benson toured with Laurie Lewis in Europe. She then assembled an impressive band, including guitarist Jim Hurst and Benson's husband, mandolinist Wayne Benson, for her solo debut. The all-instrumental Straight Paths, released on Pinecastle Records in June of 2002, combines subtle versions of traditionals with progressive originals to make for an album that has a sense of history, but isn't afraid to push the limits.