We recently caught up with Andy Benson of A.M. Benson & The Stations to hear about his music influences, growing up here in WV and more. Check out his music HERE and be sure to follow him on FACEBOOK.
BB: Thank so much for your time today. So where in West Virginia do you come from and where does the band hail from?
AMB: I’m from Shinnston WV, the band is based here but the other members are from all over the north central WV area.
BB: And who are some influences on your music and writing style?
AMB: My biggest influences for writing would be Guy Clark, Merle Haggard, and Townes Van Zandt. The sound really comes from some different places across the board, i love the outlaw sound like Waylon Jennings and more modern artists like Sturgill Simpson and Cody Jinks.
BB: How has being from West Virginia influenced your music?
AMB: Being from WV has really influenced my whole life, i think it kinda makes you always feel like the underdog. I’d venture to say Appalachian people are among some of the most caring and most artistic in the world. There’s something wonderful and nostalgic living in a place that’s so old and historically rich. I grew up hearing folks tales and ghost stories and that really shaped me as a writer.
BB: What can people expect from your set?
AMB: The band set is heavily catered to our original music which ranges within the genre from traditional country, outlaw country to alt country and Americana. As a solo artist I tend to stay in a country and folk singer/songwriter area, I love Texas songwriters.
BB: Who are some West Virginia artists you’re listening to?
AMB: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of WV based artists in the last few years and there are too many great acts to name but guys like Shane Masters and Nae Paugh are writing stuff that is really in my wheelhouse and recently I’ve been seeing some really good stuff from Tucker Knisell and his band in Morgantown.
BB: What else are you listening to currently?
AMB: Merle Haggard and Guy Clark are always in my mix but recently I’ve been digging Mike & The Moonpies and 49 Winchester.
BB: What inspired you or took you down the path of music?
AMB: My grandmother played in church when i was a kid. I saw her and her sister play every service and she started teaching me when i was 10. Having a short attention span and not being wealthy enough to upkeep instruments I laid it down til around 17. I watched the movie Crossroads with Ralph Maccio and I bought a harmonica which got me back in a band and i picked up the guitar again. The rest is history.
BB: One song you want people to listen to from your catalog if they were to say, “Hey what do you sound like?”
AMB: As a band we have a currently unreleased song called “The Patron Saint” that I think really encompasses us as a group, but on streaming platforms my first studio release was “Fly Me To Austin” which captures my writing relatively well I believe. I currently have a demo called “Mt. Union” on SoundCloud that kind of digs a little further into my writing style and gives a look into the nostalgic way I like to write. Music triggers so many memories and I do my best to capture those moments in my writing.
BB: Well, Fly Me to Austin is a great song and we hope everyone checks it out. Thank so much to you and best of luck with your music!
Be sure to check out Fly Me to Austin and follow A.M. Benson on Facebook for upcoming shows!