Kristin Scott Benson is the five-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and recipient of the 2018 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals. Kristin is one of the nation's top bluegrass banjo players, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.
Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:
“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.”
Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010
In 2022, Kristin became the newest endorser for Deering Banjos. Benson now plays a Custom Deering Golden Wreath model with a curly maple neck and speed finish. This banjo came about after trying a number of different Deering banjos and is an amalgamation of all the different models in Deering's Golden Series - the Golden Wreath, Golden Era, and Rustic Wreath.
Kristin's newest release is a unique project. Under the artist name Benson, the 2023 album Pick Your Poison was released by Mountain Home Records and is a collaborative effort between two of bluegrass music's most treasured instrumentalists: Kristin and her husband, mandolinist Wayne Benson. With decades of experience in top-tier bands, both have established themselves as stalwarts in the community. After years of paving separate musical paths, the two finally decided it was time to integrate their identities and create something new together. Benson is their first combined effort, despite having been married for over 20 years.
Kristin has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008. As part of the Grascals, Kristin’s media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating nearly 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.