Michigan’s own Country Music Association (CMA) member, Donald Benjamin, is a 22-time award-winning songwriter with over 100 nominations to his name. He has shared the stage with names such as Joe Diffie, Bobby Mackey, hair metal icon Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns/Guns ‘n’ Roses), Chase Rice, LANco, Rehab, Demun Jones, Olivia Lane and others. Donald has headlined at such legendary venues as the Tin Roof, B.B. King’s Blues Club, the Hard Rock Cafe, etc., and also, has performed, the last four years, during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, and recorded at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Donald Benjamin has accumulated 4 internationally-selling radio singles thus far, including the critically-acclaimed track, “Moving Mountains”, and the newly-released “Dreams” – a cover of the 1977 number-one hit from legendary band, Fleetwood Mac.
The song had wide resurgence in 2020 due to a viral TikTok video, entering the Spotify and Apple Music charts in some countries. The song also ranked number nine on Rolling Stone’s 2021 list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
Hence, Donald Benjamin took on a big chunk of responsibility in covering a well-cherished and highly acclaimed song such as “Dreams”. A quick run through Benjamin’s catalog will unfold a vault stacked full of emotive acoustic-driven ballads and storming bluesy rock moments, all brought together by an undeniable outstanding voice. That voice is here on “Dreams”, and its brilliant to hear.
Classic tracks like this happen to shine brighter than they otherwise would, thanks to Benjamin’s raw and pure performance. Everything here sounds exactly as it would were you listening to him perform this song live. There can be no doubt.
There are no airs or graces, just the core message of the song transmitted directly to your soul. Behind Benjamin, you’ll hear the howling cry of an electric guitar, pushed by the beating momentum of a banging drum, and a whole lot of rock n’ roll swagger.
That natural live quality is something that makes this record stand out from the overproduced country and rock music that is coming from production lines these days. Here, the music creates a wall of dramatic and dynamic sound to surround Donald Benjamin’s voice in organic waves of crushing power. His voice delivers a vocal that wrings out the subtle torture of Stevie Nick’s lyrics, who wrote the song during the end of an eight-year relationship with fellow band member Lindsay Buckingham.
The song “Dreams” was an attempt to philosophically process Stevie Nick’s separation from Lindsey, while maintaining a silver lining of hope. Donald Benjamin transforms the narrative into a rare soul-baring confession that sounds so much more afflicting.
Benjamin is fiercely committed to excellence, pressing into the music’s roots and finding ways to challenge its gifts, all while following his own muse. Benjamin takes the Fleetwood Mac song, and carves a sound, mood and ethos that is wholly his own.
Cleverly Donald Benjamin starts small on “Dreams”, drawing the listener in with the acoustic intro, then drops down into a wailing guitar and gun-shot drum rhythm that is as rock n’ roll as anything you’re likely to hear this year. For anyone cleaving to the notion of something more, something true, something built to last – both Donald Benjamin and “Dreams”, easily fit into these categories.