Friends With Benefits: Aaron Benward
Aaron Benward has a musical soul. His grandfather was a crooner, his father was a gospel singer and Benward himself grew up singing country music with his dad, playing the piano and writing music. In fact, Benward and his father played together as a band, Aaron Jeoffrey, for many years. Later in Benward’s life, he turned to writing music for famous country singers, hit TV shows and movies. He’s taken all that experience and successful career and created Nashville Unplugged at Mandalay Bay.
“Nashville Unplugged is the stories behind the songs— it’s kinda like we’re in your living room or on your back porch and we showcase and feature the songwriters who write the hit songs for the country artists you know and love,” said Benward, the creator, host and producer of the show. Every Friday, he travels to Las Vegas from his home in L.A. to help put on the show. It’s a labor of love, one that has been going strong at Mandalay Bay for two years.
“The biggest compliments that I’ve had about Nashville Unplugged come from people that say, ‘Hey, I don’t listen to country music, I’m more a rock, metalhead, I love classical music,’ and they say this was the most entertaining, fun night they’ve ever experienced,” Benward said. “Then I know our job has been done. Even though these are country hits, when you strip it down to a guitar, a story, a voice, it just becomes music, something that touches the soul.”
While enjoying the complimentary Nashville Unplugged show inside the Rhythm & Riffs Lounge presented by TYLT (every Friday evening), try one of the branded specialty cocktails—like the popular TYLT-tini. The martini-style cocktail is mixed with Absolut Citron, blue curaçao, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice. Nashville Unplugged takes place every Friday evening beginning at 8 p.m. Cheers!