The main soul of the folk-rock group called BENJI is lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter John Charlton. He is complemented by guitarists and vocalists Tannis Slimmon and Steve Woeller. Slimmon also plays the mandolin, and Woeller is known to lend his skills with the harmonica. The group formed in 1997 and released two full-length albums before the new millennium arrived. The threesome has also performed as John Charlton and BENJI.
Charlton began working on his first recording in 1997, right in his own home in Guelph, Ontario. He really began it all with little more intent than completing a few simple tracks suitable enough to present to family and friends as a Christmas gift. Slimmon and Woeller joined in, and soon things began to fall together in a much bigger way. By the time the recording was finished, those gift plans had transformed into a sellable CD, warts and all. It was released that same year under the DROG Records label. The album title that the threesome settled on was to be the name of the band, BENJI.
A sophomore album appeared in 1999, BENJI II. Some of the tunes on this 13-track offering are "In My Time of Dying," "Searches in the Night," "Won't Live You Down," "Lend Me a Moment," and "Five Senses." ~ Charlotte Dillon