Ben Murphy is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Raised in Perry, Georgia, Ben credits his early exposure to gospel music as the foundation for his interest in music. Growing up, Ben would listen to the same two CDs, Johnny Cash’s “16 Biggest Hits” and Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love”, incessantly. At twelve-years old, Ben began to teach himself how to play guitar and write original music. In high school, Ben gained valuable experience in songwriting and performing by playing live with other local musicians.
After years of living in different states, he and his cousin, Henry Rogers, connected during their freshman year of college in Athens, Georgia. During this time, Ben and Henry would frequently practice and play music together. Later that year, Henry introduced friend and drummer, Chason McKay, into the group. Today, Ben is a vocalist and lead guitarist for the band, Willie Pearl; the band will be releasing a new album in the summer of 2019. Ben credits Dickie Betts, Eric Clapton, and Lucca Soria as significant musical influences.
Henry was born and raised in Nashville, TN with his five siblings. He started playing and writing in middle school. In high school he played banjo and sang in a folk/bluegrass group. Henry and his cousin Ben began to play together when they came to UGA freshman year. They met Chason and immediately started a band. Henry eventually transferred to MTSU where he now studied Audio Production and graduated in 2020. After recording his first project with Chason and Ben, he added his little brother Lawrence to the group and Willie Pearl was born.
Lawrence (Rooster) is from Nashville, Tennessee and has played bass with Willie Pearl since the release of Places to Be and People to Disappoint in June of 2018. Some of his favorite artists are Diane Coffee, Gillian Welch, Björk, Lou Reed, and Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, among many others. His interests outside of music include creative writing, environmental sustainability, and animal husbandry. He goes to school in Tennessee, but he’s not really that into it.
Chason McKay is an American drummer and percussionist from Columbus, Georgia. He is best known as one of the founding members of Willie Pearl. His rhythmic background was established with his involvement in high school drumline, of which he served as section leader for his last two year. During these two years, McKay led his drumline to four superior-ranked finishes in competition while also participating in All-District and All-State concert band.
Chason began his transition from marching drums to drum kit in early 2016 after playing a philanthropic show with Willie Pearl members Henry Rogers and Ben Murphy, thus cementing his love for creating music with a rock group.With a southern rock style underlaid with tones of the blues, McKay cites his inspirations as John Bonham, Jaimoe, Don Henley, Carter Beauford, and Dave Ghrol (because Ghrol is simply a cool dude).