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. 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 began to study 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. His fascination with music began at age 4 when he started taking piano lessons at a local church. That wasn't loud enough, so he decided to try guitar for a few years. Finally, Chason held his first drumstick at the age of 11 and began the journey to answer his calling.
Chason built his chops from middle school concert band through to high school drumline, practicing on a drum kit at home during his free time. He got his shot at playing the drum kit with a band in 2016 when he played a show with Henry Rogers and Ben Murphy. This show set the foundation for what would late become Willie Pearl. With a funky southern rock pocket style of play, McKay cites his inspirations as John Bonham, Jaimoe, Steve Ferrone, Howard Lee Grimes, and Dave Ghrol (because Ghrol is simply a cool dude).