Editorials, Features, Print August 8, 2023

Ben Chapman: The Trail to and from Nashville

by Landon Ungerman

The heart of country music lives in Nashville, and Red Dirt Country artist Ben Chapman is capturing the heart of the city after his last two records and national tour with Lainey Wilson. With his recent successful album, Amber Sound, Vol. 1, and an upcoming tour in August, the singer-songwriter is set to bring his unique sound to Denver, Greeley, and Casper, accompanied by rising star and… roommate of all things, Tyler Halverson.

Two Days.

While on the road with Lainey Wilson this past year, Ben Chapman had an itch to put out something totally new for all the new faces in the tour’s sold out crowds. In an ambitious move, Chapman told his road band, “Let’s go in and make a record.” After just two days crafting the album, what resulted was a collection of groovy, feel-good tracks that resonated with fans. It was a unique experience for Chapman, who had always wanted to record with his road band, and it allowed him to showcase their chemistry and passion for their craft. 

From Fan to Fame

After sharing his new music with the country in the opening slot on the sold-out Country With A Flare Tour with Lainey Wilson, Ben would head backstage and revert to the true student and fan of country music that he’s always been. Watching Wilson’s sets from the side stage turned Chapman into a fanboy, as he geeked out over how she moved the crowd. “Every night I was a fan,” he tells BandWagon. 

Chapman’s journey started with self-taught guitar lessons and frequent gigs at obscure, local venues, in Lafayette, a small town in Georgia. These beginnings, though sometimes challenging, shaped Ben’s work ethic and determination to reach bigger stages. “I was like, ‘Man, am I doing this right?’ You start to question yourself, but you just keep plugging along.” He firmly believes that when one door closes, another one soon opens, and his unyielding passion for music eventually led him to Nashville. Inspired by guitar pickers he watched in the Nashville bars during his childhood vacations and the advice of his “musical father,” Channing Wilson, Chapman made the move to Nashville at 21, setting his career on a new trajectory.

A Mini Nashville

On 8th Ave of The Music City, Chapman’s successful residency at The Basement, called “Peach Jam,” has been groundbreaking for him and his collaborators. The small venue, with a capacity of around 150 people, stretches its walls every few months as 175 people squeeze in to enjoy what Ben Call’s “a mini Nashville in Nashville.” What started as a way to introduce Chapman to the Nashville music scene turned into a monthly event featuring high-profile guest artists including Hayes Carll, one of Chapman’s heroes and a standout guest of the show.

The event has allowed Chapman to present his records in a personable, authentic way, including his debut project, Make The Night Better. Ben’s first true champion in town, producer Jake Gear, collaborated with him from start to finish on the album, marking the beginning of Chapman’s journey in Nashville. “At the time I didn’t know what I was doing, but that’s the beautiful thing about the record. It was my first Nashville recording, and it was amazing.” The rawness and authenticity of the album resonate with fans and first-time listeners alike. As Chapman’s artistry evolved, Amber Sound, Vol. 1 brought a new dimension to his music, but his journey is far from over. He’s currently working on a new project with Anderson East, one of his musical heroes. The collaboration promises to be organic and powerful, drawing from both artists’ strengths and passions. Then, The Out West tour throughout August will keep Chapman busy, and fans can expect an exciting mix of fresh tracks and beloved favorites.

“There’s No Telling What’s Gonna Happen.”

For his upcoming shows in Denver, Greeley, and Casper, Chapman promises a night full of surprises and new material. This will be the first time both him and Tyler Halverson perform together with full bands, despite their long history as show partners and roommates. Chapman guarantees that no two shows will be the same: “Come for the fact that there’s no telling what’s gonna happen.”

Get tickets to see Ben Chapman & Tyler Halverson in Casper, Greeley, and Denver this August now at bandwagonpresents.com