Ben Gallaher was only 19-years-old when he packed his bags and head straight to Nashville to pursue his passion for music. The Pennsylvania native was born to be a singer and songwriter, as he grew up listening to ‘90s country and pulled inspiration from legends such as Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Lynrd Skynyrd, and most importantly Brent Mason to create a unique sound of his own.
Now, the self-taught musician is known for his autobiographical anthems, commanding guitar skills, and raw lyrics. The multifaceted storyteller landed a record deal and gained a loyal fanbase rather quickly. However, the rapid rise to fame never made him forget where he came from. In fact, while Gallaher was out touring the Midwest, the small towns that he would perform in and drive through caught his eye and would spark memories of his upbringing. Therefore, in true Ben Gallaher fashion, he started writing about what he was experiencing and feeling during this monumental time in his life.
Gallaher has had his recent single “Every Small Town” in his back pocket for years until his team at Quartz Hill Records convinced him that it was time for the world to hear the relatable track that could speak volumes to many Americans.
“‘Every Small Town’ pays homage to the tight-knit communities comprised of blue-collar workers and their families whose blood, sweat, and tears are the backbone of America,” says Gallaher about his successful single. “ ‘Every Small Town’ possesses heartfelt, cinematic storytelling paired with the edgy, musical intensity that Gallaher brings to his live shows.”
The dynamic artist adapted to the times and took an innovative approach when it came to producing a music video for the up-tempo track. He encouraged his social media followers to submit videos and images of themselves with their family and friends enjoying time together in their small town. The heartfelt music video allowed the artist to build a real-life connection and relationship with his fanbase.
With that being said, Celeb Secrets Country sat down (virtually) with Ben to chat about his single “Every Small Town.” Throughout the exclusive CRS interview, the country breakthrough star shares his inspiration behind the lyrics, what it was like working with talented producers and songwriters like Mickey Jack Cones (Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett) and Derek George (Randy Houser), and how he is determined to be real with his fans through his storytelling.
Celeb Secrets Country: Who is Ben Gallaher? Could you tell us about yourself?
Ben Gallaher: “I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but I have been living in Nashville for almost 10 years. I started playing guitar when I was six and I grew up on ‘90s country. That’s all I have ever wanted to do, and so moving to Nashville was always part of the plan. So at 19, I moved to Nashville and I’ve been on the road touring everywhere from Connecticut to San Diego. I just put out a new single and we’re just rockin’ and ready to play shows!”
Celeb Secrets Country: How did you get into country music?
Ben Gallaher: “I have two older brothers and my mom, dad, and brother all played country music on the radio as far as I can remember. So, it was kind of instilled in me ever since then. When I picked up a guitar, it just fit me so well and that was it. There was never any plan B or anything else that I was going to do.”
CSC: Which artists do you look towards for music inspiration?
BG: “Growing up on ‘90s country, that’s always been a big inspiration, but also rock and roll. My music is a little edgy and it’ a mix of that and Lynyrd Skynrd Southern rock – all that stuff just influenced me. But, Keith Urban as a guitar player, was an influence and still is. I mean, Eric Church… all those guys I love.”
CSC: You play the guitar like Brent Mason. How has he had an influence on your music?
BG: “He played on a lot of ‘90s country stuff and that’s what I really gravitated to at an early age. So, he was a big influence and so you can hear some of that stuff in my music. I mean, it’s different playing, but you can hear that influence In some of my work.”
CSC: Could tell us about your recently released single “Every Small Town”?
BG: “So, “Every Small Town” is a song about the American spirit. It’s about being proud of who you are and where you’re from, no matter where you live. I think that you don’t have to live in a small town to relate to this song because it’s a lifestyle too. It’s about hard work, family, friends, pride, country, and god. All those things were the inspiration for this soon.
So, we wrote this song five years ago and I was touring the Midwest pretty heavily at the time. When we were out there every weekend and we were passing through all these small towns and then back to Nashville on Monday morning to write songs. With that whole thing in my mind, that’s where that inspiration came from – just passing through all those places.”
CSC: Could you tell us about the songwriting process and did you have any co-writers on this track?
BG: “I wrote the song with Ash Bowers and Jim Collins. Writing a song In Nashville, you spend the first 30 minutes just catching up. If you haven’t met that person or people before, then you spend some time getting to know each other before you dive in. If you know them and they are your buddies, then you spend some time catching up. I was saying that I was road dogging it in the Midwest like crazy, and we were talking about it. It’s really cool to ping pong back and forth. We wrote the song in a couple of hours, but it’s crazy how some songs find a life of their own. It could be the week after you write it or five years after that was the case for this song. Well, I have hundreds of songs that I’ve written since then, this one kid of raised its hand to be the first single that we put out.”
CSC: Why did you decide to release “Every Small Town” in 2021?
BG: “So, with my new label of Quartz Hill Records, the team is great over there and everybody was fired up and they wanted to hear a bunch of songs that I had written over the past couple of years. So, I sent them several hundred and then we got together and that was the one that they kind of collectively picked. Everybody was like ‘this song was just speaking and it’s kind of raising its hand.’ So, I’m like ‘Heck yeah, let’s go’”
CSC: How is “Every Small Town” different from any other project you have released in the past?
BG: “The sound! The sound is similar to what I do, it doesn’t deviate too far away from musically what I do. I think there’s a realness that connects with people. Like I was saying, even if you’re not from a small town, I think that it’s a universal connection. That’s what I have always loved about country music, it’s the lyric connections. The song is real, authentic, and it’s about everyday life.”
CSC: Can we expect a music video for “Every Small Town”?
BG: “Yeah! We’re going to be doing a music video very soon. So, we did something really cool with the lyric video. We had this idea to have fans submit videos or photos of them In their town to be included in the lyric video. We were just thinking, like well, if we can’t play shows, how can we connect with the fans on a personal level? So, we have fans submit their own town and them hanging out with their friends, family, or significant other or whatever they do and have it be part of the lyric video. So, we got tons of submissions from fans and we’re excited about that!”
CSC: What are some other ways you are connecting with your fans during these challenging times?
BG: “We did a bunch of live streams, especially early on via Facebook and Instagram. That was cool because we have never done that before. It was in a relaxed setting, like just in the house, and think there was a realness to that and think fans also connected because it’s not done up. You don’t have all the crazy lights and that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love that. But, there was such a rawness and realness of just the guitar and the comments are coming in and you’re talking back and forth.”
CSC: You are making waves in the country music scene right now. So, what is one thing you want fans to know about you?
BG: “I’ll tell you something, we’re going to be releasing a bunch of new music really soon. Even though we just put out ‘Every Small Town’,” we have another one coming really soon and Celeb Secrets Country is the first one to know that!”
CSC: Could you tell us more about your upcoming track?
BG: “It’s going to be an up-tempo rocker! It will make you want to roll down your window and crank it up like “Every Small Town.”