A self-taught musician with a strong reverence for guitar masters, Ben Gallaher’s songs radiate a passion for the lyric-driven country music that influenced him as a young boy listening to his parents’ radio in small town Pennsylvania. The burgeoning star’s vocals exude a smoky texture reflective of the backwoods bars in which the young artist honed his unbridled stagecraft, driving to the Eastern corridor to perform each weekend while pursuing a degree in Entertainment Industry Studies at Nashville’s Belmont University.
“Playing country music is all I've ever wanted to do,” Gallaher, who also cites Vince Gill, Keith Urban and Lynyrd Skynyrd as influences, says. “This has been a lifelong journey.” After years of finding his sound, Gallaher presented the world with the most complete, all-encompassing version of who he is as an artist with his debut album, Country in the House (released in February 2023).
The Stone Country Records artist first picked up guitar at age 6 and was instantly hooked. Gallaher grew up on ’90s country and fondly recalls singing Tim McGraw’s “Down On the Farm” in his father’s old Ford F-150 while using the stick shift as a microphone. He’d later cover McGraw’s “I Like It, I Love It” for a school talent show.
Gallaher played in bars and open mic nights throughout high school in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. After a year at Penn State Mont Alto, he transferred to Nashville’s Belmont University where he formed a band and toured every weekend.
A self-professed road warrior who cut his teeth performing for more than a decade in Pennsylvania prisons, Gallaher also is an avid songwriter and estimates he’s written 400 songs over the last several years. He signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music in 2019. Two years later, he inked a record deal with Stone Country Records. His debut full-length album follows Gallaher’s 2021 EP, Every Small Town.
“Some people hear music, some people feel it,” he explains. “I want them to do both on this record, that's the goal. I'm trying to marry the lyric, the melody and the guitar parts altogether to take the listener on a three-minute journey.”
His first release from the album, “Still a Few Cowboys Left,” accomplishes this goal. A vivid song with captivating electric guitar, a hypnotic beat and Gallaher’s whiskey-soaked vocals, “Still a Few Cowboys Left” paints the picture of a day in the life of a cowboy. Written by Gallaher with ace songwriters Neil Thrasher (Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts) and Tony Martin (McGraw, Urban, Sara Evans), the soaring anthem pays homage to the hardworking cowboys and the legacy they leave behind.
“Til It’s Yours,” inspired while on the road in Kansas, describes how things in life hold more meaning when they’re yours. The memorable ballad embraces a more universal theme while “Quote the Bible,” the B-side to “Still a Few Cowboys Left,” pays tribute to Gallaher’s father. Gallaher says the latter is “one of the most special songs that I’ve ever been a part of.” He describes his father as a humble man who, “Earned every cent that’s his/ But would give you his last dollar if he knew you needed it.” While both songs are deeply personal to Gallaher, it’s their relatable themes that connects with listeners.
The rock-infused “Country, Boy” is a highlight in Gallaher’s live show. The song, much like “Still a Few Cowboys Left,” details the integrity of those living a country lifestyle. “Country to me is rooted in the person you are and how you treat people,” Gallaher says. Meanwhile the heartfelt “Roots Grow Down,” which was written for his wife Monica, is another autobiographical tune that has Gallaher professing his unconditional love. “I’m gonna love you until the roots grow down around me,” he sings.
“There’s meat in that lyric that hopefully people will latch onto,” says the singer.
Country In the House also included three new, unheard tunes – including Gallaher’s most recent radio single, “Lovin’ You Gets in the Way,” which was co-penned by 3x ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean (along with Neil Thrasher and Lee Miller).
Most recently, Gallaher was inspired by his fans to write and record a new track, “Stomp” - set for release in September. The tune came about as a result of his “Boot Stomp” video series on social media. When Gallaher posted a video of an impressive guitar lick, viewers took notice, and the clip popped off with over 9 million views, 160K+ new followers gained, over 6,000 fan created videos, and thousands of comments begging for the full song. However, the song didn’t exist yet, so he paired with multi-chart-topping songwriters Neil Thrasher, Patrick Thrasher and Wendell Mobley to write “Stomp” - a barn burner anthem featuring Gallaher’s smokey vocals and addictive guitar riffs.
American Songwriter praises Gallaher as an artist who has “an authenticity that shines through” and one that “country music has been missing for far too long.” It’s this authenticity that Gallaher hopes to showcase within his new music.
“Conway Twitty said, ‘A good country song takes a page out of somebody’s life and puts it to music,’” Gallaher notes, “and that always stuck with me. That’s what I think about when I go in to write or play on the road. It’s a chance to connect with somebody that is going through what you're singing about and maybe it's a lyric or a song that can put somebody on a better path.”