How Music has Impacted Ben Woodruff of Morgan's Road Life

Describe the music of Morgan’s Road in three words.

True, Inspired, Fun

Where did each of you grow up? What music reminds you all of your childhoods?

I was born in Darlington SC. I was always a child of Rock and Country. Anything from my Dad's Gordon Lightfoot albums to my brother's Aerosmith albums takes me back to my childhood. From Garth Brooks to REM to Pearl Jam. We were lucky to have a lot of great music to listen to growing up.

Who are some of your musical influences?

I was very much influenced by Matchbox 20 and Hootie and the Blowfish being a kid of the 90s. If someone says they didn't like Hootie in the 90s then you are speaking with a liar, my friend.

We read Morgan’s Road formed about five years ago after the tragic loss of your bassist, Chris Deaver. Tell us about Chris and the impact he has had on you guys.

Chris has personally, for me, been a huge inspiration in my musical career. He was in the first band I was ever in. Ever since that, every band I was in, Chris was in. In that time, he showed me being a good musician isn't what being a good band is all about. It's about being good people and good band mates.

Tyler [Tyler Perry; drummer, vocalist] has said that, “The most meaningful thing for us has been overcoming adversity to offer something positive and healing.” How did forming the band help you all personally cope and heal in the wake of such a profound loss?

For me, creating Morgan’s Road was a way to keep Chris close to us. Every single show we play, we play for Chris.

Skot [Skot Bradley; lead guitarist] has said, “The message the band name sends is that tragedy may pull you down, or set you back, but the only way forward is through carrying on.” How has music continued to carry each of you through the hard times in your lives?

For me, writing is a big reason how I get through the hard times in my life. I'll sit down and put pen to paper and a lot of emotions are being released this way when maybe I couldn't release them through speaking to someone. Writing in a way is my psychiatrist.

 Do you all think the band name Morgan’s Road not only symbolizes the road ahead for Morgan after the loss of her father but can also be identified with by many others who have suffered the loss of a family member or friend?

Absolutely. There are a lot of “Morgan's” out there. People who are subdued to tragedy and find it hard to find their way. It's not easy sometimes but they must find their road as well. It does get easier to walk.

We read that y’all have shared the stage with some big names such as Hootie & the Blowfish, Sister Hazel, The Marshall Tucker Band, and Devon Allman. What has been your biggest musical memory to date...a time you felt most alive while playing or listening to music?

For me, its the shows where you step on stage in a town you've never been before. No one knows who you are and at the end of the show everyone is having fun enjoying your original music. I don't think it gets any better than that.

Ben, tell us about the band’s new upcoming singles “Olde Cumberland” and “Better Than.” We understand you personally penned these songs...what was the inspiration behind them?

"Olde Cumberland" I literally wrote 2 weeks after I moved to Nashville. I was taken by the natural beauty of this city and surrounding areas. I was also taken by the music that has started to ruin what country music stood for. It's bubblegum pop in the form of country music. I hesitate when I call it “music,” by the way. I thought, 'What if Waylon Jennings awoke and walked through Nashville hearing some of this music, what do I think he'd  say or feel?' There's great music being played in this town, though. The song “Better Than” represents the struggle to do things when they aren't easy to do. To overcome adversity. It's a balance of good and evil but putting the willpower in to ensure good prevails.

What song represents y’all’s attitudes towards life? Your music mantra if you will…

For me, "Better Than" exemplifies how I try to treat life.