Member Spotlight: Ben Johnson, MidwestCMA’s First Member

By Andrew Ellis, Editor-In-Chief

Ben Johnson isn’t one to wait. Days before MidwestCMA officially launched he sent founding board member Paul Thomas a screenshot of his membership confirmation. 

“Paul Thomas has been a friend of mine for awhile,” Johnson says. “And we talked a little about the concept of the MidwestCMA.”

He saw it as a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of something that helps bring fans, businesses, and musicians together. It allows for healthy competition, but you’re still on the same team. It takes him back to his days on the football field.

“You want the team as a whole to succeed,” he says. “But you still want to be the best at your position and be the one playing on game day. The MidwestCMA creates the platform for there to be a TEAM.”

Johnson’s journey started with the sounds of his brother playing the piano all day. Hearing the songs those keys played fill the house made him want to join. Luckily, there was a guitar nearby.

“I taught myself guitar and eventually I was able to play a few songs with him,” he says.

As he started playing he eventually got into writing his own material. That’s also something that runs in his family.

“My dad was a songwriter and I remember listening to his songs all the when I was a kid,” he says.

As he started writing he began putting songs on the Internet. Then people actually enjoyed his music so he decided to take it to the next level and put a band together. In January of 2016 he quit his day job to pursue music full time.

With his music he wants to put an emphasis on the storytelling aspect country music is known for. He’s going to make sure you know its message. One of those is his favorite song off his upcoming debut EP called “’89 Chevy.”

“It’s a nostalgic song about my first truck, the rights of passage that came along with it, and how those experiences are somewhat constant from generation to generation,” he says.

In terms of his sound, well he doesn’t want to do what everyone else is doing. He plans on using traditional instruments in a “modern way,” and also plans on pushing some boundaries.

“I like my country rockin’,” he says.

Another he enjoys doing is giving back. It’s something that’s very close to his heart and he’s enjoyed playing shows that have benefited the March of Dimes, Minnesota Military Family Foundation, Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, LIVIN’ Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

“We should all do our part in helping those in need,” he says.

Pretty soon he’s going to begin recording his EP so he can give back to those who have supported him so far. And this is just the beginning.

“I’m greatly humbled by the support I’ve received, and can’t thank everyone who has supported me enough,” he says. “We’re expecting big things in the future.”

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