- Four Points in the Valley (1994)
- Noise in the Hallway
- King of the Road
- Across the Great Divide
- More (1996)
- Train Song
- Hot Pants and Pop Rocks (1998)
- Radio Flyer
- We all Move Along
- Automagic (2015)
by Emily Simmons (SHS)
Chapman Welch was born on December 27, 1973 in Corinth Mississippi. The son of Dr. and Mrs. Carl Welch, Chapman Welch started his music career at the young age of seven, when he began to play piano. Eight years later, at the age of twelve, Chapman followed in his brothers’ footsteps and took an interest in playing the guitar. Brother Sammy, who played guitar, Ernie, who had a blue grass band, and Chapman often played together as they grew up. While attending high school in Corinth, Chapman formed the band Law of Nature. At fifteen he was already composing music that would be recorded six years later on their first album, Four Points in the Valley. During Chapman’s sophomore year in high school, Law of Nature played its first show at a school Spanish club party (Welch). This debut appearance would lead to the band’s ten years of uplifting shows, three CD’s that show incredible talent, and a true musical contribution to the state of Mississippi.
While still attending high school, Law of Nature, consisting of Chapman Welch (guitar), Jennifer Knight (lead vocal), Karen Estill (bass, back-up and lead vocal), and Jeff Stark (drums), picked up gigs playing in bars in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1992 Chapman graduated from high school in Corinth and moved to Starkville, Mississippi, to pursue his musical career with Law of Nature(Welch). Soon after his move, the band settled in Starkville, and Chapman began to attend Mississippi State University. While attending college in Starkville, Chapman and Law of Nature began to play at local bars such as Rick’s Cafe American . In 1994, during his senior year, Chapman withdrew from Mississippi State to begin recording and touring with Law of Nature. Over the course of the next four years, Chapman and the band would play shows in states ranging from Oklahoma to Florida and record three CD’s that would leave fans always looking for more!
Four Points in the Valley, the first CD from Law of Nature, was recorded in 1994 at Duck Tape Music Studio in Decatur, Alabama, and Miledge Studio in Memphis, Tennessee (Law of Nature…). This CD includes ten tracks with songs written by Chapman when he was only fifteen years old. This major work of Law of Nature contains popular songs such as “Noise in the Hallway,” “King of the Road,” and “Across the Great Divide” (Law of Nature…). In 1996 Law of Nature released its second CD, More. This CD was also recorded in Decatur, Alabama, by Johnny Sandlin, who has recorded the popular band Widespread Panic (Welch). More contains ten tracks and features percussionist Mike Freed and Jimmy Hall, who played with the 1970’s band Wet Willy. Popular songs from More include, “Carolina,” “Sun,” and “Train Song” (Law of Nature…). Fred Garnett at Cheeseland Studio recorded the third CD from Law of Nature, Hot Pants and Pop Rocks, in April of 1998. Hot Pants and Pop Rocks has fourteen tracks and includes popular songs such as, “Radio Flyer,” “Tomorrow,” and “We all Move Along” (Law of Nature…). All three of these great works of Law of Nature show the amazing talent of the band.
In the summer of 1998, Chapman decided it was time to end Law of Nature and go back to school at Mississippi State where he had been a philosophy major (Welch). On December 10, 1998, Law of Nature played their last show in Starkville, Mississippi, at Rick’s Cafe to a packed crowd of one thousand people (Law of Nature…). Chapman graduated from MSU later that same year with a degree in Philosophy. He gives advice to young musicians and says, “Realize that it’s an honor and a gift to play and that if people want to hear you play, then it’s a blessing.”
UPDATE: Welch and Knight moved to Houston, TX and are now married and the band is now playing music again. You can listen to their new music on their website: http://law-of-nature.com/
by Emily Simmons
1. What styles of music and what musicians have influenced you?
Styles from New Orleans music to rap to old country. Musicians who have influenced me would be Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.
2. Do you have any favorite authors or authors that you prefer?
I like American writers like Hemingway and Steinbeck.
3. What do you feel is one of Law of Nature’s biggest gigs?
Probably the show we played in Jackson with Widespread Panic.
4. Were you in any music classes in high school?
Yea, I was in band my sophomore year.
5. What did you play?
The saxophone and the tuba.
6. What is an accomplishment that you’re proud of?
Winning the Mississippi Yamaha Piano Competition and then moving on to compete at the regional level.
7. Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes, Colonel Bruce Hampton’s advice to young musicians, “Quit, because if you can quit, you weren’t meant to do it anyway.
by Emily Simmons (SHS)
Hot Pants and Pop Rocks is a combination of harmonic voices and amazing guitar licks. Being the first and only CD to be produced by Law of Nature itself,it showcases remarkable song writing abilities and a fresh, unique sound. Different effects that are used throughout the CD give it a special twist that separates it from other music of today. Chapman Welch displays exceptional talent on the guitar and on the piano. Jennifer Knight and Amanda Garriga’s voices show their true understanding of harmony. David Strickland gives an uplifting, driving beat that will really get you moving! Hot Pants and Pop Rocks will have great songs like, “Radio Flyer,” and “Ghost of this Town,” playing in your mind for hours.
There is truly something for everyone in Hot Pants and Pop Rocks. From songs with a good rocking beat to songs with a reggae beat, it’s all there. Law of Nature does a great job of keeping this verity throughout the CD while adding their own individuality from song to song. This individuality will hold your interest for hours and leave you with a true respect for these unbelievable artists. Cool effects in Hot Pants and Pop Rocks are another specialty of Law of Nature, which also keep the CD interesting. Law of Nature shows true music ability and makes music really come alive in Hot Pants and Pop Rocks!
- Former Starkville band to reunite at Rick’s (The Reflector, 2006)
- Law of Nature’s Facebook page
- Law of Nature’s website
- Chapman, Welch. Personal Interview. 24 March 1999.
- Law of Nature. Four Points in the Valley, produced by Johnny Sandlin. Duck Tape Music Studio Decatur, Alabama, 1994.
- Garland,Cary. “The Law of Nature Page. “[online]Availablehttp://www2.msstate.edu/~tsoi/LawfN8R/N8R.htm/ 4-31-99.
- “Hot Pants and Pop Rocks.” [online] Availablehttp://lawofnature.com/lawofnature2/hotpanandpop.html/,4-2-99.
- Law of Nature. Hot Pants and Pop Rocks, produced by Law of Nature and Fred Garnett. Cheeseland studio Starkville, Mississippi, 1998
- “Law of Nature. “[online] Available http://lawofnature.com/,4-29-99.
- “Links.” [online] Available http://lawofnature.com/lawofnature2/links.html/,4-6-99.
- “More By Law of Nature.” [online] Availablehttp://lawofnature.com/lawofnature2/morbylawofna.html/,4-31-99.
- Law of Nature. More. Produced by Johnny Sandlin. Duck Tape Music Studio Decatur, Alabama, 1996.
- Snell, Rob. “Law of Nature-In Concert.” [online] Availablehttp://lawofnature.com/lawofnature2/lawofnatvid.html/ 04-14-99.