Nashville-based Americana duo Haunted Like Human perform Saturday in Waynesville



Musical collaborations begin in many ways but it’s rare that two strangers meet, instantly begin writing songs together and quickly form a group. That’s exactly the story of Dale Chapman (vocals) and Cody Clark (guitar, vocals) of Nashville-based Americana duo Haunted Like Human, performing in the Waynesville Music Guitar Series at Waynesville Music on Saturday, June 3.

“I (was) in Washington state,” Clark said. “I played in another band that had broken up. I was tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I felt people less serious than me were holding me back. I threw all my stuff in a van and drove over to Nashville. I decided I was going to hang out for three weeks or so and see who I met. I happened to meet Dale on my first or second day. We started writing almost immediately. We wrote a few times while I was there on that first visit.”

Creating and growing together

Clark returned home but Chapman was already plotting for him to come back to Nashville to play on her solo EP.

“The first song we wrote together was ‘Ghost Stories’ from our first record,” Chapman said. “I loved it and really wanted to put it on the solo project I was working on, but I couldn’t play the guitar part Cody came up with. I said, ‘Why don’t you come back to Nashville? You can play everything way cleaner than I would anyway.’ I figured it would save us a bunch of time. Then it turned into, ‘Well, maybe we could just be a band. You could just move here.’”



“Writing alone is hard enough,” Clark echoed. “Writing with other people is so rewarding but it can also be really difficult. I can’t always pinpoint why but when you find somebody you really write well with and it feels effortless and you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, that’s a special kind of person you’ve got to hold onto. We’ve grown both individually and together as songwriters.”

“Cody and I are both people that are a little bit weird,” Chapman added. “We don’t always make friends super readily so when it clicked, it clicked. It was really easy to hang out, talk music and write together. Every now and then the universe throws you a bone.”

Chapman credits growth to time together in the studio, during writing sessions and on the road.

“Honestly, it’s been a long six years since we met,” she said. “A lot has happened. We’ve driven all over the country together and walked the town together. There’s a lot about how we work together that makes us such good friends and partners. Those core things that helped us work really well together have helped anchor us the whole time.”

Check out a live performance of “Run Devil Run” by Haunted Like Human:

Ohio connection

Since coming together in 2017, the musical union of Clark and Chapman has yielded two albums, “Tall Tales & Fables” (2021) and “Ghost Stories” (2017), and the EP “Folklore” (2018). The group’s most popular song on streaming platforms is “Ohio,” which sprung from Clark’s family ties to the Buckeye State.

“I’ve got a lot of family in Ohio,” he said. “I grew up out west, but we always made visits to Ohio. It was always a big deal as a kid. Whether we flew or drove, it was a pretty big trip. Most of my family is in the Columbus area. My mom grew up in Groveport.”

The song was inspired by a story his grandmother told them during a day off from tour.

“She was talking about how she had grown up in South Carolina and had met her husband, Cody’s grandfather,” Chapman said. “He was in the Army. He came down there, they met, fell in love and got married. She got pregnant and the best move was to send her to live with his family in Ohio. He was going to work and send back money. He was going to meet her there as soon as possible but things kept going sideways. He wasn’t able to tie up these loose ends. She said very offhand he was just trying to get back to Ohio. I looked at Cody, pulled out my book and wrote it down. What it became is sort of a story told in letters back home and different parts of that. You know, ‘I’m doing my best. I’m doing what I can.’ At the end, it’s ‘I’ve done my best and I’m coming back. We’re going to be together again.’”



Fables and true tales

“Ohio” resonated with listeners.

“I was going to be happy if Cody’s grandma liked it,” Chapman said. “It wasn’t actually a single. I guess we need to have better taste in picking singles, but Bluegrass Situation liked it. They wanted to premiere it a week or so before the record came out. When it did come out, Spotify put it on two different curated bluegrass playlists. It’s been really incredible to see how people have reacted to the song.”

As Haunted Like Human’s album titles suggest along with the success of “Ohio,” Chapman and Clark are storytelling songwriters impactful in their craft and in performance.

“We try to bring that Nashville experience with us on the road,” Clark said. “It’s lots of storytelling and songs.”

“Yeah, we do a lot of storytelling,” Chapman said. “It feels kind of casual, honestly, but I really enjoy it. Waynesville Music is a small place. It’ll be really intimate, so it’ll be a great time. I’m very much looking forward to playing a space like that. It’s going to be fun.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


Who: Waynesville Music Guitar Series presents Haunted Like Human

Where: Waynesville Music, 198 S. Main St., Waynesville

When: Saturday, June 3 at 7 p.m.

Cost: $20 in advance and at the door

More info: 513-897-0602 or

Artist info:

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