Ben Elkins was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas and later attended the University of Arkansas. However, Ben moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee where he began to play in a jam band type duo called Kingfisher. Ben was introduced to indie music by his friends and shortly thereafter he became interested in making an album with the feel of both jam and indie styles, leading to Heypenny's debut album, Use These Spoons. While Ben Elkins played five of the tracks entirely by himself, he also elicited some help from other Chattanooga artists such as John Totten, Kevin Bevil, Jim Tate, Charles Allison, Rachel Billingsley, and others. After nine months of production, the album was complete and Use These Spoons was then recognized by Chattanooga based magazine, The Pulse, as being the top local album of the year in 2005.