Chris Baur, native Charleston singer-songwriter, is set to release his latest musical venture into complete DIY territory with the album New Tune from the Music Room on October 13 at his live show at Homegrown Brewhouse in Summerville. Utilizing his signature guitar and piano sound, this album saw him adding to the mix a few new instruments he discovered during his time living in Chile, notably the guiro and melodica. Completely self-written, produced, recorded, and performed, most of the twelve songs on this album started as unformed ideas, were given structure and recorded as acoustic guitar or piano demos, and then later recorded piece by piece before being polished into Baur's newly completed full-length release.
“I wanted to give the album a live feel, so I didn’t use any metronomes or follow any click tracks. I played the drum part, and started following it with guitar, piano, bass… and let it kind of dictate what the song should feel like from there. Some of it was rehearsed, and other parts came when I just picked up an instrument and hit record; some of that turned out to be a fresh new idea that I stuck with.” Chris utilizes a 24-track recording system, allowing him to feature layers of complex background vocals harmonized to round out the sound of a the deeply personal verses. “I also used a lot of acoustic guitar doubling, a technique that I feel really can enhance depth of a part. I played the main acoustic line of many of these songs, then quickly started the song over and played a second track exactly the same way, and panned the two so one is mostly left and one is mostly right when played back. I tried it once and loved the sound so much, I use it frequently, but not always.”
The subject matter of the album varies greatly from song to song. The opening tune is a gutsy, in-your-face electric rock jam titled “Enough Time,” written towards abandoning a ‘dead end road’ plan and bursting out of it towards something more beneficial. “I wanted this song to be slightly ambiguous and leave room for the speaker to either be talking to a friend or inwardly to themselves. I wanted to convey that emotion of being fed up for long enough to make a solid leap towards something better.” As soon as the final note of the song is finished, the next tune, also energetic, starts its rhythmic, airy introduction. “Aggressive Defender” is a dedication to protect a loved one from all types of danger. Next we roll into a piano/electric guitar ballad, which was an idea demo shelved for almost a decade before finished. “This one stumped me for a while. I had tried to finish it, and I just couldn’t figure out where to go, so it didn’t make it onto my last album, The Price in 2014. Then one day I played the song through on drums, and I just kept playing after where the original idea demo had ended…somehow through that process, I was able to add the second half to it. That may be why the song turned out to be an almost ‘Band on the Run’ style, with parts that seem to be a mashup of different songs altogether. I like how it finally turned out!”
After these first three strong starter songs, the album continues with nine more singable, melodic, heartfelt tunes that are reminiscent of 50’s, 60’s, 70’s rock-and-roll bands, with Baur's fresh gust of heartfelt energy added. Supporting the overall mission of a "live" feel, this album can be summed up in one word: real. With real instruments played by a professional musician with over nineteen years of experience, and nothing programmed by the computer. The album features the song “Flying Blind in a Perfect Line,” an ode to getting a one-time opportunity to do something crazily adventurous, and feeling the gut instinct to do it, despite the risks associated. “Landing in vast new land...breathing fresh air, with stretched out hand," a line from the song that might have a little bit to do with moving to another country and starting a fresh phase of life, which is something Chris did in 2011 before returning to Charleston in 2013. Also included is the song “Endless Stream,” written about the business of daily life we can all relate to, where days and days seem to flow together without a break. The album ends with a piano ballad titled “Lost in Transition,” which is a peaceful lament touching on how life can seem to wash out our dreams as we change through time and shifting circumstances, but resolves itself with a plight to acknowledge the washouts everyone goes through, and pick up and continue on with new strength each new day.
Chris has been actively performing music since 1999, and continues to write new songs from new vantage points each year. He has had several bands in addition to his solo projects, and has been releasing albums for almost two decades. He brings copies of most of them to each show, and includes many of his songs ranging from almost all of those albums in his vibrant live set. From 2000-2003 he was in a band called Flammable, playing shows primarily in Colorado, and then from 2003-2006 started the band Hi Lonesome, based in Charleston, SC. In 2007 he and friend Roger Kodrzycki formed Campfield, who performed actively until their hiatus in 2009, but reformed in 2016 and continue to play together with a new album coming soon.
With a passion for music that isn't fading or slowing down, you can doubtlessly find Chris playing somewhere soon around Charleston, around the US, and even around the world! You can always check chrisbaurmusic.com for the latest information on upcoming shows, to hear samples of his music, or watch his music videos which feature scenes anywhere from his hometown favorite park of Caw Caw Interpretive Center all the way to Venice Beach in Los Angeles, CA. He wants to thank you for reading, and for all of the generous support and encouragement over these years!