Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello from one of my many home-away-from-homes: Anacortes, WA, at the Crowe-Lunsford residence. In an hour I catch a ferry to Orcas Island to play my fourth New Year's Eve show at the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat. Blue skies and 25 F. outside. Can't wait to soak in the hot springs above Otter Cove.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The holidays have been a-jinglin' for old Sandman.

And tomorrow I turn 40. Lordy, lordy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Regarding my last post, thanks for the input. The reason I'm considering switching my domain name to www.chrissand.___ is that I'm plotting my next decade as a musician, and I'm not sure I want to be branded predominantly as a "rappin' cowboy." It feels unwieldy and a little disingenuous to continue holding up the two poles of that banner.

Being the Rappin' Cowboy has been good to me, though, I'll say that much. It has given me publicity and helped me book shows and draw crowds and sell records. It has allowed me to stand out from other acts. It got me invited to the 25th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. It probably even played a role in getting a documentary made about me.

I guess what it comes down to, though, is this: I'm not a cowboy and I'm not a b-boy. I'm just a forty-year-old nature boy who drives truck part-time for a living and spends most of the year in North Dakota. I like foraging for food. I like soaking in hot springs. I like clearing trails and chopping wood and swimming. I like this recent Bernie Sanders speech. I like drying apples and canning. I like to recite poems and write songs and pick guitar and tell lies and chase horses out of the yard. I like to drive long distances and (dream about) travel(ing) overseas. I like thrift store shirts and scratchy vinyl records. I like Hana. I like Mexican food and corgi pups. These are a few of my favorite things . . .

I also adore both hip-hop and cowboy culture. For me, they somehow encapsulate the spectrum of Americana I'm so fond of. I may stick with www.rappincowboy.com, but I may opt for www.chrissand.net. Time will tell. Time will tell.

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks again for your comments!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thanks to my friends Martine and Josh, my new website is coming along handsomely. I plan to change my domain name from www.rappincowboy.com to chrissand.us (chrissand.com was taken, unfortunately). It might be ready to launch by early January. We'll see.

Anybody out there want to help me write a fresh bio? My old one's gathering moss.

Also, I need to prioritize three good press quotes for my publicity page. I found ten from 2010. Which do you find most compelling?
1. ". . . playful, pugilistic, and part of the deep tradition of troubadours keeping culture alive while pushing the cultural envelope."
360 Main Street (Ryan Wilson)
http://360mainstreet.com/article/631/take-5-on-film-world-of-trouble

2. "(Chris Sand) blends and balances rap and country music with a conviction and sophistication that transcends novelty without eschewing levity. . . . Sand’s music saunters, struts and strides through not just musical barriers, but those in age, society, politics, and so many more, one loses count."
Movies on a Big Screen (Galen Howard)
http://www.moviesonabigscreen.com/mobsblog/2010/06/roll-out-cowboy-rolls-out-to-mobs/

3. "...one of America’s most unusual entertainers—Sandman, the Rapping Cowboy, a.k.a. Chris Sand. Sand is a true original, one of those charismatic oddballs that populate quirky indie comedies but rarely seem to exist in real life. His music is catchy and fun, his personality is damn near irresistible..."
A.V. Club - Denver (Cory Casciato)
http://www.avclub.com/denver/articles/sdff-cantmiss-pick-roll-out-cowboy,47301/

4.". . . how easy it is to go from skepticism to complete admiration for the Rapping Cowboy. Chris “Sandman” Sand matters."
Encore (Justin Lacy)
http://www.encorepub.com/welcome/?p=1576

5. "Sand, a gifted songwriter . . . manages to charm even at his worst."
Memphis Flyer (Chris Herrington)
http://www.memphisflyer.com/SingAllKinds/archives/2010/10/23/indie-memphis-daily-saturday-guide

6. "His music might be an acquired taste, but it’s easy to understand how rappin’ cowboy Chris Sandman’s (sic) irrepressible energy, goofy lyrics and wild showmanship win him followers wherever he goes."
7 x 7
http://www.7x7.com/arts/indie-theater-roundup-7-movies-see-docfest-0

8. "(an) undeniably magnetic and talented character."
A.V. Club - Austin (Joshua Huck)
http://www.avclub.com/austin/articles/dispatches-from-the-marfa-film-festival-wednesday,40952/

9. "(Chris Sand) is the classic wandering American minstrel."
Weekly Volcano (Mark Thomas Deming)
http://www.weeklyvolcano.com/music/features/2009/07/rapping-the-open-range-chris-sandman-sand-tacoma/

10. "his stripped-down sound and unadorned words contain hopeful ingredients most anyone can feel at home with - except maybe in Cincinnati."
The Olympian
http://calendar.theolympian.com/olympia-wa/events/show/148388145-roll-out-cowboy-followed-by-live-performance-with-sandman-the-rappin-cowboy

Bonus quote (perhaps my favorite):
11. "(Sand) isn't a particularly good musician, but he makes up for it with a huge heart and an eagerness to bridge divides."
The Daily Californian (Max Siegel)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The last several days have been musically fertile!

Yesterday I recorded two Carter Family songs for a Carter Family compilation. I chose "Heaven's Radio" and "Buddies in the Saddle."

Sunday I played a house concert. Besides getting fed and paid and selling CDs, I was sent home with fifteen pounds of food, including half a ham, two pies, shrimp, bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, two boxes of cookies, a jar of kombucha, and a grip of handmade curry lollipops! I also got a free Tarot reading later, by an author named Anna.

Friday and Saturday I laid down tracks for over a dozen songs. I hadn't planned to create a new country-rock CD, but after my Capitol Theater show I was approached by Pat Maley, who generously offered his production services. Soon after this, Ross and Bob from Bicycle Records said they'd like to release my next record. I called on my long-time drummer Chad, who agreed to drum. His friend Abigail agreed to play bass. We had three days to practice, and miraculously, it all came together. We began recording Friday--guit/drums/bass/vox, all live at the same time. It was tight, a real team effort. Then Pam Margon came in and overdubbed her smokin' fiddle on some tracks.

Now we have an album's worth of songs to assemble. Tracks include "Bad Becky," "Bruised Fruits," "Damascus," "Miller Killer," "Horse Graveyard," "Sandy Bob," "Rhonda's Garden," "Sugar Bank Hank," "Road Krush," "Miss Rodeo Montana," and more. No raps this time, all country. Outlaw style. Americana. Rootsy.

I'd like to mention that Pat Maley, besides being a friend and former housemate, is a renowned producer. He's recorded a virtual who's who of '90s punk artists and released their songs on his Yo Yo Records Label.

Some of these bands: Rancid, Elliot Smith, Sleater-Kinney, Beck, Mirah, The Mountain Goats, Built to Spill, The Microphones, Neutral Milk Hotel, KARP, Halo Benders, The Gossip, The Need, and more. He once made a lo-fi music video for Nirvana. He's been around the block in this punk town. You can read a little about his famed Yo Yo A Go Go Festival here.

Next step? I'm setting my sights on finishing up a recording collabo with Giles O'Dell, who in '06 produced Return to the Blackhole of Outerspace. This one will be a cowboy poetry mash-up disco mix.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In the Dub Narcotic Studio today recording a new country album! Chad Austinson is the drummer. Abigail is the electric bassist. Pat Maley is the producer. Bicycle Records is the label. Very exciting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy birthday today to Dad, Uncle Tom, and Amy Greene (our host here in Oly). May you all live long and prosper!

And Dad, I wish you were here this month. We'd hit a natural hot spring in some snowy forest. Next year!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The inspiration is comin' back. I credit ping pong matches with Greg Lukens and Pete Chramiec.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

My restful and inspiring week in Anacortes has run its course. I have the recordings I need for the upcoming soundtrack to Roll Out, Cowboy.

Phil Elverum is a wonderful producer with an amazing new recording studio in the old Anacortes Catholic church. A perk to the studio is that it has a spacious basketball court, so we played lots of hoops. Besides being a swell producer, Phil is also a skilled session musician; he played bass, drums, organ, and a couple other instruments on "End of America." Other friends shared their musical gifts, too. Karl Blau layed down a blistering electric guitar track at the end of the song. Genevieve Castree and Nick and Allison (whose last names I know not) lent their angelic voices, as did Phil.

Tonight I played a show at The Business. Thanks to generous promotion by Bret Lunsford, a large crowd showed up and bought plenty of merch. After the show, Bret shuttled me to Mount Vernon, where I caught a train to Seattle. Tomorrow I'll begin work on a fresh new website with friends Martine and Josh. Change is a-comin' to rappincowboy.com and none too soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sandman show in Anacortes this Friday! 5pm at The Business. All-ages. FREE!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hi from Anacortes, WA, where I'm staying a few days with good friends Bret Lunsford, Denise Crowe, and their daughter Louisa. I'll play a couple shows and record a song or two with Phil Elverum in his new studio.

This morning Bret and I hiked four miles to Whistler Lake, where we saw a bald eagle.

Yesterday I suffered a mild concussion after dizzily falling off a wildly spinning children's playground toy. Skinned my face from my forehead to my chin. Made me laugh.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A northwest November night with fresh raw oysters and homemade beer with friends. Tomorrow the REAL feast!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I hate to say this but I've hit a creative wall. I'm not inspired to write, play, practice, set up shows, or blog.

All I want to do is find a natural hot spring somewhere in Utah or Mexico and soak. That's what it's coming down to. Hot water. In the earth. That smells like rotten eggs.

The last show I played would be the absolute perfect one to go out on. Let me set the scene. I'm joined by my long-time drummer Garf. We're performing on the main stage of Capitol Theater in Olympia, WA. It's filled with hundreds of dear friends and their kids. My final song, before two encores, is "The Illness"--a depressing dirge about the end of the world. As we kick into it, dozens of children rush the stage with large red balloons and start dancing and frolicking with utter joy and abandon. It was surreal, and also very beautiful.

I ask myself, "what now"?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weather report: Olympia had 55 m.p.h. winds last night and much of the town lost power. This morning we had an earthquake that measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale.

Today's highlight: installing new toilet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A few days ago Hana and I drove from Colorado to Washington, stopping at hot springs and thrift stores along the way. We arrived in Olympia with enough time for me to take a catnap before I drove to the airport to fly to North Carolina for the Cucalorus Film Fest in Wilmington. Once there, I was treated like a king--$200 Hilton hotel room on the Cape Fear Riverfront, catered feasts, and a rad driver who gave an informative tour of the city and Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington is beautiful, and I'd love to return.

The screening of Roll Out, Cowboy took place at Thalian Hall, which was built before the Civil War! Oscar Wilde, Lillian Russell, and Buffalo Bill Cody are some of the folks who have performed or lectured there. The crowd was enthusiastic about the film and asked many questions at the Q & A.

After the screening, I joined the Cucalorus Kickoff Party at The Soapbox. I did a 45-minute set to a rockin' fun crowd and gave out Sandman pillow cases to the dancers in front.

Thank you, Cucalorus Film Fest folks, for your southern hospitality and for a great time! I also want to thank Encore, Wilmington's weekly alternative publication, for promoting the movie and my performance at The Soapbox and for buying my plane ticket. Here is an excellent write-up they did for Roll Out, Cowboy.

Now I'm back in Olympia, and today ROC will screen at my favorite theater of them all: Capitol Theater. After the movie I'll do a half-hour music set with my drummer, Chad Austinson. I look forward to seeing many old friends, some whom I haven't seen in years!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Roll Out, Cowboy - a documentary is screening THIS SUNDAY November, 14th as part of the Olympia Film Festival at 1pm at the Capitol Theater! Q & A to follow screening with Director, Producer and myself. I'll be doing a live performance after the Q&A.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"It's not the maid's fault this place is a s**t hole."

This is Hana's response to me saying we shouldn't leave a tip at this morning's hotel in Ontario, Oregon. Most of the lights are burned out, the pillowcases wreak of nicotine (in a "non-smoking" room), the t.v.'s remote control is sticky and doesn't work, the sheets are dirty, and the shower doesn't get hot enough.

Fair enough.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Wilmington, NC, for the Cucalorus Film Festival!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Roll Out, Cowboy will be screening twice in Denver this weekend at Starz Denver Film Festival! This Fest is a big 'un.

I'll also be performing twice--once for the Festival's Kick-Off Event on Friday, and a second time at my friend Christy Miller's house, after Saturday's movie screening.

Rock on, Denver!

And congrats to the San Francisco Giants for beating the Texas Rangers to win the World Series today. I missed every game except for a couple I caught on the radio while trucking.

P.S. Kudos to Martine Workman who's co-creating the sweet "work-in-progress" movie poster you see above!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Paid advertisement (kidding): If you're shoppin' for holiday gifts or warm winter clothes, be sure to check out my sweetheart's stylin' Etsy page!

As you can see, it recently snowed here on Killdeer Mountain with gusts of wind over 50 mph! Now it is beautifully warm and the skies are blue true. Hana and I will be leaving rugged North Dakota on Thursday and be gone for five months. Many adventures to follow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"P-O-Box-triple-O-seven
My p.o. box from heaven
Smaller than a bread box, bigger than a cabbage
Every single day I get at least one package
From deejays on Ebay, emcees on Amazon
Everybody loves me, I'm bigger than Barry Bonds
And letters they send me--so friendly and funny
Why get a job when I can make so much money
Just walkin' to the post office, and turnin' the key
Triple-O-seven is the box to be . . ."
(Third verse from "PO Box 7")
Those of you familiar with my song "PO Box 7" might be interested to hear that, as of earlier this month, my once lucky post office box is now a 10" x 4" x 16" metal receptacle for dust. Unbelievably, Dunn Center's post office has been suspended!

Just when Dunn Center's dwindling population has triumphantly turned around due to an enormous oil boom, it has been decided that a post office probably isn't worth the cost and/or hassle to hold on to.

In sum, PO Box 7 is no more.

In other news, in spite of the raging blizzard outside my door, life is good!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hey San Francisco friends, Roll Out, Cowboy will be screening at the Sf IndieFest tonight at 9:30pm at Roxie Theater! It will show again on Wednesday at the same time and place.

It will also be screening today in Memphis, TN, at the Indie Memphis Film Festival at 2:00pm!

Click here for all upcoming (and past) screenings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photos from the day:


Hana & Gilgamesh in front of newly-repainted cabin.


It's apple pickin' time on Killdeer Mountain! Neighbors, John & Alice Dvirnak, invited Mom, Dad, Hana, and me to have as many apples as we wanted from their orchard.


Mom & Dad returning from the apple hunt.

a) b)
A) Colorful cups that Hana found at a yard sale for 25-cents each.
B) Another recent paint-job: the kitchen floor of our Dunn Center house.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

North Dakota's pelicans have been migrating south this week. Thousands have been passing over both the Killdeer Mountain and my Dunn Center house. Legions of large dragonflies appear to also be vamoosing southerly. They were followed a day later by clouds of fat ravens. All the bats are gone.

I've been hearing the bugles of elk lately and see their droppings around. Yesterday morning I came across a bevy of sharp-tailed grouse and some partridges. I've never seen them up here on the mountain before.

By the way, Hana and I--mostly she, while I was trucking--repainted the bunkhouse, cabin, and barn red two weeks ago!! Took us seventy-eight hours.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Congrats to Alice Camel Van Gunten and J.J. Tanner who were just named 2010 Ronan High School Homecoming Queen & King!

I graduated from Ronan High in 1989. I took Alice's pretty cousin, Leslie, to our junior prom in '88. She ditched me half way through for Tony Stasso and his shiny black Camaro. I wonder what the heck Tony's up to now . . .

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I tromped through the Killdeer Mountain woods all day. Filled a bucket full of wild plums and chokecherries. While picking, I found two deer antlers, a handful of small puffballs, some wild anise for tea, and three turkey feathers for Hana to use in future jewelry-making projects.

Hana's been getting creative with her earrings this week. Here are a couple she came up with last week. I especially like the birch bark/leather pair.



If you're lookin' for fresh and exciting gifts for yourselves or others you could shop from her online Etsy store Baptuma. She updates it almost daily, so be sure to check back often!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Funny, endearing, and surprisingly touching, Roll Out, Cowboy is one of the most delightful surprises of the year."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The Blackberry Bushes, friends of mine from Washington state will be playing their award-winning bluegrass music in downtown Dickinson, ND (click poster for all details). If I'm not trucking I plan to open up the night with a couple of my new songs.

If you live in western North Dakota I'd love to see you at the Odd Fellows Lodge. Please tell all your friends 'cause it's gonna be a great show.

Thanks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Verizon cell phone just bit the dust. Please email me your phone numbers at rappincowboy@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just played a midnight show at Alma Stevens' farm outside of Bergen, ND. Alma is the 90-year-old, 100% Norwegian grandmother of my pal Alex Stevens. I met her at a Rhubarb Festival that I played at in Bismarck a few years back, and she's been a big fan ever since. Her favorite four musicians, she says, are George Strait, Chuck Suchy, Daniel O'Donnell, and myself.

The Stevens' are having their annual family reunion. They're all night owls, so I played from midnight 'til 2 a.m. and then I ate supper. For breakfast they fed Hana and me the best crepes we've ever eaten.

For the next three or four days I'll be driving south, east, west, and north to deliver live fish to Minnesota and Calgary.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Roll Out, Cowboy will be showing tonight in Atlanta and Portland, OR.

Today I've been clearing brush and digging trenches in North Dakota. A herd of elk came through our property last night! I've never seen elk here before--must be an omen of good things to come. : )

Hana and I are about to drive to Lake Sakakawea for some swimming and boating with our friends Ed and Barb Danks.

Here's a friendly blog post recently written about me and Kimya Dawson: http://lettersmixtape.blogspot.com/2010/06/sandman-kimya.html

Monday, August 09, 2010

Note: This website's homepage has been broken for about two months. Thus I'm unable to update show listings. This will change soon, I hope.

I've returned from my Canada vacation. Now I'm just trucking, clearing trails on Killdeer Mountain, and enjoying life in the cabin.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Two nights ago Hana and I arrived in Wells, BC, for the ArtsWells Music Fest. Yesterday was wild. We spent most of the day selling belts, boots, buckles, and shirts from our makeshift "Vintage on the Run" booth. (We made about $350!) In the evening Roll Out, Cowboy screened. Afterwards I played in a little church that overflowed with awesome Canadians who gave me two rousing standing ovations. This show was one of my five best.

Today I'm having bad allergies.

Hana and I are loving our vacation!

Friday, July 30, 2010

SHOWS THIS WEEK

7.31.10 - 7pm - Artswells Festival, Wells, BC
- See Roll Out, Cowboy at 7pm, and I'll perform after the screening!

8.5.10 - 7pm - 19th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival, Woods Hole, MA
-The movie screens at 7pm. Q & A with Director Elizabeth Lawrence and Producer Warner Boutin will follow.

More shows to be announced soon!

Canadian summer vacation! Hana and I just died and went to Banff National Park: glaciers, waterfalls, car camping, and 'skeeters! We are loving it. Tomorrow is the Roll Out, Cowboy screening and show.

On Monday I'll fly to Minneapolis to meet Shawn, who'll be driving to Toronto for a tilapia delivery.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heading to Wells, BC, to perform at the 7th Annual ArtsWells Festival (7pm at the Sunset Theatre on July 31st)!!! My doc will be showing there and I'll perform afterwards. Hana and I are excited for our trans-Canadian road-trip! Movie will start at 7 p.m. I'll play afterwards.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Bull snakes are out sunning themselves. They aren't poisonous--they eat rattlers headfirst and whole.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We spent our first night in the cabin two nights ago. I had a vivid dream that Grandpa visited.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandpa and Grandma Sand built this cabin in the heart of the Killdeer Mountains over thirty years ago. They lived in it every summer until this year. With Grandpa gone, Grandma has decided to stay in town. Uncle Josh and Aunt Coral inherited the cabin, but they live in South Dakota, so they have invited Hana and me to live in it in exchange for maintenance work. We are thrilled!

This means we will be renting out our dear Dunn Center house. Although the trade-off is worth it, we are sad to leave our house and community in Dunn Center. Fortunately, we'll only be thirty minutes away. We plan to keep our PO Box 7 address.

P.S. Grandpa had a saying: "Anything worth painting is worth painting red." The horse barn, the bunk house, and all the sheds are red, too. No tractor, picnic table, or axe handle escaped Grandpa's red brush.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

It's Independence Day--birds are singin' and bottle rockets are zingin'!

I've got this song stuck in my head:
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave . . .
Cain't justify blogging on these sultry, dog days of summer. Too busy with juneberries, lightning storms, wiffleball, fireworks, swimming, barbecues, mowing, family, gardening, smoothies, and trucking. Speakin' of, I'll be driving with Goodall for the next five days. We'll do both Toronto and Calgary this week, with stops to load in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

I looove summer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grandpa's funeral was today. Here's the obituary.

Big changes are coming to Sandland. Stay tuned.

Now, to Calgary with 10,000 lbs. of live tilapia.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here's a poem Grandpa wrote:

Wolf Creek, 1929

I knew a place that never had
Electricity or plumbing
Or paint or pretty curtains
Just two homestead shacks nailed together
Banked with tarpaper and fragrant manure

It was home to three boys and a man
Unchurched but reverent of God
Pride was there, pride in honesty,
A day’s work, a well-cleaned corral,
A well-topped haystack, a good-broke horse
A perfect school attendance record,
The winning of a spelling bee.

It lacked a woman and mourned this lack
Sometimes with quiet tears on quiet and lonely nights.
The eldest boy said to the youngest,
“It’s not a mark of manhood to feel sorry for oneself”

And thus it was resolved and
Toughness woven with the fabric cut to Man’s measure.
Those long, cruel Depression years,
Empty and sterile to some, but not to us!

--Bob Sand

Friday, June 25, 2010

My grandfather, Bob Sand, died today at age 91.

The funeral looks to be Monday or Tuesday. I'll write more soon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roll Out, Cowboy showed in Sacramento this weekend. A promotional article was written up featuring an insightful interview of the film's director, Elizabeth Lawrence, and me: www.moviesonabigscreen.com.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roll Out, Cowboy just won Best Documentary Award at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF). Go TEAM R.O.C.!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just back from 96 hours on the road: Killdeer, ND, to Philip, SD, to load tilapia fingerlings. Philip to Renville, MN, to unload fry and re-load with adult tilapia. Renville to Toronto to unload our fish, and then a straight-shot home. Driving through Minneapolis this morning was sketchy--sharp detours and heavy construction. White knuckles to match a white Kenworth tractor and white tanks.

Now back in Dunn Center, "Heart of Dunn County."

Home is where I hang my hat and where I hug Hana. I wear my home on my sleeve.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Happy 91st birthday, Sandy Bob!
You're a good grandpa.

Painted by Hana Kasm.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

I read the news last night, oh boy . . . oil, punditry, despair, blood, blame. When I try to write about stuff like that, I feel like a duck in the mud. No voice, no wings.

Around 7:00 this morning neighbor Ed Danks knocked, rousing Hana and me from Dreamland. We'd set the alarm for 5:40, but had gone back to dozing. Ed gave us some venison sausage for our breakfast and asked if we would help him plant a few rows of potatoes in the community garden. We were pleased to get the invite. After ginger tea and sausage, we put our work clothes on and joined Ed in the field.

Good friends and dark earth make all the difference in how a day turns out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

On the road again. Truckin' to Toronto Town with Tilapia. Back Saturday!

Speaking of Saturday, Roll Out, Cowboy, will be screening its Washington premier at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival on June 5th at 7:20 p.m. at the Northwest Film Forum. You can buy tickets here: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Venues/Stiff?film=3978435

Monday, May 31, 2010

Yesterday's North Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora was a swell time and the first time I performed there as a "headliner." My favorite cowboy singers in the world, The Larsen Brothers, played directly after me.

Tamara Kubacki, Programs Coordinator for the Western Folklife Center in Elko, NV, gave the keynote address. She and I became friends last year at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Hana and I had the pleasure of showing Tamara around Dunn County this morning.

Before yesterday's show, Hana and I explored the southwest corner of North Dakota, in particular the ramshackle town of Marmarth. Marmarth is to NoDak what Terlingua is to Texas--a dusty, half-deserted, ghosty place where eccentrics, outlaws, and misfits go to escape and/or create. My people.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Happy 90th Birthday Grandma Julia Viola Sullivan Herak!
I'll be one of the headline acts at tonight's at the 24th Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora, ND. Show starts at 7:30. $10, I think.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Congrats to the Roll Out, Cowboy crew who just won Director's Choice Gold Medal for Excellence at the Park City Film Music Festival last weekend!

The next big festival for Roll Out, Cowboy will be next Saturday at Seattle's True Independent Film Festival. It will screen at 7:20 p.m. at the Northwest Film Forum. For more info, please visit: http://rolloutcowboy.com/news/.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This is just my opinion, but I think that if you combined Roy Rogers, Will Rogers, Jimmie Rodgers, Carl Rogers, and Roger Staubach, you'd have a five-star cowboy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've been up on Killdeer Mountain the last couple days helping Dad sheetrock. With the rain we've been getting--two inches just last night!--I've been finding large puffballs in the meadows. These taste good sauteed in butter and mixed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

The beaver dams are overflowing.

Hana and I found a rotting beaver corpse. We placed its head on an ant mound. Within a couple days, all that was left was the bare skull.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

For the folks' 41st wedding anniversary last night, Hana cooked them a gourmet chicken supper, and I contributed dessert (huckleberry pie).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dunn County is at the height of vernal lushness this week. Lilacs, puffballs, calves, colts, and thunderbolts. Yes! This is my favorite time of year except, maybe, for autumn. Yard sales are popping up. For fifty cents, I just bought the self-titled Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose LP. Can't get enough of it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Due to Blogger breaking down on me, I never had a chance to report on the last days of the "2010 Me & My Brother Tour"--nor, for that matter, the world premiere of Roll Out, Cowboy in Marfa, TX. In brief, the tour with Nima ended great. Our final shows in Montana and Spokane were varied and rewarding. Thanks to Anna, Joe, Jeff, Joanne, Sharokh, and especially Emilie for all the support.

Performing in the Morrow's rustic barn (above) for Joanne's 50th birthday was fab, 'though I'm embarrassed to say that I almost burned it down doing a stupid stunt with a match during one of my raps.

Earlier that day, in the Morrow's bunkhouse (left), Nima helped me record several songs for my next album. You can listen to one of the tracks here: "Miss Rodeo Montana."

On May 1st, my last day of spring troubadouring, many great things happened. For one, I reunited with my sweetie, Hana. It'd been three months since we'd last seen each other in Orlando, FL. (She'd flown on to Syria to learn Arabic, and I'd flown to Boston to begin the tour.) For another, the May Day concert with Nima was our tour's grand finale! He mentions it here, in his blog.

Nima also writes of our appearance that day on The Persian Radio Hour. Here's the link to listen to his hour-long interview, hosted by DJ Sharokh Nikfar. Besides being a wonderful radio host, Sharokh is a great chef. After the show he cooked Nima, Hana, and me a mouth-watering Iranian dish.

The midnight supper with Sharokh was an auspicious and joyous end to Nima's and my trans-American, cross-cultural, fence-cutting, genre-smashing, most excellent 2010 spring adventure. It was just the ceremony we needed, and it was fitting to have Hana there, at last.

Nima and I had begun and ended our odyssey on ol' Interstate 90. February 'til May. From Massachusetts to Washington State--coast to coast, more or less. And now it was time to part ways.

Early the next morning Nima gunned west to Seattle, and Hana and I boomeranged east to Billings to catch our flight south to Marfa. We had a dusty little film festival to attend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just returned from what felt like an epic long haul into eastern Ontario. Picked up and unloaded three full loads of fish. I'm spent. The next two days will be filled with carpentry projects with Dad on Killdeer Mountain.

Soon I'd like to focus on writing. Songs, journaling, letters to friends . . .

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blogger picked a nasty time to switch its format. I've been blogless for the last two weeks, just when I wanted to share all sorts of good news regarding Roll Out, Cowboy. Big thanks to Josh Tokle for helping me get this journal working again.

I'll be trucking for the next four or five days, and will play catch up then. Meanwhile, please check out my Twitter page. It will fill in some of the gaps.

Or good old Facebook.

Or better yet, Roll Out, Cowboy's Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here's a good review in the Missoula Independent for my new CD, Chemicals in the Wheat.

If you'd like to order a copy please send $15 postage-paid to: Chris Sand / PO Box 7 / Dunn Center, ND 58626.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The trailer for Roll Out, Cowboy is finished. Enjoy!

Roll Out Cowboy from Roll Out, Cowboy on Vimeo.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please comment. Thanks!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nima and I are having an excellent time in western Montana. Our last four shows have all been winners. First there was Basin at The High Note, then two afternoon shows yesterday in Ronan--The Red Poppy at two and Grandma Herak's nursing home at four, then The Boiler Room in Kalispell tonight. Tomorrow we'll be in Big Fork at The Raven. Wednesday, Missoula.

I grew up in western Montana but for some reason rarely play shows here. It's good to be back, where the snowy Mission Mountains watch over my beautiful Flathead Valley/Mission Valley childhood home.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drivin' acros't Montana--Glory of the West. Our first show of this Montana leg is tonight in Basin at Aunt Bryher's house. The Rockies are snow-capped and vibrant today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm not normally a fan of work, but fixing fence with Dad today was fun. I enjoyed all the parts of it: diggin' holes, cutting and stretching wire, pounding metal posts, and clearing brush. Got the four-wheeler briefly mired in a beaver dam. It was a muddy, happy day on Killdeer Mountain.

Two days ago I was up there and found a slew of Indian artifacts--three or four hide scrapers and an arrowhead. The horses look good. Grandpa has a new horse named Freckles. He's a little skittish.

Tomorrow Nima and I drive west to Montana.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Under the weather slightly today . . . gives me pause to think about this current music tour.

In some ways my 2010 tour with Nima has been made up of many tours. First there was the New England Two-Step, starting and ending in Boston. Then came the East Coast Hitch-Hike, where we had no vehicle but still managed to get to all our seaboard shows before taking a bus back to Boston. After two weeks dancing the Boston Limbo, we did the Southbound Boogie, which put us at last in New Orleans. From New Orleans we rolled to Dallas, where began our Waltz Across Texas tour. This ended prematurely, as did our potential Southwest Twist.

Nima, meanwhile, is keeper of the flame. He solo-explored Big Bend National Park before angling east to El Paso and north to Santa Fe. Soon he'll pass through Denver and Spearfish, and finally, on Thursday, he'll arrive in Dunn Center. On April 22nd we'll resume our journey, with seven western Montana sock hops. We've saved our last dance for a May Day show in Spokane. Originally we'd planned to go to the Pacific, but other projects interposed.

Top seven tour highlights:
  1. Escaped frigid North Dakota winter.
  2. Finished new CD--Chemicals in the Wheat.
  3. Thanks to Nima and Hanon, I have two fresh new YouTube vids.
  4. Made new friends and visited old friends along the route.
  5. Recorded, with Nima's help, a gang of songs for next CD.
  6. By tour's end we'll have played a respectable thirty shows.
  7. Getting to know Nima better.
In New Orleans Nima and I renamed our tour. Everything east of the Mississippi River was the "Peanut Butter & Jelly Tour." This leg was filled with poverty, vehicle breakdowns, and unease. Everything west of the Mississippi became the "Me & My Brother Tour." This side was/is hallmarked by prosperity and comfort. Nima gained confidence. We collaborated more. We found bigger audiences. Our earnings quadrupled. Nima's pickup didn't implode. The weather improved. Nima's amazingly generous Uncle Craig bought me an airplane ticket to Minneapolis for Dale's Farewell Gathering. Hana flew back to the States . . .

Ah, Hana. . . I'll meet her in Spokane on May Day. God speed!

Friday, April 09, 2010

The last ten days have been wild. I'll be brief.

From Dallas, Nima and I boogied to Austin for a fantastic show at Baby Blue Studios. The show was set up by the coincidentally-named Austin L. Jones. He bought a butt-load of Lone Star beer, and a Texas-sized crowd magically appeared. Awesome! From Austin we rolled west.

On April 2nd, we arrived in the magic west-Texas town of Marfa just in time to see my favorite artist Camp Boswell's whimsically eerie, border-war art show--marijuana, guns, liquor, briefcases of cash, and buzzard-like spy cams, all carved from wood. See Camp's giant spur (click on it to see details).

On April 3rd Nima and I played a most pleasant house concert in the kitchen of Camp and his wife Buck. It was our best show of tour and a morale-raising way to wrap up the southern leg of our journey.

On April 4th Nima and I parted ways temporarily. He drove to Big Bend National Park, and I flew to Minneapolis. That night I stayed with my friends Brandon and Nitali, who had picked me up at the airport. The next morning they dropped me off at the Mall of America, where I met with Shawn Goodall for a fish run to Toronto.

The two days of driving were uneventful, except for some powerful storms in Michigan and Ontario.

On April 7th Goodall dropped me off in Fargo, where I met up with Mom and attended Dale Bentley's Farewell Celebration at the the historic Fargo Theater. I was listed as the ceremony's officiator. I'm a rookie Reverend, and handling a memorial service proved to be harrowing duty--especially after just climbing out of a long-haul semi. Dale's family appreciated my effort, though. I enjoyed all the music Dale had requested: bagpipes, cello, and an opera singer named Angel Lira. Dale, a fan of Scottish culture, was buried in his kilt. He will be missed by many people. I am lucky to have known him these past few years.

Now I'm home in western North Dakota. Yesterday I visited the parents and grandparents and Killdeer Mountain, where wild crocuses are blooming by the thousands, most of the snow is gone, and the beaver dams are full. I pulled ticks off the horses. Spring is here, in force!

On that note, my cousin Kirby and his wife Megan just gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Her name is Cora Bailey Sand, and she's gorgeous! Congrats, Megan and Kirby. Can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My good buddy Dale Bentley, whom I've written about in past posts, has passed over the Great Divide at age 41. Wherever his soul resides, I'm willing to bet he's raising Cain.

Photo by Elizabeth Lawrence (a still from the Roll Out, Cowboy doc.).

Dale was an awesome individual. I'll write more about him in the coming week.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Allison V. Smith did a sweet photo shoot of Nima and me just before our final Dallas show, at Murray Street Coffee House.

Allison, by the way, is the shining gal with yellow hair below, sandwiched between two up-and-comers in 1984. I'd like to believe that Quincy Jones took the picture.

We still miss you, MJ. Dang.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pics from our first three Dallas shows.

Bill's Record Store:


Outdoor benefit show at La Reunion:

Nima rockin' it next to the La Reunion turtle pond.

Giant, floating jellyfish made from trash collected in the La Reunion creek.

Sarah Jane and Paul's house concert:

Trinity River Folk singin' Oak Cliff murder ballads!

Nima singin' about fast cars and slow food.

Watcher in the woods.

Our final Dallas show is tonight at Murray Street Coffee House!