Thursday, December 20, 2012

In the irreverent words of Woody Guthrie, "so long, it's been good to know ya"!



12/20/12 yo, 12/20/12 yo
We're gonna party like it's 12/20/12, yo
We're gonna get down with anyone, every one!
We're gonna party like Prince at the millennium

O'Hare to Heathrow, here come the party people
Fresh from the clubs, and the cabs, and casinos
Coulter's in the sauna with Obama and Clooney
We got Shiites & Sunni's reading Rushdie & Rumi
We got C-Lo & Tebow, in the gazebo
Like Buddha & Christ breakin' bread like amigos
Talkin' politics, Taylor Swift, and the ego
And how last Spring when Lin hit that free-throw, ohhh!

12/20/12 yo, 12/20/12 yo
We're gonna party like it's 12/20/12, yo
Live for today & forget about tomorrow
Buy another round and drown all your sorrows

Red Solo cup, fill it up with some beer, bro
Is that Ben Stiller?  What the heck's on his earlobe?
Looks like lotion.  But it smells kinda queer though
Rub it in your hair.  Dude yr such a weirdo!

12/21 now, 12/21 now
Winter's done come and you ain't havin' any fun now
No sun, no moon, just gunpowder
End of the dream for the turtles and the sunflowers

So let's party like it's 12/20/12, yo
Let's party like it's 12/20/12, yo
When you wake up you'll be livin' in a hellhole
Next to the Devil, he'll be yellin' on your cell phone:
"Can you hear me now, can you hear me now?!
Can you hear me now, can you hear me now?!"

So let's party like it's 12/20/12, yo
So let's party like it's 12/20/12, yo
So let's party like it's 12/20/12, yo
Live for today and forget about tomorrow

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hana and I will be moving into our house soon! Packing and preparing this week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This is Lady Maxine, AKA "Mad Maxine."
She was Hana's next-door neighbor and friend while Hana was growing up in Tampa, FL.
For real.
Maxine in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhTVmcoEeLg

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hana & I found a perfect fixer-upper house to buy in Missoula.  We now need to find $30,000 for part of the down-payment.  I may need to sell my infamous Dunn Center, ND, house (pictured)--the one featured in Roll Out, Cowboy.

I bought this house for $1,000 in 2005 before the oil boom.
It'd be nice to make some money by getting a song into major motion picture.  I had a tantalizing bite with my dirge "End of America," but it appears to have slipped the hook.

I've begun looking for local work in Missoula.  My long-distance, long-haul trucking days are winding down.  So are my troubadour jags.  I'm a family man now.  I need a job.

Excitement + heavy feelings.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Russell Means  (1939-2012)
Two mornings ago as I rolled through Watertown, South Dakota, I noticed the flag at half-mast.  I'm assuming that was for the controversial George McGovern (from Mitchell, SD, who died Sunday) and not for the also controversial Russell Means (born in Pine Ridge, SD, who died a day later).  I salute them both.

Another Dakotan I've come to admire--this one alive and well--is a rancher named Ryan Taylor who's running for Governor of North Dakota this year.  He's a fan of mine, too, I've heard; he likes my music.  Good luck, Ryan!

Tomorrow I head back home to Hana and the baby in Missoula.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Hilltop Heritage Foundation held their 24th Annual Steak Fry & Auction last night at Buckskin Dance Hall in Killdeer.  Larry Schnell did a great job of auctioneering.

After supper the auction began.  I bid on, and won, an "Obama Basket," which amounted to several blue-themed items stuffed in a hand-decorated box: Blue Nun Wine, Winterfresh gum, Berry Blue Jell-O, Gourmet Blueberry Licorice, Smucker's Blueberry Syrup, and a four-piece box of Donkey Truffles.  

In a crowd of 300--and only one other bidder for this item--raising the bid was my small effort to stand up for the President.  I ended up winning it for $35.  I'm pretty sure the red-themed "Nobama Basket" did better.  

I hit the road trucking today to Toronto and then back to Calgary.  I haven't seen Hana and Stevie for almost seven weeks.

Also: Happy 67th birthday today, Ma!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've had the last week off from driving truck, so I've been working with Dad to get his and Mom's house insulated.

Last night I took a break and drove to Dunn Center to meet friends at the Ilo Bar for beer and pizza.  One of them was my buddy Max Haendler from Brooklyn, who is out here doing construction for a rancher from Marshall.  I hadn't been to the Ilo Bar since the "shrimp reception party" documented in Elizabeth Lawrence's Roll Out Cowboy, so I was glad to see that Sadie is still running the bar.  She has been since 1979, when I was a youth.

Instead of driving back to Killdeer Mountain last night, I stayed over at Grandma Edna's place in Killdeer.  In a few minutes we'll be heading to church.
-----------------------------------------

The new pastors.
Post-church update:  Grandma has been raving about the new pastors at St. John's Lutheran Church--John and Rachel Simonson--and now I see why.  Normally my experience at St. John's is one of trying hard to stay awake, but today I stayed alert.  Reverend Rachel held the service; she and her husband John take turns.  In her sermon she explored Matthew 19:24, which is where Jesus tells a rich young fellow to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor.  When the astonished man refuses, Jesus warns him that, ". . . it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 

I'm pretty sure the congregation has tripled since the last year.  More young people, too.

Afterwards there was coffee, cookies, and talk of the warm weather.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I've been away from Hana and Stevie for the past month, so this video that my friend Amy Greene took of Stevie crawling yesterday truly warms my heart.
When I left Stevie could only slide backwards, which left her feeling frustrated. Now she looks ready to take on the world!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Much has changed since my last journal entry of ten days ago.  Instead of reuniting with my sweet family this week, Hana and I decided that I keep trucking with Goodall until the end of the month.  Alas, the wheat must be threshed.  The fish must be netted.  The diesel must be burned.

I'm currently in Minneapolis at a Ramada Inn, taking advantage of downtime between hauls to Toronto.  Today I caught the new Clint Eastwood flick, Trouble with the Curve, at Mall of America.  Arnold Schwarzenegger also happened to be at the Mall, signing books.  It was the second time I've accidentally run into Mr. Universe.  The first time was in 1997 at a stoplight in Venice Beach.  He was smoking a cigar and driving a convertible Mercedes Benz.

Last night I borrowed a guitar and played a spontaneous house show in St. Paul.  Thanks everybody who attended that, and thanks to Eric for the auspicious invite!

At 4 a.m.--two hours from now--the alarm goes off.  Then it's down to Renville to pick up tilapia and back to Toronto to deliver 'em.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Again . . . Midwest bound and then up to Calgary, AB.
Next week we might string back-to-back Toronto runs.  After we unload the second one I'll bail in Minneapolis or Chicago and fly to Seattle to meet up with Hana and Stevie.  Then we'll all drive east to get back to the West.

P.s. Happy autumn!  It's already colorful here in western North Dakota.  We need rain, though.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stevie turns eight months old tomorrow.  She now has a couple teeth, eats food, weighs 20 lbs., and crawls backwards.  She can say "mama" and "dada," sort of.

At present I'm in North Dakota, on Killdeer Mountain, between trucking runs.  I've been helping Dad roof for the last two days.  I head off again tonight for 5,000 miles of driving, with runs to Toronto (tilapia) and Calgary (buffalo carp).  Next week might see a trip to Vancouver, BC (tilapia), and perhaps another one or two back to Toronto. 
As for music, there is lots to report, but little time.  In brief:

1. A song that I collaborated on with Giles O'Dell, Andras Jones, and Calvin Johnson made it onto an artful Kris Kristofferson compilation-2X-LP.

2. Regarding Calvin Johnson: A book about him and his record label, K Records, came out this year-- Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music.  I get a brief mention in the last chapter.


3. I played seven fun West Coast shows earlier this month.

4. My brand-new CD, Horse Graveyard, has been well received and is selling steadily.

5. I've written enough songs this year to record another country record.  This one will be heavily influenced by my experiences driving truck and living back in Montana.

6. I'm jonesin' to write a book about my musical adventures.  I think it would be funny and a good read.

Monday, September 03, 2012

BRAND NEW MUSIC VIDEO!!!!!! - "WITH A BEARD"



I do a 50-second rap cameo (starting at 2:28) for this Tony Rogers jam to help raise awareness about men's prostate health. EXCELLENT special effects, please check it out and share! The project's goal is to eradicate prostate cancer.

It took a village to create the video, and I'm proud to have played a part. Special thanks to birthday boy John Nilles for directing my part, which we cranked out long-distance from Missoula. Great work, Lauren Loehr and team BEARD!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lots of shows coming up!!!

Tonight and tomorrow I'll be doing my troubadouring in Astoria, OR.  Tonight I play at The Voodoo Room (free!), and tomorrow the movie Roll Out, Cowboy will screen at The Columbian Theater ($5).

Monday (9/3), which is Labor Day, I'll be at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR, sharing a bill with Dan Weber.  That show will go from 4-7 and the cost is FREE.

Wednesday (9/5) I'll be back in Olympia, WA, for a house show with Mary Water!  $10.

Thursday (9/6) I'm up in Seattle for another house show at Jonas' house. $10.

Friday (9/7) I sally farther north to Anacortes, WA, for a mystery show.

Sunday (9/9) I fly to Los Angeles, CA, for my final show of my End of Summer 2012 tour.  More details coming soon.

Monday (9/10) I fly to Chicago to rendezvous with Goodall Trucking and start driving again.  Hana will stay in Olympia to help with the birth of our friend Hali's third child.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Helsing Junction Sleepover

Had a blast this weekend at the Helsing Junction Sleepover!  It was the perfect choice for Stevie's first music fest.  So many great bands and the food was excellent.

Chris Sand & the Big MT was well-received, but, alas, 'twas our last show as a trio.  Alex and Arif drove back to Missoula yesterday, and Alex will keep going until he lands in New York.  He and his banged-up banjo will be sorely missed.



Here's one of the songs that Hana captured on her Nikon camera: "Ain't All Good." Please note that the first verse isn't about me.  I'm just a danged storyteller.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hana Kasm, 1976
2012
A happiest 37th birthday to my timelessly beautiful bride, Hankarella.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Last night's Horse Graveyard CD release party went swimmingly.  I am grateful to You Are Plural and June Madrona for opening the show, and Pat Maley for letting us sing and mingle in his backyard.

The CDs look great, by the way (pictures coming soon).  They arrived hot-off-the-press from Bicycle Records midway through You Are Plural's last song.

Here is the Horse Graveyard tracklist:
  1. Johnny Thurman
  2. Bad Becky
  3. Sandy Bob
  4. Horse Graveyard
  5. Queen Patricia
  6. Go Easy on Me Boss (My Heart is Breakin')
  7. Miller Killer
  8. I Ride an Old Paint
  9. Typical
  10. Damascus
  11. When I Love
  12. Sugar Bank Hank
I'm very proud of this CD and hope it travels far and wide.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Horse Graveyard CD Release Party!

Sandy Bob at Wolf Creek (north of Wolf Point, MT) ,where he was raised.
UPDATE: TONIGHT!

This Tuesday (8/21) in Olympia, WA, at Little House on on the Perry - 124 Perry St. NW!

"Horse Graveyard" is a collection of North Americana-flavored songs filled with western characters I've known, living and dead. You'll meet Sandy Bob, Bad Becky, Queen Patricia, Sugar Bank Hank, Cowboy Moses, and others. Recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio by Bob Schwenkler, it features the volunteer talents of a gang of Olympia musicians, including Chad Austinson, Abigail Ingram, Pamela Margon, Kelly Ray Smith, Jen Grady, Ephriam Nagler, Jes Raymond, Kendl Winter, Adam Oelsner, and others.

"HORSE GRAVEYARD" will be my first release on Bicycle Records.


From the Facebook invite page:
Chris Sand (AKA "Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy") teamed up with Bicycle Records to create an album of country songs spit from the breaks and badlands of Dakota Territory. It features fiddle, pedal steel, drums, piano, cello, sweet back-up vocals, and, yep, trombone ALL by local Oly musicians. 
Please come help celebrate its release into the stratosphere. He'll be backed by two punk rock North Dakota banjo-pickers. Well, ok, one banjo and one . . . banjelele. 
Opening up the show will be sweet rebels from around the corner, You Are Plural & June Madrona.   
Sliding scale admission $5-$10.  Ten gets you a Chris Sand CD, shirt, or pillow case.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Stevie's almost seven months old already.  We love her!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


After sixteen days away from my family and Missoula, I'm back.  Most of my journey was filled with truck driving.  The last four days, though, were spent in New England celebrating the marriage of two of my closest friends, Nima Samimi and Amanda Graff.  In fact, I had the honor of co-officiating, with Nina Berenfeld, their wedding ceremony!

Below is my brief "sermon" which was written very last-minute.  I didn't even have time to proofread it, but it turned out fine, I think.
Hi everybody!  What a perfect day for an outdoor wedding, right?  I really, really love this place.  I learned earlier today that Khalil Gibran, the fantastic Lebanese-American poet, author, & artist who penned some of the most mystical, beautiful, and overused wedding poetry in the canon of world literature, spent a couple months here on this land and in that building, recovering from an illness.  He may have even penned parts of his most famous work--The Prophet--right here on this very lawn. 
Photo credit: Hanon Rosenthal
I won't be reciting any of Gibran's poetry today, but it does seem fitting somehow, the connection.  Nima and Amanda are, after all, prophets of love and pioneers of affection.  They love you.  They really do.  You are all so very important to them.  Do you know this?  They've told me and shown me 1,000 times in their impeccable and generous ways how much they adore me, and it still hasn't fully sunk in.  It's hard to LET it in.  I'm not used to it.  I never know what to say.  I've met few people like them who emanate the kind of love and affection, dignity and humanity, that they do.  They are open-hearted.  They are open-minded.  They are curious.  They are adventurous.  They are smart.  They have retained their passion for life, and they mean what they say.  
So when you hear them exchange their vows today, and when you hear them appreciate you all for coming here and for being part of this ceremony and for supporting them over the years in your untold, vivid, and generous ways, believe them.  They couldn't have done this without you.  And they wouldn't have wanted to do it without you.  You have made their lives infinitely richer.  And believe me when I say that they want YOU to stay close to them, forever, in a way that is not unlike a marriage.  Today let this ceremony be bigger than the miracle of two fabulous, earth-shaking human beings uniting.  Let it also be about all of us being bound together in a similar spirit. 
Nima and Amanda, now is your opportunity to come up here and stand together in front of your friends and family and just tell each other what's in your heart.
The wedding was magical, and Amanda and Nima shone like the stars they are.  Tomorrow they fly to France for the honeymoon.  Bon voyage, lovebirds!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just finished 106 hours of driving with Goodall Trucking.  Tomorrow we head off again for a shorter run.

I'm on Killdeer Mountain with the folks today.  Grandpa's old paint horse, Shorty (pictured below, rear), has been sick for the last few days.  This morning the vet diagnosed him to be terminally ill.  We led him over a ridge on the south meadow just west of an old Lakota burial mound, and I used Dad's .30-30 carbine rifle to put Shorty down.  We said goodbye to Partner there last year, and before that Peanut, Topsy, Beaver, and others, when they were dying.

Goodbye, Ol' Paint
It's been emotional for all of us saying goodbye to Shorty.  Besides his being such a beautiful, gentle, and curious horse, he was Grandpa's.

Now, except for Freckles, all of Sandy Bob's ponies are gone.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Last night's Woody Guthrie birthday bash at historic Union Hall in Missoula was a success! Close to one hundred folks showed up to celebrate America's Great Folk Troubadour on the eve of his centennial birthday.

Organizing the show took a lot of work, and I've been feeling exhausted for the last three days. Yesterday's near 100-degree temperature didn't help.  Fortunately, union angels came out of the woodwork and volunteered in multiple ways.  Some brought water and ice.  Some brought floor fans.  Some helped take money at the door.  Some ran sound and lights.

It pleased me that the gritty and fun-loving crowd embraced the heat and sweated it out.  Some lasted the full four hours!

The hootenanny got great press from both the Missoulian and the Missoula Independent.

Thanks to all the bands, dancers, actors, artists, organizers, journalists, and everyone who showed up who helped make this event so memorable and inspiring!

Happy Birthday, Woody Guthrie.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ROC DVD-Release Party in Missoula, MT: this Friday!
It's almost showtime for the Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration I'm organizing (see details two posts down).  This show will also be the Montana DVD-Release Party for Roll Out, Cowboy.  DVD's will be going for $20 each at the show.  Call me at (360) 789-7684 if you'd like me to deliver 'em to your doorstep.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

WOODY GUTHRIE 100TH BIRTHDAY BASH AT UNION HALL

Music by Fast Rattler, Dear Sister Killdeer, Chris Sand & the Big MT, Jennifer Combe.  Missoula's Bare Bait Dance Company to Perform.  More.

Artwork by Hana!
MISSOULA, MT, 7/13/2012 - Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday party will be held at Union Hall (208 E. Main), above Union Club on July 13th.  Portland's Fast Rattler, hot off of a West Coast tour, will join the ruckus.  So will locals Chris Sand & the Big MT, Dear Sister Killdeer, and Jennifer Combe who will lead the young-at-heart through a handful of children's sing-a-longs.  Bare Bait Dance Company will dance.  Actor Jeff Medley will recite one or two of Woody's writings to explore Guthrie's poetic core.  Show begins at 8pm.  Cost: $5-$15 sliding scale.

Show organizer, Chris Sand, is thrilled to announce that the late Utah Phillips' son's band, Fast Rattler, will headline.  "I met Brendan Phillips around 9/11," Sand says, "and then lost track of him.  I didn't realize he'd been traveling and performing with his father and learning his dad's songs.  It's fitting," Sand continues, "that two of America's most influential folk singers and champions of social justice, Woody and Utah, will both have a chance to be remembered and honored at a show like this at Union Hall."  To be clear, though, Fast Rattler is no mere Utah Phillips cover band.  This dynamic 4-piece string band performs mostly originals and beloved folk-classics. 

Bare Bait Dance Company is Missoula's newest professional dance company and is choreographed by Joy French. French's latest modern dance project, "Views from Grandmother's Porch," examines the grittiness of rural life from a tapestry of angles.  Her Depression-era-inspired pieces synchronize auspiciously well with both Woody Guthrie's stark, populist lyricism and the era that he lived in and wrote so much about.

Chris Sand & the Big MT is a three-piece country-folk band.  An award-winning feature-length documentary about Sand, Roll Out, Cowboy (directed by Elizabeth Lawrence), was shown at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in both 2011 and 2012.  The Woody Guthrie birthday celebration will also serve as Sand's official Montana DVD release party of Roll Out, Cowboy (www.rolloutcowboy.com).

Woody Guthrie is the writer of over 1000 songs ("This Land is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," "Hard Travelin'," etc.). Author. Artist. Agitator. Soldier. Sign Painter. Socialist. Sex Fiend. Patriot. Prophet. Punk. Hobo. Dad. His influence on U.S. Popular culture is immense.  This unique--and uniquely Missoula--event may become an annual one.

###

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SANDMAN PILLOW CASES FOR SALE!  All for Under $10 Each.

You'll Find a variety of selections on my Loner Records Merch Page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A few of my early CDs have been sold out for the last several years.  I've been wanting to re-press them, but given that I don't tour enough to justify making 1000 at a time, AND given that less and less people buy CDs anymore, I've kept putting it off.  It's been sad, though, to not have the CDs available for shows and online.

Available for purchase: Loner Records
Last week I solved the dilemma.  First, I hauled out my old trusty CD-burner, which burns quality CD-Rs four at a time.  Then I bought several spindles of printable CD-Rs and burned off fifty or so copies each of my both second CD, Love's Hangover Sale, and my third CD, Until the End of Time.  The white coating on these discs allows me to easily write or stamp my name and the album's title on them.

My little DIY record label is BACK on the MAP!!! See more here: LONER RECORDS.

You may listen to or download the songs here: Love's Hangover Sale.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This is what my upcoming Horse Graveyard CDs--the actual disks--will look like. Hana drew the horse and rider. That's her handwriting, too.

Hana is also drawing up a flyer for a Woody Guthrie 100th birthday celebration I'm organizing for mid-July.  I'll post more about this show soon!  Here's the Facebook link.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stevie with her Farfar!
Happy Father's Day to my great old Norwegian pops, Rob Sand!  
He's Stevie's farfar ("father's father") in Norwegian.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just drove 5,000 miles to Toronto and Calgary hauling fish.  In five minutes I do it all over again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

                                                                                                                                                        Photo by Senayit.
My new band:  
Chris Sand & the Big MT.
(Arif Memovic - accordion, banjelele. Alex Nash - drums, banjo.)
FYI, Big MT is pronounced Big Empty.

My band and I just completed our first mini-tour--Big Fork and Hot Springs, MT.
We were joined by my dear and talented friend Senayit Tomlinson.

Last week I got word from Goodall Trucking that they could use me for a couple weeks of long haul.  I was able to hitch a ride with Senayit to North Dakota yesterday.  She departed this morning for New Hampshire to rejoin her family and horses.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lilacs from your sleepy granddaughter.
Happy 43rd Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I just can't post enough pics of these two.
My Oly adventure in bullet points:
  • May 2.  Flew from Brooklyn to Seattle to be reunited with Hana, Stevie, and Gilda.  I befriended the passenger seated next to me, a horse vet from Long Island named Nancy.  Nancy saved me the hassle and cost of wrangling a shuttle south to Olympia by driving me straight to Zena and Amy's doorstep in her rental car.  It was heaven to hold baby Stevie and Hana again.
  • May 3.  At Dub Narcotic Studios I recorded the final two tracks--"Queen Patricia" and "Typical"--for my upcoming album Horse Graveyard.  Ephraim Nagler played piano and Jen Grady added cello and voice to "Queen Patricia."  This song sounds gorgeous.  Ephraim and Jen are in this band: You Are Plural.
  • May 4.  Created track order for new record.  Mixed down all the songs with producer Bob Schwenkler
  • May 4, evening.  Performed an hour of music at my favorite Jewish Deli, Kitzel's, in trade for knishes, blintzes, latkes, and more good food.
  • May 5.  Took three-hour tour, with Andras Jones as guide, of the mystical Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia.
  • May 5, evening.  Joined Andras onstage at Olympia's historic Capitol Theater for a live episode of Radio8Ball.  This was part of the Oly Music Awards, and Andras ended up winning in the "Other/Experimental Music Category."  The five songs I sang may be viewed/listened to here starting at the 47:18 mark.
  • May 9.  Drove to Missoula with Froseph.  Hana will remain in Olympia for another ten days.
  • May 10.  Played show at Zoo City Apparel with my band, The Big MT (pronounced "empty").  Also on the bill were Breakaway, Butter, and Abe Coley.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ever heard of Day Trotter?  Check out this link to some songs I recorded there in late January of 2011: Day Trotter / Chris Sand

And here's a paragraph from a piece--titled "The Strangulated, Heart-Breakin' Glory of the Road"--that Day Trotter's head honcho, Sean Moeller, wrote up about my music:

The Cowboy writes songs about good girls and bad girls and about the white highway lines that keep them separated. He writes about the hard luck and being without any luck at all. These are stories that barely have any glory in them whatsoever. They are without much luster, instead smacking of the simple strangulation that gets to us when we're just worked to death, when we're just unable to get out from underneath all the thumbs. They are stories about taking all kinds of lumps, then getting evicted on top of it. Sand sings, "But money don't mean nothin' when a poor boy's heart gets broken/Well, I tried to cook a meal/I burnt the bacon/I tried to frame a wall/But it's misshapen/And I tried to call her bluff/But she ain't faking/A go easy on me boss/My heart is breakin'." It's one of those moments where just a little bit of mercy will go a long way and this guy is asking for it from the one person who puts him through the most hours of suffering every week. It tells you all you need to know about how beat up this guy is and even more about how many additional beatings he's going to absorb before he dies.
Stark, bordering on macabre, right?!  My life is actually very hopeful these days, but I love the poetry that went into Sean's portrait.

And to be honest, the day I showed up to record I was wrecked.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A short video-interview I did in Brooklyn has been featured on today's NBC New York website!


I doubt many New Yorkers have ever heard such a slow-talking person before.  Most will probably scratch their heads after this one, unsure whether I'm a rural simpleton or country philosopher.

Kudos to the talented Mr. Oresti Tsonopoulos for creating the video!  More of his vids and pics may be found here.

And here's the full "PO Box 7" vid!  I lie about he population still being 120;  given the current oil boom, Dunn Center probably has close to 300 residents now.  In fact, Marathon Oil recently bulldozed my former across-the-street neighbor Vivian's barn, corral, and horse pasture to put up their slick new headquarters.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hugs & Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mom, Mary Herak Sand!!!
I sent a card and a package of huckleberry-flavored licorice with Froseph Kujawa, who traveled 700 miles and delivered it directly to my mom, Pony Express style. He was on his way to Fargo to play a show.  (More on Froseph's Missoula visit & Zoo City show in my next post.)

This will be Hana's first Mother's Day! xo

Check out this EPIC 40-minute interview created by the ever amazing Bonnie Kenaz-Mara!

There's lots of great Hideout show-footage interspersed throughout.  I guarantee you'll dig Tony & his big band.  If your time is limited, skip ahead to the last two minutes to hear our live song collabo: "With a Beard."

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Today I fly back to my sweetheart Hana and baby sweetheart Stevie.  Yes!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Here's to the "lovely, lusty miracle of life." Happy May Day!

This video, from Thursday's Hideout show in Chicago, was made by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara.

Please check Bonnie's impeccable ChiIL Mama blog.  She's the hardest working mom in show business that I know of.

Here are two of her most recent posts:
1. Roll Out, Cowboy DVD preview
2.  Sandman at the Hideout + CD review

Speaking of videos, I've been solicited to do a Brooklyn video shoot with this fellow: Oresti Tsonopoulos.  It starts in forty minutes, so I'd best start walkin'. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Greetings from the community of Bed-Stuy, borough of Brooklyn, city of New York.  I'm at my friend Harreld's apartment digesting a buffet lunch of Jamaican food.

My last few days went something like this . . .

Last Tuesday's Missoula show--my new band's first show--went well and was a lot of fun.  Two other performers, Calvin and Evan from the Hive Dwellers, stayed with Hana and me that night.

Road weary, at rest stop on way to Seattle.
The next morning Hana, Stevie, and I headed for Seattle.  We took lots of pictures (coming soon!) to document Stevie's first major road trip.  We stayed overnight with our friend Michael, who drove me to the airport early the next day for a flight to Chicago.

From O'Hare Airport I took a train downtown to my pal Tony Roger's office/recording studio, which is located in a Chicago skyscraper that's also headquarters to a multitude of major corporations.  Tony and I recorded a song together (he sang, I rapped) for a fundraising video for Septembeard.  We performed the song, "With a Beard," later that night when I opened a show for Tony's twelved-piece band at The Hideout, "Chicago's Most Loved Small Venue."  Super fun night, great turnout--Tony and the band rocked, and I cleared $250 in merch sales. 

Roll Out, Cowboy influenced artwork lined the walls.
Early the next morning I was Brooklyn-bound for the big Roll Out Cowboy DVD release party.  From JFK Airport I took a bus to Harreld's pad.  The next day, before the party, I took a side trip to the Manhattan Detention Complex (aka "The Tombs") to visit my unlucky old comrade, Damian.  After getting mocked by prison personnel about my cowboy hatbox and going through security rigamarole, I was allowed into the visiting area.  I hadn't seen Damian for three years and was sad to see that months of jail time have taken the sparkle out of his eyes.  In spite of the toxic setting, it was good to see him.  Now he heads to Reiker's Island for an extended stay.  Ugh.

Order yours here: ROC DVD!
That night I was back in Brooklyn to join the Roll Out, Cowboy crew for the big party.  The theater was so packed that people had to be turned away.  The movie was well received, and my live show afterwards was a blast, with lots of audience interaction.  Thanks to all my friends who showed up to join the celebration!

After the party, my buddy Nathan and his girlfriend Erica treated Harreld and me to a gourmet nightcap.  I crashed at their place that night.  In the morning, Nathan and I went to the Williamsburg Flea Market, where Erica was selling her stunning handmade jewelry.  We all got pleasantly sunburned in the dust and spectacle of hipcat utopia.  At day's end, Harreld came to get me and we walked back to his place.  I've been livin' good.

And the Roll Out, Cowboy Special Edition DVDs are now for sale online!  This has been a looong time coming, so if you'd like to buy one, click here:  http://rolloutcowboy.bigcartel.com/product/special-edition-dvd.  These copies feature much extra footage and a Director's commentary.  Recommended!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Tuesday!!!!  In Missoula!!!!!  At Zoo City Apparel!!!!!  With my favorite band: Hive Dwellers!!!
Props to Anneke Ayers who made the bad-ass show flyer!

I'll be fronting my new joint, Chris Sand and the North Americans.  Arif Memovic on accordion and banjolele and Alex Nash on drums and banjo.  Me on guitar.  Bring your camcorders, it's gonna be weird!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

After twelve days on the road, I'm home!  
Missoula, MT.
Home is where the heart is.  No doubt.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

From the cab of a white Kenworth semi, I watched a giant orange, oblong moon rise over the eastern Montana horizon this morning. Its size and shape caught me off guard--it looked like a swollen
star from some 70's sci-fi movie.

After spending the last five days helping deliver live fish to Toronto and Calgary via Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, etc., I touched down this morning back in Killdeer, ND. Had just enough time for Easter dinner with Mom, Pops, and Grandma.  In thirty minutes I do the same drive again. Ten thousand miles in about ten days.

This is my creative way of paying bills--short spurts of long pay.   It's how I avoid the 9-to-5.

I sure miss Hana and Stevie, though. I can geek out staring at cell-phone pics of my daughter for minutes at a time. Stevie is, undoubtedly, the most fascinating, magical little gal on the planet. I'll never be able to endure steady long-haul driving again. Just now and then. Just now and then.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Half-way to North Dakota. Mom and I stayed with Earl & Susan last night.

Here's Earl reading one of his poems.
Breakfast is now. I think I can smell Susan's fresh-baked coffee cake.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

For the next ten days I'll be on the road, away from my gals.  I'm sad about this.  Today I'm off to North Dakota where I have a couple trucking runs waiting for me--one to Toronto and the other to Calgary.  Gotta earn some dollar bills and see some hollers and hills and foller God's will and swaller some little white pills . . .

Until then, adieu.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One of the greatest things about having an office smack dab in the middle of downtown Missoula is that it's easy to network and collaborate with other artists.  In fact, I share my office space with Hana's and my friend, Joy French, who is choreographer at the Downtown Dance Collective.

Joy's modern dance company is called Bare Bait Dance.  Last Friday they began their full-scale production "Views from Grandma's Porch" which explores a tapestry of rural themes.  Hana and I--thanks to Mom taking care of Stevie--went last Saturday and were thoroughly enchanted.  Joy is a real story teller and she and her dancers, musicians, and stage hands, give it everything they have, physically and emotionally.

Here's a recent write-up by Joe Nickell:  New Modern Dance Company Steps into Missoula Spotlight.  Tickets for this weekend, FYI, are still available, but going fast.

When the weather warms up, Joy plans to take her troupe to some Montana ghost towns and record a video, and she may use one of my songs for the music.  If so, I'm thinking "Horse Graveyard."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I couldn't help but notice that today's Missoulian front page picture closely resembles the Nikki McClure cover art for my record Chemicals in the Wheat.

Similar, right?

Better examples of synchronicity can be found in the brand-spankin' new book by my longtime friend Andras Jones,  Accidental Initiations.

If you're acquainted with Andras, you might know about his Radio8Ball Show, his acting resume, his music catalogue, or that he's not afraid of confrontation and controversy.  His no-holds-barred attitude and mystical swagger upsets the timid and/or prudish among us, including me at times.

If you want a true portrait of Andras, though, and his unique interpretation of Olympia, don't be afraid to take off your shoes and join him on the mossy little adventure that is his book.  From what I've read of it so far via his blog, it's going to be an excellent debut.  We might hate it, but we won't be bored, and that's how I define great Rock & Roll.

Way to go, A.J.!  I hope you sell a million copies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Loner Records, my music label, now has an office, and I couldn't be happier.

I'm right in the heart of downtown Missoula sandwiched between a head shop and a barber shop.  Almost every great music venue in this city is within a two block radius of my Sand Cave.

Time to start again.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We took Stevie on her first road trip yesterday.  Lolo Hot Springs!  

We think she liked it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Of all the songs about love and trains, this one has always been my favorite:

RIP to the Soul Train's creator and host, Don Cornelius, who passed away earlier this year.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yesterday I had the pleasure of guest deejaying on KBGA's The Grassroots Show.  I co-hosted with Abe Coley.  It felt nourishing to spin old records by The McGarrigle Sisters, James Talley, Mahalia Jackson, Loudon Wainwright III, and Jonathan Richman, as well as newer ones by many of my friends.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Music-related news from Sandland:

1. Tonight is the Boston (possibly world) premiere of the feature-length comedy PARTY LIKE IT'S A VERB.  Two of my songs are featured in it--"From Behind," and "Pillowcases."

2. Saturday night I will be performing some songs in Missoula in a shop called Zombie Tools.  Zombie Tools sells accessories for surviving an anticipated zombie apocalypse (serious).

3. March 11th I'll co-host The Grassroots Show on KBGA with Abe Coley.

4. April 24th I open up for The Hive Dwellers--at Zoo City Apparel here in Missoula.

5. April 26th I fly to Chicago for a show with Tony Rogers at The Hideout.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Grandpa Nick Herak would've turned 100 years old today.  He was a sweet man who ranched and farmed near Charlo, MT, with my Grandma Vi and their nine kids.  He crossed over the Great Divide in 1987.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saturday's screening of Roll Out, Cowboy went swimmingly: packed house, receptive audience, generous merch sales!

After the film I sang a handful of songs, including "Sugar Bank Hank":

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hi Montana!

A reminder about today's (2/18/12) screening of Roll Out, Cowboy at Crystal Theater at 4:45pm. I'll play songs afterwards and have $5 shirts and CDs for sale.

Come listen to a new rap about my month-old baby girl called "Giddyup."


Here's a blog about my new life as a "Missoulian" that the Big Sky Film Fest just posted:

http://bigskydocff.blogspot.com/2012/02/missoulas-own-rapping-cowboy.html

Hope to see some of you out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dad arrived last night from ND via Greyhound.

We awoke early this a.m., and drove to Jerry Johnson's Hot Springs in Idaho.  It's a mile and 1/2 walk in on an icy trail along the Lochsa River.  We had the hot pot in the meadow all to ourselves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roll Out, Cowboy, the 2010 feature-length film about my life as a touring musician, will be returning to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival this coming Saturday, February 18th at 4:45pm, at the Crystal Theater.

My parents, who have STILL NOT seen it, promise to attend. Come watch them squirm. : ) I'll be performing songs afterwards.


If you live in Olympia or Seattle, I've heard rumors of folks carpooling out to Missoula the day before. Let me know if you're looking for a ride or riders.

Thanks!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

 Our little Damascus Roseالوردة الدمشقية