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, but I may opt for 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 to ( 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)

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)

3. " 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),47301/

4.". . . how easy it is to go from skepticism to complete admiration for the Rapping Cowboy. Chris “Sandman” Sand matters."
Encore (Justin Lacy)

5. "Sand, a gifted songwriter . . . manages to charm even at his worst."
Memphis Flyer (Chris Herrington)

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

8. "(an) undeniably magnetic and talented character."
A.V. Club - Austin (Joshua Huck),40952/

9. "(Chris Sand) is the classic wandering American minstrel."
Weekly Volcano (Mark Thomas Deming)

10. "his stripped-down sound and unadorned words contain hopeful ingredients most anyone can feel at home with - except maybe in Cincinnati."
The Olympian

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 and none too soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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