"Chris Ronald has found music as the perfect medium for sharing thoughts and musings with underlying sweetness and a sense of wonder." (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)
While there has often been a pressure and desire for a place of security for him and his loved ones, Chris Ronald has always received a lot of encouragement from fans to make his mark in music. This support, along with an innate feeling that his music is meant for more, has made his career feel more like a calling than a pursuit.
Perhaps this is why Chris Ronald has been so patient with the musical process. Since he began composing at age fifteen, he has built an impressive repertoire of memorable and melodic songs, but it was not until seventeen years later that he produced his first full-length album, Pacific Time. Always on a tight budget, it was nonetheless important to Chris that he met the music market with a product equivalent in quality to his natural abilities. After taking a university course specializing in multi-track recording software, Chris seized the opportunity offered by this new technology and independently produced an album that met his high standard. The incredible response from supporters to this first recording clearly showed Chris that he had something unique to offer and that his music was in demand.
When Chris Ronald moved to Canada from his native England in 2002 after spending a year travelling the world with his wife, he had gained a fresh perspective on life. He settled in Vancouver at this time to work with his music and attain a teaching degree. After the extended break, he says he came to realize that his previous career path in sales no longer felt right for him and that he “wanted to do something that gives back to the community.” And these days it seems Chris is always supporting a community of some kind. In addition to being an elementary school teacher and performing shows many nights, he’s also the father of three young children. Yet, despite being so often occupied, Chris has still managed to effectively immerse himself in the BC music scene performing at many fine venues over the years as well as hosting Vancouver’s “Maestros on Main” night at Cafe Montmartre.
And the music keeps on coming. Now with a full backing band, Chris Ronald's new release, Turning Tides, is an intricately crafted work of art that reflects his maturity as both a songsmith and producer. Enthusiastic fan response, 5 star reviews, and consistent radio airplay are all showing once again that he has hit the mark and the calling is true.
(You can purchase or preview the highly acclaimed Turning Tides album via cdbaby or iTunes)
Chris Ronald - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Turning Tides LP (2011)
Pacific Time LP (2004)
Underlying sweetness and a sense of wonder
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Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Chris Ronald is usually heard in intimate listening environments w...Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Chris Ronald is usually heard in intimate listening environments where there is ample stage space, cold beer and good burgers. Restaurants, music circles and open mics are great places for small, attentive audiences to experience his music in its purest, unamplified form.
In concert, he also talks about his influences, song ideas, inspirations, and the songwriting craft. Chris Ronald has been writing music for nearly three decades, and Turning Tides is an ideal way to bring the songcrafter’s relaxing music right into your own living room. With folk, pop and even a few soft rock influences, this album is a definitive portrait of his music with its thoughtful lyrics and insightful observations on family, love, places and life.
Chris’ warm tenor voice is soothing, and he usually tracks his own vocal harmonies. The uncluttered production results in songs that emphasize Chris’ guitar, vocals and occasionally some harmonica. I particularly enjoy hearing clear, resonant lyrics which are easy to understand and relate to. I would encourage him to upload his words and messages right to his website.
Chris plays all instruments on “Turning Tides,” with the exception of a few contributions from Fred Beach (bass), Kent Anderson (mandolin), Ily Barnes (drums), Kamile Kapel (piano, backing vocals), and Steve Taillefer (electric guitar). Chris moved from Great Britain to Canada in 2002. He was embarking on a career change from sales into teaching. About that time a college course in multi-track recording software allowed him to economically document some his music on disc. His first album Pacific Time was released in 2004 and is only available from the artist. Eight years later, Turning Tides is a strong and delightful second effort that displays the ebbs and flows of his life.
He opens the set with a warm, upbeat, well-arranged rendition of “Sunshine” that is probably a testament to his wife and three children that bring “color to the world.” The importance of family and love are emphasized when the album closes with a lean, fingerpicked reprisal of the same song. The same theme is found in “Evergreen” and “Simple Things” with their distinct echo of sensitive and sympathetic singer/songwriters from decades ago. While Chris’ songs have marked appeal to baby boomers of my generation, songs like the contemplative “Please Don’t Come for Me Now” and “Best Place on Earth” have some charming contemporary folk elements that will pull in a younger demographic of fans for Chris’ pure, unadulterated music.
Chris Ronald’s soulfulness complements the intimacy of this project. His clear, plaintive vocals work best on the most introspective tracks, as well as with the beautiful melodies and subtle, lyrical charm of songs like “Sailing from Nanaimo” and “Home to Roost.” Chris Ronald has found music as the perfect medium for sharing thoughts and musings with underlying sweetness and a sense of wonder.
Chris Ronald keeps it simple on Turning Tides
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Every once in a while you bump into a local artist who makes you wonder where his obvious talent has...Every once in a while you bump into a local artist who makes you wonder where his obvious talent has been hiding for so long. English-born Vancouverite Chris Ronald is one of those. His beautifully clear tenor voice instantly makes him sound like an old friend you forgot you knew. But that would only be a pleasant feature if he didn’t write such great songs.
There are no American Idol barnburners on Turning Tides, just a lot of catchy, strum-happy numbers in the ’70s singer-songwriter tradition. Certainly, extra-smooth voices from that era, such as Jackson Browne, Marc Jordan, Stephen Bishop, and the late Kenny Rankin, come to mind on acoustically driven ditties such as the opening (and closing) “Sunshine” and the breezy “Sailing From Nanaimo”. But the spare, self-produced record isn’t particularly retro. Songs like the relatively lush “So Long” and “Home to Roost”, with their moody keyboard interludes and stacked male harmonies, fit in with contemporary indie sounds. And the showstopping “Please Don’t Come for Me Now” has the Celtic tug of the Swell Season—although when pianist Kamile Kapel adds her vocals on “Let Her Go”, the feel is more country, albeit in the Richard and Linda Thompson direction.
These comparisons are misleading, since the album—his second, but the first to be widely available—stands as a well-integrated program of refreshingly original, unguardedly personal compositions. Some of the arrangements, centred on the artist’s basic guitar and occasional plaintive harmonica, could be a little more complex. (The only other thing the album really needs is a new cover; its murky Photoshop package makes this look like a John Tesh throwaway side project.) In any case, the music’s simplicity keeps clutter away from that glorious voice.
Like an auditory massage
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"The first thing people notice about this music is the effortlessly beautiful voice, it's like an au..."The first thing people notice about this music is the effortlessly beautiful voice, it's like an auditory massage. Even if you're not paying attention, you cannot escape being relaxed by his gentle sound."
I am available for sets ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
This is my standard 3-Hour Set (40 songs)
Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)
Shadow of the Stone
Let Her Go
Sail Away (David Gray cover)
High & Dry (Radiohead cover)
I'm Only Sleeping (Beatles cover)
Out on the Weekend (Neil Young cover)
Best Place on Earth
Slip Slidin' Away (Paul Simon cover)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young cover)
Please Don't Come For Me Now
Green Eyes (Coldplay cover)
Cryin Won't Help You Now (Ben Harper cover)
Cowgirl in the Sand (Neil Young cover)
Vincent (Don McLean cover)
Don't Think I Don't Know
Dock of a Bay (Otis Reading cover)
For Emily (Paul Simon cover)
Cold Light of Day
Unknown Legend (Neil Young cover)
Empty Chairs (Don McLean cover)
Home to Roost
Sailing from Nanaimo
Little Green (Joni Mitchell cover)
Nightblindness (David Gray cover)
I Won't Change
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young Cover)
The Boxer (Paul Simon cover)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.