Chris Alvarado is an award winning singer/songwriter and recording artist who is currently based out of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. In May of 2013, Chris competed in the Wildflower Music Festival's Songwriting Competition Finals and walked away with top honors as the 2013 Michael Terry People's Choice award winner. He has also been selected as one of ten artist to perform in the prestigious 2013 Telluride Troubadour Competition at the 40th annual Telluride Bluegrass Music Festival in June of 2013. Last year the National Recording Academy selected Chris to perform at the 2012 Florida Grammy Showcase in Orlando, Florida where a panel of industry judges and executives selected him as the winner out of the six acts that were selected from the entire state of Florida. Chris was also invited by BMI to headline at the BMI Acoustic Brunch during the 2012 Florida Music Festival in front of leading music
In 2012, he was asked to open up for GRAMMY nominated recording artist Shawn Mullins along with Daphne Willis. Chris has also had the honor of opening up for Edwin McCain and The Shadowboxers. In the summer of 2012, his song "Find My Way" won 3rd place in the Dallas Songwriters Association's "DSA Songwriting Competition." In 2011, he won the prestigious award of "Best Singer/Songwriter" in the 3rd annual Beachcomber Music Awards. In 2013, Chris received 3 Beachcomber Music Award nominations, and won "Best Solo Artist". For the last three years, Chris has performed at the 30A Songwriter’s Festival, an event that draws some of the nation's most accomplished Singer/Songwriters.
His self titled album was released in 2012 to much acclaim and is available on iTunes and other major online retailers. Songs from "Chris Alvarado" are featured on Pandora Radio and have seen airplay on national web radio programs such as Indie Castle Radio and The Songwriters Network. His newest album, "Home" was released in April of 2013, and is available on iTunes. "Home" is also available in a limited edition 150 gram vinyl pressing on the "Listen/Purchase" page of this website.
"Home" has caught the attention of many national music organizations and publications, including a recient review from "American Songwriter Magazine" where they had this to say about the song "Nothing Left":
"This composition is full of engaging poetics. It touchingly exemplifies the current state of things for many. Overall, this is a ver impressive work… This piece displays Chris' talent and potential as a serious songwriter…"
This song includes a collaboration with Angel Snow, who was named one of "Nashville's Top 12 Music Makers" and wrote several of the songs on Alison Krauss' Grammy-winning album "Paper Airplane". "Nothing Left" was also selected as finalist in the 2013 Music City Songwriting competition.
- Winner, 2013 Michael Terry People’s Choice Award (2013 Wildflower Arts & Music Festival)
- Finalist, 2013 Music City Songwriting Contest
- Finalist, 2013 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest
- Winner, 2012 Florida GRAMMY showcase
- Winner, 2011 Beachcomber Music Awards "Best Singer/Songwriter"
- 3rd Place in the Dallas Songwriters Association's "2012 DSA songwriting compitetion"
- Performed, 2013 Wildflower Arts & Music Festival
- Performed, 2012 BMI Acoustic Brunch at the 2012 Florida Music Festival
- Performed, 2012 Florida Music Festival
- Performed, 2011, 2012, & 2013 30A Songwriters Festival
- Performed, 2012 Share The Shelter Music Festival
- Opened up for Edwin McCain, 2012
- Opened up for Shawn Mullins with Daphne Willis, 2012
- Opened up for The ShadowBoxers, 2012
2010- "Second Chance" EP
A 5 track EP available on iTunes and other online digital distribution web sites.
Featuring the following tracks:
"I gotta Feeling"
"No way to Rewind"
2012- "Chris Alvarado"
A 9 Track album available on iTunes and other online digital distribution web sites. It is streaming 24/7 at www.ChrisAlvaradoLive.com
Featuring the following tracks:
"Find My Way"
"Ring Of Fire"
"You and Me"
"Reservations For Two"
"I Gotta Feeling"
"You Be The Judge"
"The Inbox Of Us"
A 7 Track album available on iTunes and other online digital distribution web sites. It is streaming 24/7 at www.ChrisAlvaradoLive.com
Featuring the following tracks:
"Find Out Who We Are"
"Come Back To Me"
"Goodbye My Love"
Find My Way
You And Me
You Be The Judge
The Inbox Of Us
Reservations For Two
Find Out Who We Are
Goodbye My Love
The Year of Chris Alvarado
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Seems like Chris Alvarado is everywhere these days. He’s booked around town five or six nights a wee...Seems like Chris Alvarado is everywhere these days. He’s booked around town five or six nights a week, sometimes twice (or three times) in one day. Not bad for a guy who just got out of the military—and a marriage—about a year ago.
“This is kind of a rebirth,” says Alvarado. “That’s why I titled (my album) Second Chance.” He recorded it in his Okaloosa Island apartment and played all the music. The selections lean toward socially conscious material—“opening up my eyes and seeing the real world,” he says.
The record won’t be ready until June, but a five-song MP3 edition—three Alvarado originals, plus covers of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall”—is available now at the artist’s Reverb Nation page, as well as iTunes and other digital music stores.
Reverb Nation is a great site for musicians, he says. “(It) handles gig schedules, digital music distribution, updating Facebook and MySpace. Me and my dad have both had it for about a year. I showed Dannica Lowery how to use it, and one of Zack Rosicka’s friends is high up in the corporation. It’s a multimillion-dollar company now.”
The site also allows Alvarado to see how many people have downloaded his songs and pinpoints the demographics of his fan base. “Otherwise, you’re just guessing,” he says.
The 27-year-old spent seven years in the Air Force working in aircraft maintenance. “The last couple years I sat at a desk and got my degree. I was playing music on the side. My dad waited until he retired to do it full time. I wanted to do it now.”
Alvarado’s father Al is the saxophone player for Jones and Company, the Beachcomber Music Award-winning band currently celebrating 20 years in the business. “I remember being seven years old and hanging out at Fudpucker’s down the street listening to Jones and Company play,” Alvarado remembers. “When we listened to music in the house, it was always a technical analysis of what made it good or bad.”
In high school—Crestview Class of ’01—Chris played trumpet with a couple of jazz bands, marching bands, “…the whole works. Guitar was something I did on the side. Once I got out of school, I didn’t pick up the horn every day. I was stationed at Hurlburt for three and a half years, and nobody even knew I played music. I would pick it up here and there and dabble, but didn’t start gigging until I went to Alaska.” Alvarado performed one-hour sets and worked his way up from there. “It got to where I looked forward to playing on the weekends.
“It was a scary choice to get out of the military and play music, but I’m glad I did,” he says. “I didn’t know if I’d stay here or not, but (my dad) talked me into doing it here. He’s been supportive in a non-fatherly, professional way. He calls me up for gigs that might be available. ‘Check out my son not because he’s my son, but because he’s a good musician.’ We talk every day and have the same friends now.”
Alvarado says his success has inspired Al to do more solo gigs and sit in at jam nights around the area. “I think a lot of it has to do with me being so active in the community. During the off-season, I was out every night talking to people knowing it would pay off when spring came. God knows it did.”
At first, Alvarado got his feet wet by introducing himself to local musicians like Jacob Newman—“he’s been around here 14 years”—Zack Rosicka, and Forrest Williams, and joining them on stage. “Jacob got me gigs at Harry T’s and Pat O’Brien’s,” says Alvarado. “The first gig I got was from sending out emails. It was at Scully’s. It takes more than playing good music. You have to get to know people.
“Last summer, I kind of did things on my own. Then in the fall, people would call and say Zack or Forrest recommended me. The name spread without me having to do anything. If you don’t keep your name out there, people forget about you pretty quickly.”
Alvarado only performs a few originals at gigs—the crowds at Seagrove Beach’s La Botana are especially receptive—but his cover versions are more than just copies. “I like to take songs and have people say halfway through, ‘Oh my God, that’s…’,” he says. “A lot of people like that I cover a wide gamut of music, not just ‘70s rock or Jimmy Buffett or country.”
Aside from Alvarado’s take on the Black Eyed Peas, there are selections originated by Mario, 50 Cent, Michael Jackson and Outkast. I heard Alvarado do the latter’s “Hey Ya” at Cabos in the Village of Baytowne Wharf, a striking rendition. “I use a looper to lay down drum tracks when I’m playing live, and some of the hip hop songs, I’ll use a ‘hard tune’ pedal to give them that T-Pain/Lil Wayne effect,” he explains. “I don’t use it a lot, but the young kids like it.”
Currently, Alvarado doesn’t have long-range goals. He just wants people to know his name, and he wants to play his music. “Obviously, I’d like to make a lot of money, but I don’t want to be famous. I’m doing this because it makes me happy. I’d like to get an ‘indie’ following, an underground fan base. I found I had a big ‘tweenie’ fan base during Spring Break—the girls who like Twilight. It’s nice that I have people following me, but it’s not the fan base I was expecting.”
His influences include Jewel—“her first album”—John Mayer, Brett Dennen, Jamie Cullum and all sorts of jazz. “I grew up in a house where we listened to James Brown, Tower of Power and Motown,” says Alvarado. These days, he’s too busy to check out a lot of the new music. “I listen to NPR. The secret to my ‘success’ with doing covers is I don’t really know how the original versions sound. Someone will suggest a song, and it morphs into ‘me.’ I kind of listen to mostly acoustic music, instrumental jazz. I cover Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, but I don’t really listen to them. It’s funny, some of the songs I cover I didn’t like originally, but they’ve become some of my favorites.”
Among Alvarado’s favorites on the local front? “Forrest Williams definitely. If I could play like anyone around here, it would be him. I don’t get a whole lot of chance to see anyone. I saw Cody Copeland for two seconds, Reed Waddle I saw before he left town—he was amazing. Dannica (Lowery) and I split up recently, but we do gigs and really connect on stage.”
Alvarado plans to keep it solo for now, but says if he ever does form a band, it will include a cello, upright bass, and drums. “I want something unconventional,” he says. “There’s not a whole lot of that around.”
2012 Florida Grammy Showcase
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NEWS RELEASE 2012 FLORIDA GRAMMY® SHOWCASE TO AWARD A $25,000 DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE Finalist ... NEWS RELEASE
2012 FLORIDA GRAMMY® SHOWCASE TO AWARD
A $25,000 DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE
Finalist Chris Alvarado, Chloe Dolandis, Savannah, Sovereign Soldiers, Suénalo, and Venejer, Compete at Annual Showcase on April 18, part of Florida Music Festival & Conference
MIAMI, (March 22, 2012) — Finalists Chris Alvarado, Chloe Dolandis, Savannah, Sovereign Soldiers, Suénalo, and Venejer will vie for an artist development package worth $25,000 at the 2012 Florida GRAMMY® Showcase. Presented by The Recording Academy® Florida Chapter, the showcase will be part of Florida Music Festival & Conference 2012's opening night and will take place April 18 at 7 p.m. at The Social (54 North Orange Ave.) in Orlando, Fla. All finalists will perform before top music industry professionals and the winner will be announced immediately following the performances. The event will be hosted by Dave Melillo of Axis Pro Events and will also feature DJ Bill Hamel.
"We're thrilled to give these emerging artists an opportunity to showcase their artistry and are proud to support their musical careers," said Neil Crilly, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy Florida Chapter. "We are extremely grateful to our music industry judges for taking time to take note of these talented musicians as they advance in their musical careers. And, we thank this year's sponsors for their generosity and support."
The Florida GRAMMY Showcase provides up-and-coming artists invaluable exposure to a crowd of top music industry professionals who have the potential to push their careers to new heights. Participants and donors of the artist development package, include CAD Audio, iRig Mic, iRig MIX, iKlip Studio, Sam Ash Music, Shure, and T-RackS3 Deluxe. Additionally, the package includes studio time at Full Sail Studios Gateway in Orlando, Fla.; studio time at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Fla., with services provided by producer/engineer Tom Morris; a photo session with Miami-based photographer Jill Kahn; and social media consulting services by Miami-based marketing company The Black Key Group.
The showcase is open to the public and admission is $10, and free for FMF2012 attendees. Tickets will be available at the door or they can be ordered in advance by calling 305.672.4060. Sponsors include presenting partner FMF2012 along with ASR, Artist Relations, Axis, Birchmore Group, Boom, CD Depot, FilMiami, GTC Media, IK Multimedia, SAE, SESAC, SFL Music Magazine, and Sonicbids.
About The Finalists:
Chris Alvarado, a Florida native currently living in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., comes from a family immersed in music, so naturally he picked up the guitar. Influenced by artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Jewel, John Mayer, and James Taylor his music has evolved into a sound of its own earning him stage rights performing with several GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriters. In 2011 he won the prestigious Best Singer/Songwriter award, and this year he also won "Best Male Vocalist" at the annual Beachcomber Music Awards.
Collide (Howie Day)
Wont back Down (Tom Petty)
Cannonball (Damien Rice)
Freshman (The Verve)
Building a Mystery (Sarah McLachlan)
Message in a bottle (Sting)
Drift Away (Doby Gray)
Stay (Lisa Loeb)
Only Wanna be with You (Hootie and the Blowfish)
Dust in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
Save Tonight (Eagle Eye Cherrie)
Free Falling (Tom Petty)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Over my Head (The Fray)
Hey Ya (Outkast)
Better Together (Jack Johnson)
Traveling Soldier (Dixie Chicks)
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
How to Stay Alive (The Fray)
Name (Goo Goo Dolls)
Breakdown (Jack Johnson)
Comfortable (John Mayer)
Closing Time (Semisonic)
Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
Your a God (Vertical Horizon)
Do You Remember (Jack Johnson)
You Were Ment for Me (Jewel)
Lets stay Together (Al Green)
Older Chest (Damien Rice)
Margarittaville (Jimi Buffett)
Love Soon (John Mayer)
Walk on the Ocean (Toad the wet Sprocket)
Blackbird (The Beatles)
The World I know (Collective Soul)
Its 5 ‘clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson)
Steamroller (James Taylor)
Sweetest Girl (Wyclef Jean)
Have you ever Seen the Rain (CCR)
Use Somebody (King of Leon)
No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley)
Dont Look Back in Anger (Oasis)
The Joker (Steve Miller Band)
Dont Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFarin)
The Weight (The Band)
Good Directions (Billy Currington)
All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan/Hendrix)
6th Ave. Heartache (The Wallflowers)
Some Beach (Blake Shelton)
Jack & Diane (John Mellencamp)
Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson)
People are Crazy (Billy Currington)
Mr. Jones (Counting Crows)
Times Like these (Foo Fighters)
Let Her Cry (Hootie and the Blowfish)
Mary Janes Last Dance (Tom Petty)
Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine show)
Wild Horses (The