Chi McClean
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Chi McClean

Glen Allen, Virginia, United States | SELF

Glen Allen, Virginia, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs


The best kept secret in music


“Southern-style rock tenor Chi McClean touches pure gold with the release of
Something Out There.”
- San Francisco Sentinel

“What’s a New York transplant to San Francisco doing turning out a sweet debut CD of Southern rock? Don’t spend a long time trying to find the answer because it’s on Chi McClean’s Something Out There, 10 cuts featuring McClean’s compelling vocals, masterful guitar work and, most of all, pretty smart songwriting.” - San Francisco Chronicle

“McClean’s music style, which finds itself deeply rooted in Americana, could not come at a better time. In an industry that still makes the majority of its profits from popular music, music fans are finding themselves turning back to their roots… His guitar skills are apparent of years of training, and his lyrics, mostly about relationships and ‘love stuff,’ are genuine.”

- Glide Magazine

“A Thing Or Three highlights Chi’s musicianship, solid songwriting, and great vocals. Crisp, clean, and real - Pepper Daniels, Director of Programming: The KRUSH 92.5 FM

“A mark of a successful singer/songwriter, in my opinion, is a performer who can silence a coffee shop or crowded bar. Whether he’s playing there live or simply filling the speakers, there is something about a really good artist that can make at least one person pay attention, and jot down a lyric to look up later while maintaining a conversation. It’s what immediately strikes me as I cycle through this week’s album, A Thing or Three. It’s the best full album I’ve gotten to review so far; songs like Would You Love Me and
Build Me Up are excellent demonstrations of his playing abilities and his lyrical talent. It’s soulful, but not overpowering. It’s well put together, but not perfect.”

“Chi possesses a shy, unassuming manner onstage, as though he still can’t believe that people find his music so thought provoking and alluring. The audience was so entirely engaged during the hour-long set, that the magical cohesion of instruments, melodies and foot stomping rollicking good fun defies a song by song analysis. What can be said is that, even within the full band medium, Chi’s music comes straight from his heart, unfiltered and unencumbered by pretension or self-importance. He wears his emotions proudly and communicates directly, telling us what he feels with an openness that few songwriters are ever able to achieve.” -

“A man and his acoustic guitar. It doesn’t get much more intimate than that. A little southern, a little folk, some bluesiness, lite rock. I guess it’s called Americana. I’m reminded a little of James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, and even a tinge of Van Morrison. It’s hard to believe Chi was born and raised in New York. I distinctly get a bonfire at the beach vibe. I can imagine listening to A Thing or Three driving down Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean with the top down, just as easily as spending some quality time with that someone special on a hot summer night. Uplifting lyrics, passion and extraordinary musicianship. It’s a good mix, a good vibe, and worthy of your time.” - Ventura Rocks


Something Out There (2009)
A Thing or Three (2012)



Chi McClean was born and raised in New York before heading out to California in a beat up truck looking for a change. Settling in San Francisco, he began to develop an honest, introspective approach to his songwriting that ultimately formed the building blocks for his debut release, Something Out There, and recently, his latest effort,
A Thing Or Three.

Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, Chi writes acoustic rock songs marked by a haunting southern style. Many of his songs take a straightforward look at love, loss, and in the end, opportunity. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, The Black Crowes, Free, The Faces and The Allman Brothers, Chi’s music borrows from the classic tones and song structures that formed the pillars of the 1960’s rock scene while presenting listeners with a contemporary and wholly unique perspective.

Something Out There, Chi’s debut album released in 2009, was recorded in San Francisco, CA at Flying Kitchen and in Sausalito, CA at Studio D by Boone Spooner, mixed in Los Angeles, CA by Kevin Shirley (The Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa) at The Document Room, and mastered in New York, NY by Ryan Smith (James Taylor, Joe Bonamassa, O.A.R.) at Sterling Sound. The album is often described as melodic and soulful, drawing on hooky guitar riffs, driving drum beats, colorful bass lines, and gritty layers of Hammond B-3 organ and vintage electric pianos. Since the release of Something Out There, Chi McClean has won a number of songwriting and performance awards for his music and has received critical acclaim from a variety of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chi’s newest release, A Thing Or Three, is a live, in-studio, solo-acoustic recording that delivers the feeling of an intimate, living room performance. Recorded by Grammy nominated engineer and producer Cookie Marenco (Tony Furtado, Kelly Joe Phelps) at OTR Studios in Belmont, CA in a live, Extended Sound Environment (ESE) without the use of headphones, auto tune, or a metronome to Direct Stream Digital (DSD),
A Thing Or Three captures the authentic, full dynamic range of Chi’s live performance at the highest audio fidelity possible. Officially released to fans at Café du Nord in San Francisco, California on Thursday, March 8th, 2012, A Thing Or Three has been making waves with acoustic music lovers and audiophiles worldwide.

Chi is actively playing shows to promote Something Out There and A Thing Or Three and has performed live on several television and radio broadcasts including a live, in-studio performance on the nationally televised CBS program, “The Early Show”. In addition, Chi’s music is currently featured on Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system for all national flights throughout the United States and is available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, DownloadsNow! and Pandora internet radio. Chi recently secured three song placements on the hit television series from The CW, “Hart of Dixie”. In between performances, Chi is currently writing and recording for his third, full-length album, scheduled for release in 2013.

Chi is an endorsing artist for Taylor Guitars and Elixir® Strings.