Chris Denny and the Natives

Chris Denny and the Natives


Age Old Hunger, a heartfelt homage to the country music of the Deep South, is a provocative opening statement from an undeniably talented songwriter with the potential to craft melodies and lyrics as distinctive as the voice he uses to sing them. Prefix Mag


You can hear the ancient tug of gospel music in Christopher Denny's tunes: the ascending melodies, the swaying tempos, and the occasional bit of old-school organ. After all, he first learned to sing in church. Yet this is hardly holy music: Infused with a world-weariness that somehow never curdles into cynicism, Denny's songs work like dispatches from the dark side.

While there's no question that Age Old Hunger, his 11-song debut, showcases a strong new songwriting talent, there's something you'll notice even before Denny's way with words: his voice. Singing in a high, trembling and almost pained tone, his voice has a timeless quality that sounds as if he could have been transplanted from another era.
"My singing voice is different from my speaking voice," Denny admits, but that's because singing serves a different function than speaking. In "The Stars Above And My Heart In Your Hands," one of the album's most stripped-down numbers, Denny illuminates the difference, using sound to reveal what words cannot.

Denny picked up his first guitar in church at age 14 and began writing songs. A revelation came at age 17, when he visited his great uncle. "I found this closet full of vinyl albums from guys like Lefty Frizzel and Hank Thompson. This stuff just blew me away; the emotion these guys would convey just by their voice was incredible." Soon afterwards, he wrote "Time" and felt he'd found his calling. After hearing a few of Denny's songs, his grandfather (also a musician) gave him a guitar, a hug and told him, "Son, you got a voice like I ain't never heard before."

The young singer-songwriter from Little Rock, Arkansas has experienced confusion, sorrow and heartbreak. He's battled addiction, served time in jail and faced abandonment at an early age. "I sometimes wonder if I draw drama to myself just to have something to write about it," he laughs.

But as he'll be the first to tell you, these trials and tribulations don't necessarily distinguish Denny as someone worthy of attention. What sets Denny apart is what he makes out of those troubles-namely, the gorgeously haunting songs on Age Old Hunger.

In the album, Denny brings the listener to a place where danger and melancholy run as hard and as fast as the old locomotive he describes in "Westbound Train." Denny has never been big on the idea of writing from the perspectives of different characters-he says these accounts come from his own life. This assertion is easy to trust in tunes like "All Burned Up," where Denny describes in vivid detail "the love that we used to share," or "Time," a young man's version of an old man's blues.

Following up on his 2007 release, “Age Old Hunger”, Denny and new band "the Natives" have recorded their follow up for Partisan Records and are ready to bring their mix of southern roots and gospel cries to any stage, barroom, patio or backyard that will entertain them.

These are songs and subjects that have been touched on before, yet Denny is able to evoke the subject manner in a way that is as unique as his voice. It’s honest, it’s real, and it’s what he has lived through in his 25 years and his only outlet of release and reprieve is to put these experiences out of his mind through song. These are worn tales which seem to come from a weary-eyed miner; tired and hungry, cold and dejected, but still full of hope.


"Age Old Hunger" released 2007

Set List

Typical set is a mix of songs off the debut album, "Age Old Hunger," our forthcoming album on Partisan Records, and every set includes a Willie Nelson cover.