Chris Dupont
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Chris Dupont

Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter




"‘Outlier’ by Chris DuPont (Album Review)"

‘Outlier’ by Chris DuPont (Album Review) - Songwriting Magazine

"Daily Discovery: Chris DuPont, “Forgiveness”"

Daily Discovery: Chris DuPont, “Forgiveness” - American Songwriter

"Chris DuPont explores faith and spirituality in new album"

Chris DuPont explores faith and spirituality in new album - Michigan Radio NPR

"Chris Dupont - Daytrotter"

Chris Dupont - Daytrotter - Daytrotter



"Performing arts major ‘different kind of musician’"

Speak to any artist and you’re sure to hear about that curious phenomenon known as the “happy accident.” For Chris Dupont, a 2012 recipient of the Performing Arts Technology degree in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, it came by way of sheer procrastination.

For one assignment, Dupont was required to submit a recording devoid of digital reverb. He’d neglected to reserve studio space and, with the deadline fast approaching, found religion. Literally. He finished his assignment in a local church.

“You’ve never heard violin sound better,” Dupont says. “Churches just sound so sweet. They give you this big, natural reverb you can’t get anywhere else.”

Dupont has since carved a niche recording in such unusual spaces as stairwells, theaters, and abandoned barns. His album “Lay No Claim” features beats made entirely of “found sounds,” like stomping noises and breaking objects. His followup, “Anxious Animal,” is more organic, complete with violin and cello.

The modern folk-based singer-songwriter from Grand Rapids counts influences from ambient to R&B (with a dash of Bonnie Raitt, Brian Eno and Bon Iver thrown in for good measure). His time at U-M transformed his creative process and changed him in unexpected ways.

“We did the weirdest things,” he says of the Performing Arts Technology curriculum. “But it was also very disciplined.”

And collaborative. Dupont now counts filmmakers, dancers, DJs and producers among his diverse and eclectic peer set. During his time in the program, he twice earned best original score at the annual Lightworks Film Festival presented by the U-M Film and Video Student Association. He also composed music to support a friend’s choreography thesis.

“It’s especially liberating to do things that are not about me,” he says. “It’s so pleasing to know your work helped someone else. It makes you a different kind of musician.”

But Dupont emerges from the program with more than just artistic skills.

“I’m equipped with the ability to multi-task, work with deadlines and constantly strive to improve my own work,” he says. “I’ve learned how important it is to seek out talented people, and learn everything I can from them. In a changing music industry, no one survives alone.” - Michigan Today, Deborah Holdship

"Local musician Chris Dupont talks about his new album ahead of Blind Pig showcase"

I’m mighty impressed by the multi-talented Unviersity of Michigan Music School graduate Chris Dupont, who celebrates the release of his second album, “Anxious Animal,” with a concert Thursday evening at the Blind Pig. Dupont’s classical training and performing arts education have given him a solid musical foundation, clearly evident in the way he creates melodies that stick and songs that are pleasing to the ear.
“Anxious Animal” is a terrific showcase for Dupont’s soulful, affecting voice and thoughtful song arrangements, which skillfully incorporate strings, dobro, mandolin and keyboards. Recently I had the chance to talk to this gifted 27-year-old musician about his new album, supportive family, and Holy Grail pantheon of artists.

Q: Take us into your new album “Anxious Animal.” Were all the songs written since your first album, “Lay No Claim,” came out?

C.D.: Interestingly enough, about half of the songs were written right before I wrapped up my first album. I had this burst of inspiration and wrote a bunch of tunes in a big hurry. Also right about that time I started playing much more with collaborators. I had Betsy King, who’s now my lovely wife, singing harmony with me, and with our dear friend Katie Van Dusen on violin we started playing out together in a trio format. That gave me a ton of inspiration and I wrote a bunch of songs all in a row.

I realized I was running out of time and that they were in such a different direction from the album I was about to release that I had to put them on the back burner. So I spent the past couple of years playing them live a lot, honing them, and then I wrote other songs along the way. By the time we went in to record “Anxious Animal” the songs were so stinking rehearsed that we were able to capture some pretty cool performances when we went to actually track it.

Q: Is there a song or two on “Anxious Animal” that you consider to be particularly personal?

C.D.: “Starting Fires” is really, really personal to me. It’s a song about how I view my spiritual life. If you believe in something bigger than yourself it doesn’t necessarily make you happy. It actually hurts a lot, but it’s worth it. That one came out in about nine minutes.

The other one is “House.” I wrote that for my youngest sister. She’s a really cool girl, she’s a writer and she’s a very—here’s the title—a very anxious person, a nervous self-conscious individual. I saw her wanting to break out of that and so I wrote the song hoping it would kick her in the butt. I started playing it at shows, and the next thing you know she was on an airplane to Ireland…so it worked!

Q: Sounds like you’re devoting a major part of your life to music. How old were you when you started playing music and when did you get bitten by the music bug?

C.D.: I was kind of brainwashed in utero, actually. My father is a guitarist and a great singer, a great tenor. He played in bands all through my growing up. In the earliest pictures of me I’m sitting next to my dad trying to grab his guitar. I started taking it seriously when I was 12 years old. I’ve got an incredibly supportive family; I’m really lucky in that regard. I’m a third generation guitar-player singer-guy, it’s just kind of in the family. When I was 18 or 19 I was writing but was kind of nervous to perform. The last time I visited my grandmother she was dying of cancer and she said, “Sing me song right now or I’m going to kick your butt!” Ever since then I’ve been singing and performing.

Q: Can you name a few artists, songs or albums that you consider to be the Holy Grail in terms of songwriting?

C.D.: I’ve got to go to James Taylor. “Lo and Behold” off of the “Sweet Baby James” album is one of my favorites. That great mix between country and blues, it sounds like it’s a hundred years older that it is, you know.

Another one of my favorite songwriters, a more recent one, is Brendan James. He made a record called “The Day is Brave. “ On all those tunes, there’s something about the melodies and the lyrics that sound older than it is. I feel like this has been around and it’s already classic. His work is a big influence on me.

Compositionally speaking, Bon Iver’s recent (self-titled) album—in terms of the arrangements and how free it is—that record was a huge inspiration. I’ve been listening to it since it came out and I still can’t get tired of it.

Q: So would you say your ultimate musical goal would be to make a living as a singer-songwriter?

C.D.: Absolutely. I’m a bit of a multi-tasker and there’s a lot of things I’ve learned how to do. I’m a guitarist, I’ve done ambient music, I’ve done production and film scoring, but there’s nothing like performing one of your songs and building a connection with someone. That’s what I really thrive on. Playing a show and having someone tell me that they connected to something or that some of the lyrics felt like they were for them. It’s an incredibly humbling thing. Performing and writing are -

"Michigan Artist Shines on Civil War Song"

Chris Dupont’s sound is refreshing. His vocals are a comfortable high baritone and his melodies capture radiant joy. The country instrumentation and vocals give the album a feeling of comfort while remaining musically rich. There’s plenty in each composition to keep listeners coming back for more.

From the opening track “House” its evident that Dupont is not about the simplified three chord folk music of old. This is, instead, a much more complicated country sound. While Dupont could be successful going solo with a guitar, the full band sound works for his songs. The picking on “Easy Road (Bear)” is a nice introduction to a potential different sound for Dupont’s music. When the rest of the band joins the song, it comes back to the standard of his band. His songs are full of words, causing them to be driven more by almost-spoken lyrics rather than crooning melody lines.

“Brother” begins with a stripped down and subtle sound that shows off some of Dupont’s best writing. It’s a more complicated melody than it originally sounds. The easy lyrics deliver a message of honesty and relationship. It’s a comfortable track that could easily find a way on the speakers of a coffee shop. “So brother I’m gonna leave it up to you tonight…” helps to introduce an idea of reconciliation and reconnecting with family. It’s an important song for listeners dealing with interpersonal strife.

The first song I ever heard by Dupont and the one that got me hooked was “Dear Julia,” whose lyrics come from a letter written by Union General Ulysses S. Grant. This is, along with the final track, one of the best songs on this album. Dupont allows the words and music to flow together seamlessly in this track. While it’s a sad song set in a tragic era in American history, Dupont’s songwriting truly captures the romance of that time. It really is a work of art.

“Rest Up” is a love song of the highest order. It’s about caring for someone so that they can rest. It captures a beautiful moment. The beginning of “Washington Street” is again a welcome musical interlude among an album full of lyrics. The smooth, melodic beat keeps the song moving albeit in a lamenting tone. “I wanna feel safe in the bed where I lay. I think I might’ve gone and made it in the right place.” While the song is about a place, presumably a dangerous one, it seems also to be about an unhealthy relationship. It does a good job of reflecting on that theme throughout the track.

“Carry Your Love (Wolf)” features a violin that simply MUST be on any more of Dupont’s work. The give and take from the ambient guitar and the soft violin makes this song really transcend itself. What I mean is that it has that kind of mixed emotion that seems to be both comfortable and inspiring. The female vocalist is also quite helpful in making the track work. The two artists do what duets ought to do; they make one another sound better. It’s a fabulous way to end an album.

This is an album for fans of serious, lyrically-rich Americana or singer songwriter music. While it has moments that let the music stand alone, most of the songs on the album are vehicles to deliver lyrics. As I’ve written, “Dear Julia” and “Carry Your Love” are the best tracks on the album. It will be nice to hear the next installment of Dupont’s work with more songs like those. - Ear to the Ground Music


Still working on that hot first release.



With influences ranging from James Taylor, to Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Chris DuPont has long been charming midwest listeners, especially since his first industry release.. the lush, rawly produced LP, Anxious Animal. Anxious Animal transcends the singer-songwriter genre by incorporating ambient instrumental textures, and meticulously composed string parts. While Anxious Animal effectively explores DuPont's range as a composer, the record never loses sight of its center: DuPont's own storytelling voice. 

Full of his trademark vulnerability and candor, Outlier is a confession and an absolution in one. With influences ranging from classic American songwriters like James Taylor and Tom Waits, to artists like Tycho and Philip Glass, DuPont's sophomore effort has its roots in folk music, and its branches spreading wide across conventional genre divides. In Outlier, the classic eloquence of the 70s collides with a present-day catharsis; classic Americana themes become married to contemporary notions of self-care, and speaking your own truth. Outlier wades deep into DuPont's head. It is simultaneously loud, soft, angry, forgiving, danceable and upbeat, sweeping and immersive. His incomparable guitar style incorporates techniques from a wide array of disciplines, including body percussion, harmonics, and looping.

Chris Dupont has been featured on Michigan Radio NPR, Daytrotter, American Songwriter and The Bluegrass Situation (to name a few) as well as southeast Michigan’s FOX 2 News Detroit. Chris was a finalist at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in 2013 and winner of Eddies Attic Singer/Songwriter Shootout in spring of 2016. Chris Dupont has shared stages with a host of Midwest acts such as Frances Luke Accord, Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful, Dan Henig, Jeff Pianki, Abigail Stauffer, Jetty Rae, as well as national acts Edwin McCain, Brendan James, Peter Mulvey, The Ragbirds, Needtobreathe, and Lucius.  

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