Chris English
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Chris English

Salisbury, MD | Established. Jan 01, 1986 | INDIE

Salisbury, MD | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1986
Duo Blues Acoustic

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"Chris English - 1-13-07"

“16 tracks/66:15
Recorded at the ESO Art Center in Belle Haven, Virginia, the latest from Chris English documents a live performance that includes a number of well-known blues songs and a handful of original tunes. English is an acoustic performer utilizing a resonator guitar, harmonica and an old Coke crate as a percussion instrument. In addition to playing the music, English also teaches a course in blues music at a college in his Maryland hometown.
Opening with “Statesboro Blues”, English quickly establishes that he is an adept slide guitarist. His warm voice can display a rough edge one minute and then capture a mournful quality as it easily slips into a higher register. At times his singing brought John Hammond to mind. Leroy Carr’s “How Long, How Long Blues” receives a subdued run-through with some nice harp work. English covers two Howlin’ Wolf songs, tearing through Moanin’ at Midnight” as he trades licks between the guitar and harp – then slowing the pace for a powerful version the lesser-known “No Place to Go”.
On “Can’t be Satisfied”, English maintains a strong rhythmic foundation while picking out intricate lines on his guitar that dance around his vocal. He follows that performance with another Muddy Waters tune, “Louisiana Blues”, that has a powerful vocal in addition to a nice blend fine slide guitar and harp playing. English also includes the obligatory Robert Johnson covers, delivering an intense, rockin’ version of “Ramblin’ On My Mind” that gets a big response from the appreciative audience. His take on “Crossroads” features more strong guitar playing.
English contributes five original compositions that hold up well in comparison to the rest of setlist. “Jesus Was a Bluesman” allows English to mix gospel and folk blues together as he makes a case for Jesus being the greatest bluesman ever. The up-tempo “Southern Fried” gives English a chance to have some fun with the audience shouting out their approval. The biting “Long Island Society Blues” tells the tale of an unfortunate experience English had at a Blues Challenge competition.
Occasionally English tries a bit too hard in his attempts to sing with an “authentic” blues sound. But his guitar playing is stellar throughout the recording and his harmonica provides a nice complement to the guitar without being overdone. The boisterous audience clearly enjoyed the spirited performance from English, who is able to bring life to even the better known songs. Fans of acoustic blues will find plenty to enjoy on this release, which can be purchased at cdbaby.com. Worth checking out !!!

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the
Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

- Crossroads Blues Society


"Fan Comments"

Went on your YouTube and MySpace pages today and watched/listened. Somebody made the comment on one of your pages that with listening to you, we don't need Viagra. Your music brings it all on. He's dead right!
Look for us...we'll be he ones cheering the loudest!
Thanks for letting us know,
Peter (Jackson)

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I saw you play most recently at the Snow Hill Blues Jam. You were truly amazing. I totally love your sound with the Dobro guitar! I can’t wait to catch you at the Black Box. It was the first time I really got to hear such a sound live and it was great.
Sam Gibson

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We just wanted to let you know we enjoyed your performance Saturday. Great vocals, guitar & harp interplay….and the percussion topped it off. Very soulful and tasteful. That kind of entertainment should be happening regularly around this town.

Brian & Janet Veditz

- From Website


"Blues musician teaches what he knows"

LEWES — He may look like a long, blonde-haired rock ‘n’ roller, but appearances can be deceiving.??Salisbury-based musician Chris English specializes in the classic Delta blues style when he straps on his guitar for solo performances. He frequently travels to Delaware to appear at the Béseme restaurant at the intersection of Second and Market streets in downtown Lewes, where he will play Friday.??“Lewes is a great little town, and Béseme is a great venue. They have really good food and the people that work there and hang out there are awesome,” English said. “They let me play my own material and Robert Johnson songs, so what more could I ask for?”??English taught himself how to play slide guitar and harmonica as a preteen while growing up in Salisbury in the 1960s. He quickly gravitated toward blues music.?“It just struck me as real. It has content and it has a spirituality to it,” English said. “I had an older brother who brought home records by people like Bob Dylan, but you could always trace their roots back to the source, which is the blues.”??By day, English imparts his knowledge of the subject by teaching a course at Salisbury University called Blues: The Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll.??“They kind of found out about me through word of mouth and a faculty member asked me to develop a course on it,” English said. “I wasn’t sure at first, but the more I thought about it, the more enthused I got. It wasn’t hard to get started because I’d already done the bulk of the research on my own.??“Teaching is a little bit like performing, in a way. I get to share my enthusiasm, and l do get very passionate about blues.”??The class touches on crossover artists like Ray Charles or Elvis Presley, but mainly focuses on blues pioneers including Charlie Patton and Howlin’ Wolf. “We go back and explore the African influence,” English said. “The blues is basically black folk music. There has always been something to keep it going, whether it was the introduction of electric guitars and amplifiers or the interest in received from musicians in Europe.”??Finding blues records in Salisbury in the age of vinyl wasn’t an easy task. ??“It was harder to find blues records back then. I was always keeping my eyes open in record stores,” English said. “Sometimes I would buy an album by someone I’d never heard of and it was like a leap of faith, hoping it would be something good. I eventually bought a Robert Johnson compilation album and I realized there was something very special there.”??When it was time to attend college, English decided to study art and painting at a university in upstate New York. ??“I was into art, but I was always playing in bands on the side, even in college,” he said. “I remember my roommate saying, ‘Do you even eat? Put down that guitar!’ I was just obsessed with playing guitar.”??After college, he took a part-time fashion industry job in the city designing textiles. In his spare time, he played music on the streets.??“I would play in Battery Park when all of the Wall Street employees were on their lunch breaks,” English recalled. “I would also play at the Staten Island ferry, which was kind of like playing to a captive audience.”??At the time, punk and disco were the main music trends in the city and English eventually moved back to Salisbury.??While music is his main passion, he still flexes his artistic muscles in a side business with his wife; they have their own stationary line, designing custom wedding invitations.??Some of English’s music performances include his full band, Brother Lowdown, which has recorded three CDs. ??“We’ve been playing together since 1986, so we’re incredibly tight. There are a lot of magic moments,” English said. “My son Grayson plays with us sometimes, playing bass and the hand drum. He writes his own songs, and that’s something I’m very proud of.” - BY ROGER HILLIS • FOR THE BEACHCOMBER


"Salisbury native to perform at Caroline Summerfest on Saturday, August 19"

SALISBURY, MD – Rarely do musicians get to live their dreams to actually make a living from their passion for music. Not only is Chris English of Salisbury living that dream, but he also has the privilege of sharing it with others through teaching and live performances.
English, an instructor in the Music Department at Salisbury University will perform at Caroline Summerfest in Denton on Saturday, August 19, at 5 p.m. at the Courthouse Performance Pavilion. English will perform traditional blues music and original blues-inspired songs from his two albums interspersed with new unreleased material.
English was born and raised in Salisbury and later attended college in Syracuse, New York. After graduation he moved to Manhattan where he and his wife chose to experience art and music in the cultural mecca of New York City. They later moved back to Salisbury to raise a family.
Since 2004 English has been teaching a course at Salisbury University titled “Blues, the Roots of Rock and Roll,” sharing and, in many cases, introducing the tradition of blues music to a new generation. The course includes live performances to demonstrate different styles of blues as well as a lecture format that explores the social and economic climate that shaped the genre.
“There are some students who seem to understand the blues through rock music and I can reach them right away,” says English. “For the larger percentage of students traditional blues is a new experience,” he adds.
In addition to teaching English performs some 100 plus live shows in and around the Delmarva area every year. “This music captured me a long time ago. It has value for me. I am fortunate that I am able to focus my life on sharing this value with other people,” he adds.
For more information on English, visit www.brolow.com.

- Daily Times/Salisbury University publications


Discography

"Chris English 1/13/07" is his third CD. This is a live, solo, performance of traditional blues and originals.

"Lowdown in the House", in July 2004

"Live at the Avalon", is a combination of solo and his three-piece band.

Photos

Bio

Solo:     He offers a combination of deep traditional blues and solid original material. Delta blues is his forte, singing, playing guitar and harp, stamping out the time on an old wooden coca cola crate. He uses vintage guitars from the 20's and '30's to replicate the sound and feeling of the blues he has studied and loves. For over 35 years, he has been true to his art learning the subtleties that make each blues special.

Duo:      Accompanied by Grayson English on the bass the blues takes new forays to explore the traditional and original material. Grayson anticipates the improvisations and makes a duo sound like more than two musicians.

Band:     Along with Grayson the dynamics grow with the addition of drummer Robert Buckner. Dynamic is the key word here as Robert (also a black belt instructor) can play like a whisper then thunder like a hurricane.

             As a professional blues artist Chris has produced 4 CD’s and maintained a busy performing schedule playing both clubs and festivals for over 35 years. Blues Festivals and concert venues from Massachusetts to Florida have enjoyed Chris’ solo act, which is both traditional and original. Newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio have showcased Chris and his authentic style of playing. His original material has been licensed for film and broadcast on NPR radio’s “Morning Edition, and featured on KFFA’s “King Biscuit Time” with host Sonny Payne.  Chris also represented the Washington Blues Society in the solo / duo International Blues Challenge 2016.

             Chris has also written and lectures two courses at Salisbury University titled "Blues: The Roots of Rock and Roll" since 2004 and “Folk: Songs of Social Change in America” since 2013. These lecture courses include live performances to demonstrate the styles of folk and blues exploring the musicians and context that shaped the music.