CHRIS PICKERING
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CHRIS PICKERING

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Here's a bright, summer-filled piece of work from the Nashville-based, Queensland-raised Pickering. Ten original songs tinged with southern soul. Pickering's clear, soaring vocals bring a welcome lightness to pretty, cleverly-crafted tunes and laidback lyrics.
He has hooked up with some of the best to make this record, working in the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Don Nix at the controls and a super-tight studio band. Among the number was David Hood, father of Patterson Hood of Drive By Truckers, someone who has played on hundreds of hits for then likes of Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.
It's easy to hear The Beatles' influence on Pickering from the opening three tracks where sweet harmonies are filled out with guitars, piano, organ, flugelhorn and strong vocal backing. On 'Heart Of The Sun', Pickering's mood moves toward country soul, guitar jangle mixed with a little more rhythm and blues background. COme track five and one of the album's highlights. 'Fisherman's Daughter', and there's a more rootsy approach yet again.
From start to finish, this is a polished and graceful outing from Pickering, with roots that go deep down into country and soul music.
From all reports Pickering's been well received on the NAshville and Memphis music scenes (he's already played at the iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville).
This latest album should further enhance his credibility as a singer-songwriter of wide appeal. - Courier Mail, Brisbane


Here's a bright, summer-filled piece of work from the Nashville-based, Queensland-raised Pickering. Ten original songs tinged with southern soul. Pickering's clear, soaring vocals bring a welcome lightness to pretty, cleverly-crafted tunes and laidback lyrics.
He has hooked up with some of the best to make this record, working in the famed Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Don Nix at the controls and a super-tight studio band. Among the number was David Hood, father of Patterson Hood of Drive By Truckers, someone who has played on hundreds of hits for then likes of Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.
It's easy to hear The Beatles' influence on Pickering from the opening three tracks where sweet harmonies are filled out with guitars, piano, organ, flugelhorn and strong vocal backing. On 'Heart Of The Sun', Pickering's mood moves toward country soul, guitar jangle mixed with a little more rhythm and blues background. COme track five and one of the album's highlights. 'Fisherman's Daughter', and there's a more rootsy approach yet again.
From start to finish, this is a polished and graceful outing from Pickering, with roots that go deep down into country and soul music.
From all reports Pickering's been well received on the NAshville and Memphis music scenes (he's already played at the iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville).
This latest album should further enhance his credibility as a singer-songwriter of wide appeal. - Courier Mail, Brisbane


Quality Brissy-distilled, SXSW-tested Americana.
Brisbane still gets branded ‘Australia’s biggest country
town’ by the too-urbane snobs, however this increasingly
inaccurate critique does nothing to detract from the city’s
rich singer/songwriter crop. His CV already including work with Magoo and a
South By Southwest slot in 2008, Chris Pickering is something
of a quiet achiever, crafting well-thought, lyrical songs
that manage to shake off the ‘alt-country’ tag despite employing
such traditional accessories as banjo and lap steel.
Organic down to every strummed/picked guitar pattern,
Excuses Excuses is an impressively solid record full of unassuming
gems like Ruby Ruby, Broken Wing and Save Your
Breath. Pickering’s dulcet voice is instantly reminiscent of
Josh Rouse – especially on the strolling Little Finger and
Honey – and while he yet has to write his own Comeback,
he already possesses melodic sunshine in spades. Ballads
The Humming Song and You Don’t Know (both with Chloe
Turner on harmony vocals) feel like a logical progression
of the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris songbook; on the
louder scale, the John Lennon-esque Fit To Print, powered
by winning blues-rock riff age, shifts through intricate
chord progressions before zooming into a prime-grade
psychedelic wigout of an outro. The sonorous, brass-laden
If I Came Back From A War ends the album on a sombre
note and the three bonus tracks – Wonders, All Or Nothing
and Nobody – have left me wondering why they didn’t
make the fi nal cut despite their obvious strength. Our own
Jeff Tweedy in the making? Quite possibly so. - Rave Magazine


Quality Brissy-distilled, SXSW-tested Americana.
Brisbane still gets branded ‘Australia’s biggest country
town’ by the too-urbane snobs, however this increasingly
inaccurate critique does nothing to detract from the city’s
rich singer/songwriter crop. His CV already including work with Magoo and a
South By Southwest slot in 2008, Chris Pickering is something
of a quiet achiever, crafting well-thought, lyrical songs
that manage to shake off the ‘alt-country’ tag despite employing
such traditional accessories as banjo and lap steel.
Organic down to every strummed/picked guitar pattern,
Excuses Excuses is an impressively solid record full of unassuming
gems like Ruby Ruby, Broken Wing and Save Your
Breath. Pickering’s dulcet voice is instantly reminiscent of
Josh Rouse – especially on the strolling Little Finger and
Honey – and while he yet has to write his own Comeback,
he already possesses melodic sunshine in spades. Ballads
The Humming Song and You Don’t Know (both with Chloe
Turner on harmony vocals) feel like a logical progression
of the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris songbook; on the
louder scale, the John Lennon-esque Fit To Print, powered
by winning blues-rock riff age, shifts through intricate
chord progressions before zooming into a prime-grade
psychedelic wigout of an outro. The sonorous, brass-laden
If I Came Back From A War ends the album on a sombre
note and the three bonus tracks – Wonders, All Or Nothing
and Nobody – have left me wondering why they didn’t
make the fi nal cut despite their obvious strength. Our own
Jeff Tweedy in the making? Quite possibly so. - Rave Magazine


From Brisbane, Australia, Pickering writes songs that keep matters recognizably alt-country - reminiscent, especially, of Wilco and Ryan Adams - while his soaring yet affectingly fragile voice threatens to elevate them into some new genre entirely of Pickering's own invention. On the best moments on this album - "Chalk Outline", "All As It Should Be", "Goodbye Cruel World" - his startling vocal ushers the ghosts of Jeff Buckley and Art Garfunkel into view. And, unlike many self-released albums, A Safer Place does not suffer unduly from a conflict between ambition and budget. "The Stars Will Fall Down Tonight" escalates from gentle beginnings into a modest epic, making dramatic use of accordion, cymbals and sepulchral backing vocals. - emusic.com


"Ghost City is the latest release from local singer/songwriter Chris Pickering. Pickering's debut album A Safer Place was released nationally through MRA in February 2006, following 2005's Hard to Find EP. Ghost City features tracks from the musician's forthcoming sophomore LP, which is slated for an early 2007 release. It's all a blend of indie/pop/alt-country and is quite (quite) gratifying. It's like having our own Ryan Adams here in Brisbane, with soaring choruses, quiet breakdowns and thoughtful melodies. The difference between Pickering and the whinging swathe of other soloists is that his songs actually travel somewhere over the course of three and a half minutes – none of the waffling bollocks I'm forced to review week-in-week-out: this EP actually has a justifiable existence. If you've ever loved a local singer-songwriter you'll adore this. If you're too jaded by this stage, perhaps leave it be." Jakeb Smith - Rave Magazine, 23.1.2007. - Rave Magazine


"Ghost City is the latest release from local singer/songwriter Chris Pickering. Pickering's debut album A Safer Place was released nationally through MRA in February 2006, following 2005's Hard to Find EP. Ghost City features tracks from the musician's forthcoming sophomore LP, which is slated for an early 2007 release. It's all a blend of indie/pop/alt-country and is quite (quite) gratifying. It's like having our own Ryan Adams here in Brisbane, with soaring choruses, quiet breakdowns and thoughtful melodies. The difference between Pickering and the whinging swathe of other soloists is that his songs actually travel somewhere over the course of three and a half minutes – none of the waffling bollocks I'm forced to review week-in-week-out: this EP actually has a justifiable existence. If you've ever loved a local singer-songwriter you'll adore this. If you're too jaded by this stage, perhaps leave it be." Jakeb Smith - Rave Magazine, 23.1.2007. - Rave Magazine


"There's no arguing that Chris Pickering pens a mighty fine tune. He combines his indie-pops smarts with an obvious penchant for country sounds to trump a sound that falls somewhere between Johnny Cash and Death Cab For Cutie. Opening track 'Wonders' is excellent and demonstrates a blues-side with blissful backing vocals and a welcome squeal from the violin. 'All or Nothing' is Pickering's 'Blackbird' just add banjo while 'Nobody' is a lonely country strum where his voice shines brightest. Pickering's solo career is going from strength to strength and 'Ghost City' is a perfect stepping-stone into what will hopefully be another long-player." Ben Preece - Time Off, 24.1.2007. - Time Off


"There's no arguing that Chris Pickering pens a mighty fine tune. He combines his indie-pops smarts with an obvious penchant for country sounds to trump a sound that falls somewhere between Johnny Cash and Death Cab For Cutie. Opening track 'Wonders' is excellent and demonstrates a blues-side with blissful backing vocals and a welcome squeal from the violin. 'All or Nothing' is Pickering's 'Blackbird' just add banjo while 'Nobody' is a lonely country strum where his voice shines brightest. Pickering's solo career is going from strength to strength and 'Ghost City' is a perfect stepping-stone into what will hopefully be another long-player." Ben Preece - Time Off, 24.1.2007. - Time Off


4 Stars.

Calling Chris Pickering alt-country is like calling Bright Eyes alt-country. Or Josh Rouse. Or Paul Kelly, for that matter.

Sure, there's country in there - see the gorgeous backwoods bluegrass of "One Glass", for example. But there's much more going on than that, and Excuses Excuses reveals considerable growth in Pickering as an artist who touches on a refreshing array of styles while developing a strong musical identity of his own.

It's the second album by the Brisbane-based musician, who was the original drummer in The Boat People before moving on - and up to the microphone - in pursuit of his interests in roots music.

Excuses Excuses does all the things a good album should. Some tracks grab the ear instantly, some take their time to work their spell. Each song flows easily into the next but the whole thing keeps moving on rather than ploughing over the same ground.

Unlike so many albums in the CD age, this one doesn't run out of steam.

That can be a difficult thing to manage on an independent budget but there's nothing cut-rate about Excuses Excuses, superbly recorded by producer Magoo at Brisbane's Black Box studio and his rural Applewood retreat.

"Ruby Ruby" and "Ghost City" are winning pop-rock tunes with country flavours from harmonica and pedal steel; "Honey" is an almost 1950s-style singalong; "Invincible" a tender country waltz in super slow-mo.

"The Humming Song" features Pickering's easy-rolling fingerpicking acoustic guitar and a superb second vocal line from Chloe Turner, plus a lovely synthesiser break.

Then things get REALLY interesting. There's the seven-minute groove of "Fit To Print", which is closer to Abbey Road than Nashville; the sunny piano-led pop of "Little Finger"; the blues grit of "The Chain & The Wheel" and the soulful pop-rocker "Save Your Breath, with Turner taking the lead vocal on the sparkling chorus.

The album closes with a stunning ballad, "If I Came Back From A War", backed by a five-piece brass section. It's a heartbreaker.

You know you've got a strong record when it's difficult to pick favourite tracks. But don't miss "Broken Wing", a slow-simmering folk-rock delight that sounds as heartfelt as it is tender. Nice mellotron too. Hopefully that will be one that grabs some ears at radio and spreads the word about how good this record is. - Brisbane Courier Mail


4 Stars.

Calling Chris Pickering alt-country is like calling Bright Eyes alt-country. Or Josh Rouse. Or Paul Kelly, for that matter.

Sure, there's country in there - see the gorgeous backwoods bluegrass of "One Glass", for example. But there's much more going on than that, and Excuses Excuses reveals considerable growth in Pickering as an artist who touches on a refreshing array of styles while developing a strong musical identity of his own.

It's the second album by the Brisbane-based musician, who was the original drummer in The Boat People before moving on - and up to the microphone - in pursuit of his interests in roots music.

Excuses Excuses does all the things a good album should. Some tracks grab the ear instantly, some take their time to work their spell. Each song flows easily into the next but the whole thing keeps moving on rather than ploughing over the same ground.

Unlike so many albums in the CD age, this one doesn't run out of steam.

That can be a difficult thing to manage on an independent budget but there's nothing cut-rate about Excuses Excuses, superbly recorded by producer Magoo at Brisbane's Black Box studio and his rural Applewood retreat.

"Ruby Ruby" and "Ghost City" are winning pop-rock tunes with country flavours from harmonica and pedal steel; "Honey" is an almost 1950s-style singalong; "Invincible" a tender country waltz in super slow-mo.

"The Humming Song" features Pickering's easy-rolling fingerpicking acoustic guitar and a superb second vocal line from Chloe Turner, plus a lovely synthesiser break.

Then things get REALLY interesting. There's the seven-minute groove of "Fit To Print", which is closer to Abbey Road than Nashville; the sunny piano-led pop of "Little Finger"; the blues grit of "The Chain & The Wheel" and the soulful pop-rocker "Save Your Breath, with Turner taking the lead vocal on the sparkling chorus.

The album closes with a stunning ballad, "If I Came Back From A War", backed by a five-piece brass section. It's a heartbreaker.

You know you've got a strong record when it's difficult to pick favourite tracks. But don't miss "Broken Wing", a slow-simmering folk-rock delight that sounds as heartfelt as it is tender. Nice mellotron too. Hopefully that will be one that grabs some ears at radio and spreads the word about how good this record is. - Brisbane Courier Mail


"Keith Partridge in cowboy boots - that's one way to summarise the sound of Chris Pickering. The Australian artist offers up a catchy blend of country and '60's-flavoured pop on Excuses Excuses. Tambourine and handclaps layered over drums keep the sound light and fresh, while the list of instruments the multi-talented Pickering plays includes guitar, organ, synth, banjo, piano, harmonica, glockenspiel and even cowbell.

Highlights include the bluegrass-flavoured "Ghost City", the hopes-and-dreams ditty "Broken Wing" and "Ruby Ruby", an ode to a shady lady who keeps bad company, featuring Pickering's clear tenor ringing bright above the pedal steel. Pickering himself keeps some pretty good company, evidenced by bluegrass stalwarts Sam Bush and Al Perkins, sitting in on "One Glass", and English rocker John Turnbull singing background on "Fit To Print". No more excuses - check out this record." - Performing Songwriter Magazine Nashville


"Keith Partridge in cowboy boots - that's one way to summarise the sound of Chris Pickering. The Australian artist offers up a catchy blend of country and '60's-flavoured pop on Excuses Excuses. Tambourine and handclaps layered over drums keep the sound light and fresh, while the list of instruments the multi-talented Pickering plays includes guitar, organ, synth, banjo, piano, harmonica, glockenspiel and even cowbell.

Highlights include the bluegrass-flavoured "Ghost City", the hopes-and-dreams ditty "Broken Wing" and "Ruby Ruby", an ode to a shady lady who keeps bad company, featuring Pickering's clear tenor ringing bright above the pedal steel. Pickering himself keeps some pretty good company, evidenced by bluegrass stalwarts Sam Bush and Al Perkins, sitting in on "One Glass", and English rocker John Turnbull singing background on "Fit To Print". No more excuses - check out this record." - Performing Songwriter Magazine Nashville


Discography

'Hard to Find' EP (June 2005)
'A Safer Place' LP (Feb 2006)
'Ghost City' EP (Nov 2006)
'Excuses Excuses' LP (Feb 2008/May2009)
'Miss Lucy' EP (May 2010)
'Work Of Fiction' (September 2010)
'Fisherman's Daughter/I Just Want To Love' 7" (Sept 2011)
'Corners' EP (September 2012)

Photos

Bio


::The Short Version::
CHRIS PICKERING is an exceptionally talented singer, musician and songwriter, from Australia, who writes remarkable songs with beautiful melodies, smart hooks and thoughtful lyrics. CP bases himself in Nashville but is frequently on the road, touring. Frequently.

More: www.chrispickering.net
www.facebook.com/chrispickeringmusic
www.youtube.com/user/cpflicks
Management: Leonie Yeoman cpmusic@bigpond.net.au

::The (slightly) Longer Version::

CHRIS PICKERING is an exceptionally talented singer, musician and songwriter, from Australia, who writes remarkable songs with beautiful melodies, smart hooks and thoughtful lyrics.

He fearlessly tackles all manner of styles and arrangements, fusing flavors of pop, rock, country, bluegrass, folk, blues and, at times, psychedelia into his music.

Bridging the gap between indie-pop and alt-country, CP is close to truly claiming a style all his own. His third album, Work Of Fiction, was recorded at Ardent Studios, Memphis, with Stax producer, Don Nix and released in 2012.

His latest EP, 'Corners' was released in September 2012 and is the first in a series of 3 EPs to be recorded and released over an 18 month period.

CP currently bases himself in Nashville, TN, but is frequently on the road, touring. Frequently.

More: www.chrispickering.net
www.myspace.com/chrispickering
Management: Leonie Yeoman cpmusic@bigpond.net.au

Band Members