Chris Ronald
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Chris Ronald

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Underlying sweetness and a sense of wonder"

Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Chris Ronald is usually heard in intimate listening environments where there is ample stage space, cold beer and good burgers. Restaurants, music circles and open mics are great places for small, attentive audiences to experience his music in its purest, unamplified form.
In concert, he also talks about his influences, song ideas, inspirations, and the songwriting craft. Chris Ronald has been writing music for nearly three decades, and Turning Tides is an ideal way to bring the songcrafter’s relaxing music right into your own living room. With folk, pop and even a few soft rock influences, this album is a definitive portrait of his music with its thoughtful lyrics and insightful observations on family, love, places and life.
Chris’ warm tenor voice is soothing, and he usually tracks his own vocal harmonies. The uncluttered production results in songs that emphasize Chris’ guitar, vocals and occasionally some harmonica. I particularly enjoy hearing clear, resonant lyrics which are easy to understand and relate to. I would encourage him to upload his words and messages right to his website.
Chris plays all instruments on “Turning Tides,” with the exception of a few contributions from Fred Beach (bass), Kent Anderson (mandolin), Ily Barnes (drums), Kamile Kapel (piano, backing vocals), and Steve Taillefer (electric guitar). Chris moved from Great Britain to Canada in 2002. He was embarking on a career change from sales into teaching. About that time a college course in multi-track recording software allowed him to economically document some his music on disc. His first album Pacific Time was released in 2004 and is only available from the artist. Eight years later, Turning Tides is a strong and delightful second effort that displays the ebbs and flows of his life.
He opens the set with a warm, upbeat, well-arranged rendition of “Sunshine” that is probably a testament to his wife and three children that bring “color to the world.” The importance of family and love are emphasized when the album closes with a lean, fingerpicked reprisal of the same song. The same theme is found in “Evergreen” and “Simple Things” with their distinct echo of sensitive and sympathetic singer/songwriters from decades ago. While Chris’ songs have marked appeal to baby boomers of my generation, songs like the contemplative “Please Don’t Come for Me Now” and “Best Place on Earth” have some charming contemporary folk elements that will pull in a younger demographic of fans for Chris’ pure, unadulterated music.
Chris Ronald’s soulfulness complements the intimacy of this project. His clear, plaintive vocals work best on the most introspective tracks, as well as with the beautiful melodies and subtle, lyrical charm of songs like “Sailing from Nanaimo” and “Home to Roost.” Chris Ronald has found music as the perfect medium for sharing thoughts and musings with underlying sweetness and a sense of wonder. - Joe Ross, Roots Music Report


"Like an auditory massage"

"The first thing people notice about this music is the effortlessly beautiful voice, it's like an auditory massage. Even if you're not paying attention, you cannot escape being relaxed by his gentle sound."
- Nick Lagasse, CJSF Radio


"Chris Ronald keeps it simple on Turning Tides"

Every once in a while you bump into a local artist who makes you wonder where his obvious talent has been hiding for so long. English-born Vancouverite Chris Ronald is one of those. His beautifully clear tenor voice instantly makes him sound like an old friend you forgot you knew. But that would only be a pleasant feature if he didn’t write such great songs.

There are no American Idol barnburners on Turning Tides, just a lot of catchy, strum-happy numbers in the ’70s singer-songwriter tradition. Certainly, extra-smooth voices from that era, such as Jackson Browne, Marc Jordan, Stephen Bishop, and the late Kenny Rankin, come to mind on acoustically driven ditties such as the opening (and closing) “Sunshine” and the breezy “Sailing From Nanaimo”. But the spare, self-produced record isn’t particularly retro. Songs like the relatively lush “So Long” and “Home to Roost”, with their moody keyboard interludes and stacked male harmonies, fit in with contemporary indie sounds. And the showstopping “Please Don’t Come for Me Now” has the Celtic tug of the Swell Season—although when pianist Kamile Kapel adds her vocals on “Let Her Go”, the feel is more country, albeit in the Richard and Linda Thompson direction.

These comparisons are misleading, since the album—his second, but the first to be widely available—stands as a well-integrated program of refreshingly original, unguardedly personal compositions. Some of the arrangements, centred on the artist’s basic guitar and occasional plaintive harmonica, could be a little more complex. (The only other thing the album really needs is a new cover; its murky Photoshop package makes this look like a John Tesh throwaway side project.) In any case, the music’s simplicity keeps clutter away from that glorious voice.
- Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Chris Ronalds musical and songwriting talents have resulted in countless Canadian and European performances and a passionately loyal following. Though the soulful folksingers natural ability to combine melody with meaning emerged at age 15, Chris recent efforts to reach a wider audience have been rewarded with increased interest and popularity. His repertoire of expertly crafted and heartfelt contemporary folk songs allows him to showcase an unmistakably smooth and accurate voice, which has been compared to the likes of David Gray, Ron Sexsmith, and Martin Sexton.

Chris emigrated from his native England to Canada in 2002, and his music has been described as a meeting of British roots and North American folk with detectable influences including Neil Young, Paul McCartney, and Don McLean, to name just a few. In live performances, Chris also draws on his abilities as a storyteller and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, ukulele) to deliver a show that can be enjoyed by all ages. Chris can often be found performing charitable and community events in and around his hometown of Vancouver as well as showcases, folk clubs, and festivals in British Columbia and beyond.

Chris has teamed up with award-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist John MacArther Ellis (Jeremy Fisher, The Be Good Tanyas, Barney Bentall) to create his third album, which is due for release spring 2014. Chris last CD, Turning Tides, was self-produced in spare time away from his duties as a stay-at-home dad. It received five-star reviews from music press such as The Georgia Straight and Roots Music Report, and has been aired nationally and internationally on a variety of radio stations including CBC and BBC.

Band Members