Sunshone Still

Sunshone Still

 Columbia, South Carolina, USA
BandAmericanaAlternative

Sepia-toned, indie-folk with experimental, cinematic tendencies.

Biography

"And even as the album highlights Sunshone Still’s dusky folk rock, it expands the band’s sonic palette without reservation." - PASTE MAGAZINE

The third release [2/7/2012 on Potato Eater Records] from Sunshone Still, titled ThewaytheworldDies, chronologically recounts pivotal events and people before and after a family tragedy. From new love (“Someone to Call Home”) to the final desperate act revealed in the title track. The album then turns to the after effects of loss in songs like “Old Snakes” and “Boy Superman”. In a hopeful conclusion, Smith lets go in “Can’t Hold On to a Ghost” and makes a promise to his newborn son in “Was & Will Be” (a duet with Danielle
Howle).

Sunshone Still is equal parts band and musical nom de plume for Chris Smith, a Nashville native now living in Columbia, SC. Since the 2005 debut release of Dead Letters, Smith was featured on the NPR program, All Songs Considered: Open Mic, and placed songs on the PBS series, Roadtrip Nation. Performing Songwriter listed Dead Letters as an Editor’s DIY Pick, and No Depression called it, “impressive” and “a musical landscape painted in the hushed tones of twilight”.

Smith’s 2007 sophomore album, Ten Cent American Novels, was inspired by Hampton Sides’ non-fiction book, Blood and Thunder. Smith researched, wrote and produced 17 songs and folded them into an ambitious sound to tell the interwoven story of Kit Carson, the Navajo Indians, and Manifest Destiny. No Depression called Novels “a fascinating, cinematic musical exercise…”

Since 2009, the band has solidified around the talents of Smith (guitar/vocal), Rodney Lanier and Jason Hausman (multi-instrumentalists), Stowe Barber (drums), and Flavio Mangione (bass). Sadly, Lanier passed away in December 2011, two months before the release of ThewaytheworldDies, after a battle with cancer. Dan Hood has graciously returned to the band to fill in for the much missed and beloved "Hot Rod".

When not playing music, Chris owns and operates several restaurants, watches the Daily Show, and drives his kids to tee ball games. His siblings were all given meaningful, odd names. He was not so lucky. Hence, Sunshone Still.

*"And I was green, greener than the hill
Where flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now I'm darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be"
-from Nick Drake's Place to Be

Lyrics

Blood and Thunder (Burn the Damn Thing)

Written By: Chris Smith

Don’t read me in the blood and thunder
Or believe I’m the “Prince of the Gold Hunters”
I stand with ne’er a mighty frame
You will not be saved by mere pulp fame

Take your ten cent novel and “burn the damn thing”

Don’t buy hope even for ten cents
‘Cause hopes too high none can ascend
See, when I come to your rescue
Your heart will already be shot through

Take your ten cent novel and “burn the damn thing”

Klamath Lake (It Was a Perfect Butchery)

Written By: Chris Smith

Shooting the sun in ‘46
Mapping Klamath, its blue fluorescence
Basil’s brain cleaved by an enemy
Our friend died a perfect butchery

We shot the sun of Oregon
We shot the sun of Oregon

Painted braves and plinging arrows
Came from black night to our bedrolls
Pistols brought their leader to knees
Now with his ax I repaid with perfect butchery

We shot the sun and the axman
We shot the sun of Oregon

Creeping north along shoreline
We burned the village of a lake land tribe
Taking the lives of one and twenty
“It was a perfect butchery”

We shot the sun and the lives of twenty-one
We shot the sun of Oregon

A Time to be Womaned

Written By: Chris Smith

I trap a river that runs back to you
Like a trail to a meadow view
With you in our home of buffalo hide
I’d have paid two times the bride price

I trap a river that runs back to you
From the Big Snake to you, my muse
I trap a river that runs back to you
From the Big Horn, the Yellowstone, the Three Forks too

I trap a river that runs back to you
As you bead the child’s moccasin shoes
We kiss and greet with Indian sign
Cradling soft, sweet Adaline

I trap a river that runs back to you
You collect the current in morning dew
Warming the water for my feet
You are “a good wife to me”

Discography

LPs:
ThewaytheworldDies - released February 2012
Ten Cent American Novels - released October 2007
Dead Letters - released July 2005

Compilations:
The United State of Americana - October 2005

EPs:
Land of Tar and Cotton (out of print) - 2002