Chris Staig
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Chris Staig

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Chris Staig"

* * * * The former guitarist with Toronto bar-room eccentrics Taxi-Chain, Chris Staig is a power-house in a lean package.?Like some songwriting Charles Atlas, he pits muscle- against-muscle for greater strength - though in this case its achy love songs offset with jaunty melodies. He also knows the best way to cure a hangover is with a little hair o' the dog, and with boppy lament (Perfect Empty Day, the stunning Nowhere Near) there's always a new love (By Friday, Frankie And Rita, The Cheerleader). Staig sometimes relies unnecessarily on fuzzed-up power chords where his tidy sense of melody would do the trick. But by interrupting the ablum's crackling flow with an unabashedly sincere - and timeless - ballad such as Honest Love, he only adds to the depth of his work. Dang purty.(Recommended for fans of: Blue Rodeo, The Pernice Brothers, Neil Young circa Tonight's The Night, 13 Engines/John Critchley.) Kieran Grant, The Toronto Sun, August 5, 2000 - The Toronto Sun

"CD of the Day, 3/9/06: Chris Staig-Davenport"

Having just (re)touted Warren Zanes' Memory Girls, it's kind of fitting that I've selected Chris Staig's Davenport as today's featured disc. Staig, from Toronto, has a very similar sound to Zanes, both vocally and stylistically.

Davenport features a winning combination of power pop, roots rock and singer/songwriter pop. There are also hints of Neil Young and John Lennon as well as Grandaddy's Jason Lytle. Things start off in fine fashion with Staig pleading for a "Rock'n'Roll Holiday", as it's "time to blow up my television/can't make shopping my new religion"; in the next track Staig sings of how he "Fell Off The Wagon", an ode to getting plastered. "All I Need Is You" is a catchy rocker in the vein of the Ike Reilly disc I raved about yesterday, and "Another Year" almost heads into the Rockpile territory mined so well by Terry Anderson (he of the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team).

He has three tracks from Davenport streaming at his myspace page, and others can be sampled at cd baby, which is of course the best place to pick it up.

"Chart Attack Live Review"

"Staig's songs are very well crafted, with original lyrics. The band was comfortable with each other in performing and it showed. Their confidence made for a tight show and they played excellently. An extremely energetic performance…Staig's talent is clear, all he needs is exposure to make it in the business".
Jason Hailman, review, June 2002 -

"Chris Staig: "Mary: Just Another Singer Songwriter?""

Chris Staig "Mary" (Independent, 2009)

Just Another Singer Songwriter?

Chris Staig is an unfamiliar name to me although he has released two solo records several years ago. For this new record, ‘Mary’, Chris has brought in a band to supplement the sound which does bring some of the songs to life. Chris is stuck between country & pop a sort Ben Kweller with a touch of Ron Sexsmith struggling to be Ryan Adams.

On that basis it has to be all about the songs and strength of the song writing – after several listens several songs began to work their way into the system. These songs show that Chris can write catchy pop such as ‘Remember To Breath’ and I see that Chris’s songs have been covered by the likes of Dan Bryk another Canadian (I can strongly recommend Dan’s record which features Ron Sexsmith).

The record is split into two sides like an LP, with the first side containing the more up tempo songs and the second side sees Chris in a more contemplative mood and on the records best song ‘Make It Through’ Chris manages to clearly demonstrate he has the talent to raise his head above the normal navel gazers.
As a Canadian (like Sexsmith) Chris Staig writes clever pop songs with a tinge of country, best heard on ‘Our Last Chance’, ‘She Haunts These Rooms’, and the superb slide guitar driven ‘Never Lies’. The record contains some core Americana values; strong songs, great voice and solid arrangements. Of course Chris is just another singer-songwriter but there’s enough potential on this record for Chris take his place next to Ron Sexsmith.

Date review added: Thursday, May 28, 2009
Reviewer: andy r
Reviewers Rating:

"Chris Staig: Davenport"

The CD cover is the Davenport sign here in Toronto, and being a Toronto girl this has a comforting appeal. Josh Hicks, in 1998, rented a house at the corner of Ossington and Davenport. The house became a place for musicians to hang out and Chris found himself there rehearsing often, which led to him moving in there and the house becoming home. A place to write music, share ideas and finally start recording this CD.
Chris Staig first gained notice in the Toronto music scene as the guitarist for Taxi Chain. His three year tenure with the bagpipe funksters was marked by incessant touring from Quebec to Texas. The 1996 release of BAGPIPE JUKEJOINT (Distribution Fusion III) gave many people their first taste of Staig’s gritty guitar playing.
Staig’s next major project was the pop-rock combo Rockboy. Their EP TURNTABLE scaled the charts of campus radio stations in the spring of ‘98. Chris was singled out especially for his “extremely well delivered imagery” (Annex Gleaner) and his “throat wrenching vocals” (Spill Magazine). Stymied by his Rockboy collaborators’ indifference to additional live work and mystified by their growing interest in well paying day jobs and stable personal relationships, Staig hoisted the solo sail in 1999.
Chris has an interesting sound, a sort of Neil Young mixed with a young Steve Forbert, and the lyrics to all the songs are remarkable and real. That is the appeal of this CD, it is as real as it gets, with the musician friends connecting on many levels here.
The first track “rock ‘n’ roll holiday” is a catchy story, and a great start to this CD.
Track four “all I need is you” is great and the title speaks for itself. My favorite track is “another year.” Track nine shows a softer side with ‘Keys.” All the tracks are original and enjoyable to listen to, Chris clearly having a gift for story telling.
I don’t think Chris needs to worry about being different; this CD is a breath of fresh air. For a list of upcoming shows check out his website
Rock ‘n’ Roll Holiday
Fell off the Wagon
Time won’t leave you
All I need is You
Graduation Day
I want to be different
Another Year
Look me in the eye - Lipstik

"Chris Staig: New Music Track of the Day, April 7th 2008"

Flipping through the paper while in Toronto last week, an ad caught my eye. It was for an open mic night at a club on Queen Street and I saw that a friend of mine was hosting it, a friend that I hadn't seen in a very long time. I decided that I would go down to Mitzi's Sister and check it out.
My friend Chris Staig was the host of the night and we gave each other a big hug when I walked in the door. It was great to see him and hear him play again - it had been a while. After he played a couple of songs, the night unfolded in the usual way that open mic nights do with a rotating cast of people playing their original songs. Chris was a gracious host, giving everyone big introductions and sometimes accompanying the performers on his guitar.
At some point in the evening, he showed me a picture of his young son that he had on his cell phone. Moments later, he ran on stage to help someone plug their guitar in. As I watched him adjusting cables, I remembered that as long as I've known Chris, he's had some kind of regular gig playing music, either a house gig or maybe hosting an open stage like this one. He's a working musician in the truest sense, and he's also a great songwriter who puts out his own records. - Tariq Hussain, CBC RADIO 3 - CBC Radio Three

"Chris Staig and the Marquee Players: The Shack By The Tracks"

Every once in a while a CD comes by that is a pleasant surprise and such was the case with Chris Staig and The Marquee Players album “Shack by The Tracks”. This latest of five solo recordings released by Chris is chock full of great tunes and grooves. You’ll hear a little of The Band, Little Feat, some Beatles, Blue Rodeo and even a little eearly Flying Burrito Brothers.

Chris Staig’s current band, The Marquee Players, consists of Stephen O'Toole on bass, Shelley Coopersmith on violin and mandolin, and Ian Mackay on the drums. They have monthly residency at Toronto’s famed Hole in the Wall, and are a real honest to goodness working band.

The opening track of the album “Tap Your Toe” sets the tone with its toe-tapping tempo and clever lyrics. “Martha” is a bluesy lament complete with horns and strings. Well done. “Blue About You” is followed by “Tulane”, a song reminiscent of The Band in its influence with some Little Feat thrown in; one of my favourite tracks. “How Do You Love Again” is followed by “Blue Denim”, a soft, sincere ballad, delivered with emotion and conviction. “Drinking Her Name Away” is that old down home 4/4 country tune you need in any good Chris Staig set. Good fun. “Bunch of Drunks” has a pseudo reggae feel to a lyrical ode to high school drinking. “Ridge Road” more classic Staig songwriting and delivery while “Can’t Get Past It” with its haunting fiddle solo and introspective content sits nicely in the set. “Only You and Me” is little like Blue Rodeo another solid song while the set ends with “ Devil of a Day” an ode to the late Bobby Charles who wrote “ See You Later Alligator”and performed on the Band’s Last Waltz concert. The tune lets you know that a song can get you through a devil of a day.

So if you want to feel like you’re in L.A. at the old Palomino or in a bar on the West Coast or in the heartland listening to music that makes you think and move to the beat then grab yourself a copy of Shack By The Tracks and if you can, go catch Chris Staig and The Marquee Players if they’re playing anywhere near you. You’ll be glad you did. - Cashbox Canada

"Chris Staig and the Marquee Players: Shack by the Tracks"

Drinking Anthems

Any musician who namechecks Teenage Head and Hamilton normally gets good grades in my book. That’s what Canadian musician does on his fifth album, Shack by the Tracks, which ain’t too shabby. There’s a real sense of fun that permeates this disc, whether it be the Rolling Stones gone old-timey country two-step of “Tap Your Toe” (complete with yodelling) to the brash horns of “Martha” to the Springsteen-esque ballad “I Can’t Get Past It”. However, you know this dude and his band are having a grand ol’ time when you get to the standout track “Tulane”. It has a boozy swagger to it that evokes what Pavement might have done if they’d gone all out old country. And then, just to change things up, you get the reggae-ish “Bunch of Drunks” which is about being a teenager, being at a high school dance, and, well, you know. So, sure, these are drinking songs, but there’s a pop sheen to the proceedings, even if the sound doesn’t have quite the meat that you’d expect from something this Canadiana sounding.

Sure, the sound doesn’t sound too boozy or alcohol soaked, but, basically, you might play a fun drinking game with the disc every time that drinking or its variations thereof get mentioned. I don’t think you’ll be overtly soused by the time that this thing is over, but there’s a fair amount of songs about drinking to forget, if not just getting high. Basically, there’s no surprise that Chris Staig and company love their potent potables. So, settle down, put this album on, grab your favourite beverage (not herbal tea!) and enjoy a pretty straight-forward country rock album that is nice. Not a bad way to spend 48 minutes or so, when you’re in the mood for getting doused with beer drinking anthems. - Invisible Ink Music Blog


"Deeper We'll Dream" 2000 (full length CD)
"Death of Romance" 2003 (full length CD)
"Davenport" 2006 (full length CD)
"Mary" 2008 (full length CD)

All CDs have received radio play. Tracks available for streaming can be found at,,, and etc.



"A working musician in the truest sense, ...a great songwriter who puts out his own records." CBC Radio 3


Once labeled “a songwriting Charles Atlas” by the Toronto Sun, Chris Staig returns in 2015 with “Shack By The Tracks”. This new recording is the best representation of both Staig’s blues tinged folk rock writing and the live sound of his hard working band The Marquee Players.


Each of Staig’s five recordings are roots rock chronicles detailing how characters in love with music, barrooms and occasionally each other survive with their ideals and passions more or less intact. A review of Staig’s 2006 release “Davenport” noted the disc featured “a winning combination of power pop, roots rock and singer/songwriter pop. There are also hints of Neil Young and John Lennon as well as Grandaddy's Jason Lytle." On April 7 2008, "Time Won't Leave You", from "Davenport" was selected as CBC's New Music Canada Track of Day.


Notable performers who have enlisted Staig’s guitar talents for recording and live performance include Greg Hobbs, bagpipe-funk pioneer Grier Coppins and Dakota Tavern stalwart Jimmy Byron. Staig for has also recorded and played live with Jason Collett of Broken Social Scene. His guitar playing is featured on the track "Blue Skies" from Collett's CD "Motor Motel Love Songs". 


Staig is the only songwriter to have his work covered and recorded by both power pop cynic Dan Bryk ("Honest Love") and novelty song act The Arrogant Worms ("Buy a Bottle of Booze")


Chris Staig's current band, The Marquee Players, consists of Stephen O'Toole on bass, Shelley Coopersmith (Cameron Family Singers) on violin and mandolin, and Ian Mackay (Basia Bulat) on the drums. They maintain a monthly residency at Toronto’s fabled Hole in the Wall, and perform many shows around Ontario each month.


"Shack By the Tracks" was recorded with Andy Magoffin (Great Lake Swimmers, The Constantines) at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, Ontario. A series of shows throughout Ontario to promote the album commences in April of 2015, and included an official launch party on Friday April 3rd at Toronto’s Junction City Music Hall.



Ă‚Ĺ  2015 Chris Staig

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