Chris Monti
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Chris Monti

Band Folk Blues


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The best kept secret in music


"Christopher Monti "Swampland Flowers" Love's Labors Lost and Found"

Christopher Monti
"Swampland Flowers"
Love's Labors Lost and Found!

My favorite tune off of "swampland flowers" has a chorus which goes "THERE (ARE) WORSE FATES THAN THOSE WHICH LAY BEFORE ME" I like it for allota reasons, one being that, other than this chorus, there is practically no effort made to make rhyme (or reason) outta raw notebook scribbling, but more so, because this one bit of self conscious "poetry" ,is a staggering insight couched in a cosmic shrug of the shoulders.

Izzit understatement or pure heroism? Hipness squared or cliche cubed? Folk music renaissance ( part nineteen) or 100% original voice?
Christopher Monti has combined these and a couple dozen other artisticalistal & descriminatory dilemmas into his musical pursuits and the result is the kind of off-handed, random,free-associated truth that you mighta come to expect from the very first American originals be they folk, rock, blues country, musical or lyrical, or both-
all of whom he clearly emulates.(N no I aint gonna git specific about the voices n influences I hear here, because it would obliterate my own credibility way too quickly, n its way too eroded already)

What is much more important to stress, is that this particular artist creates his own voice outta those early voices, as if he was "sampling" the freedom of expression as well as the "existential" options of his predecessors in the genre.

Long before the hierarchs at AS22O realized that the most THEY could get from AS22O was an opportunity to schmooze endlessly and pretend to have serious work to do, the "artist owned" non-profit corporation was actually intended to offer opportunities to artists who were by nature unsuited for the commercial contexts of the world at large. Those for whom free play and expression were labors of love, or as I prefer to think of it at this pertikular moment, the involuntary pelvic contractions of the associative cerebrum.

Whatz not to love about this?

Folk music which employs the actual instruments of his kinfolk? A world-beat travelogue exploring the ubiquitous personal notebook of the north American man/boy as he pushes 30? A history of folk lore in inexplicable esoteric personal references, country n western mythology and Homeric advertisements for the life of the soul?

THen of course there are the musical manifestations:
A great fleet of sounds that are as often silent as they are furious.His Grand Ma's fiddle is an astounding presence, as are his very loquacious fangers (he plays just like talking),and all of the aspects of the fine tuned, hand crafted armada of folk couture which sails through yer ears whilst emersed in Chris Monti's musical stream of consciousness. This man is not re-defining culture,he is merely "playing" brilliantly and singing the contents of his heart.

I'm thrilled over an over by the opportunity which AS22O gives me to be privy to raw artistic love n its labors, so oft lost on others busied with the dumbass business of "living". Chris Monti n his friends n family n the musical manifestations they are layin so lovingly upon us here, is yet the latest edition of my bliss. And already readied to be eclipsed and perfected in another
theme n variations.

there ARE worse fates.....

- Peter John Boyle


I released in July of 2005 the all-solo-acoustic CD 'Locust Grove' featuring 12 original songs. Stylistically they stretch from blues to reggae, to west african influenced songs, to pieces I have no category for. I recorded Locust Grove at Two Ears Studio in Providence, Rhode Island, with Sue Metro engineering and me producing.
Song list: Long in the Tooth | Annalee | Top of the Hill | King Solomon and Zen Master Nam Cheon | Chris and Adam’s Song | Country Boy in the City | Julie Song No. I | Even When You’re Not Here | The Man Who Lost His Fear of God | Leaving in the Morning | Lowland | Caroline and Matt’s Wedding Song | Cadence Emma | Me and Curby

"Swampland Flowers", my first solo record, was released in 2003. I sing and plays 6 and 12 stringed acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and bass on 12 tracks, with guest musicians on drums, percussion, fiddle and guitar.
The feel of the album spans country and chicago blues , gutsy folk, a west african groove on cats and Julie Song No. II, and some rockin' multitracked acoustic picking on Rat-Bat Astard.
Song list: Julie Song No. II | The Green Song | Leaving This City | 23 December | The JCBFI Blues | The Bee Song | cats | The Local Expatriate | Rat-Bat Astard | Take Your Rest | Rachel’s Song | Thorn in Your Side

both albums can be purchased at and CD Baby


Feeling a bit camera shy


I’m a writer and a singer. I play guitar and harmonica , and the piano a bit. For jam sessions or recordings I’ll play bass, mandolin, and banjo.

My original material covers a lot of stylistic ground. I play acoustic and electric; I fingerpick, flatpick, use open tunings and play slide. My music has some old time folkiness, some country-blues, some african music, some rock and roll, some hippie music, a sense of melodic improvisation, and a good beat.

My most recent album is ‘Locust Grove’. It was recorded live in the studio: Just me playing acoustic guitar and harp and singing. Eleven original songs.

The first CD ‘Swampland Flowers’ is a little more eclectic for instrumentation. There is some solo acoustic stuff but also some fiddle, some multitracked guitars, and some full band tracks.

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of solo gigs. I recently returned from a tour of Florida opening shows for the great blues guitar player and singer, Paul Geremia.

I’ve also been performing on electric guitar with Andrew Hlynsky on drums and Nick Pagano on bass, two smokin young players. We play my songs arranged for electric instruments and with plenty of room for soloing and group improvisation.

Jake Haller and I play together as the Killdevils. Jake sings and plays acoustic guitar, piano, accordion and slide. I sing and play guitar, harp and slide. We have a repertoire of about 100 good songs from country-blues and jump blues, to good old-style country music, some rock and roll, and the Ramones’ ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’.

Also, Jake and I are performing with David Haller on guitar and baritone a repertoire of traditional songs from the fine collection, ‘Ballad of America’.

I have been playing guitar for 15 years. Past projects include the bands: The Third Story Congress Dance Band (occasionally laying down hip hop beats for our friend, Mr. Bodega), Third Story Congress Acoustic Band, Low School, The Blue Toad Flax, The Architecture Band, Brown Sugar and the Promised Land, Franz Schubert and Pals, and jam sessions all across gods green earth.

Influences and Inspirations:

From Music:
John Coltrane, David Byrne, Paul Geremia, Ali Akbar Khan, Chris Turner, Thelonious Monk, Ani DiFranco, Phish, Pete Seeger, Erin McKeown, Frank Zappa, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, The Grateful Dead, the Pixies, Robert Johnson.

From Books:
Peter Matthiessen, Louise Erdrich, Don DeLillo, Seth Kantner, Rumi, Gary Snyder, Hemingway, Kerouac.

Some of My Biggest and Best Recent Performances

Openning for Paul Geremia on a tour of Florida.

The ‘Locust Grove’ Release Party
In July of 2005 I held a release party for Locust Grove at Tazza in Providence, Rhode Island. Chris and Rachel Turner opened the show. I performed a 45 minute solo set and then two 70 minute sets with Third Story Congress. 130 people attended the release party.

The Mediator Concerts
In late 2005 I produced promoted and performed in two concerts held at The Mediator in Providence. I performed solo and with my old-time blues band The Killdevils. Also performing were Paul Geremia, the great country blues player, and the Providence Wholebellies, a crazy-folk/ecstatic-music collective. Over 120 people attended each of the concerts.

Opening For Paul Geremia in RI
My blues duo the Killdevils opened for the great country blues player at his local haunt Billy Goode’s in Newport, Rhode Island many times in 2005.