Chris Monti

Chris Monti

BandFolkBlues

Chris Monti is a modern singer/songwriter traveling from Maine to DC to the Pacific Northwest to Alaska playing an exciting mix of original songs: acoustic folk, blues, rock, and world music rhythms. Chris has a unique style but his roots run deep: to old-time fiddle music and country blues.

Biography

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.

Lyrics

Long in the Tooth

Written By: Christopher Monti

Springtime open window
Same old foul-mouthed pop song
And the cawing of crows
Come to pick our bones

And in the back-yard
That old broken-toothed graveyard
It rolls and moans

It’s a good reminder of where we’re going
And in the smooth, polished marble of some long-dead’s headstone
You might catch of the state you’re in
What kind of shape are you in?

Young woman I know, young woman I know
I should let her go

You gettin long in the tooth boy!
When you gonna know enough to let it go?

written by Christopher Monti
© 2005 Christopher Monti

Top of the Hill

Written By: Christopher Monti (lyric and arrangement), Gabriel Luddy (music)

There was an old man, name of Bill/He lived on top of the top of the hill
Spent all day by the window sill/Said, “I’m old as hell but I’m living still

Spent all day watching kids at play/Said, “Them days to me is far away,
Days of runnin and fightin/Ridin around on them little red bicycles
else getting pulled around on them little red wagons

bridge

One day old Bill had a little sit-down with himself/He went over the facts

I’ve got arthritic hands and a bent-over back
And I’m workin on a stroke or a heart attack
I fart up a storm but shittin’s a dream
I’ve got a shriveled old prick
And a weak urine stream

So this old man, name of Bill/Who lived on top of the top of the hill
Said you know I ain’t got much more to live/You know I ain't got much more life to live

He went down to the basement, took him a day/Pushed a bunch of old shit out of the way
Found that old toboggan, brought it up and outside
and said… “I’m gonna go for a ride”

madness

That sled looked fine at the top of the hill
As the sun was comin up behind old Bill
He put his sore ass on then old wooden planks
And to his god he offered one final thanks

bridge/instr

That sled moved along on that slick morning grass/Trees and shrubberies flying past
Blue Jays squawking and making way/For a guy on his sled on his very last day

It’s too gory to tell how this story did end
For he failed to turn when he hit the bend
He didn’t zig or zag, he only went straight
And with that decision, he sealed his fate

pause

As the sun was coming up over head
Of all the children lying in the bed
That old man he rolled over dead

written by Christopher Monti and Gabriel Luddy
© 2005 Christopher Monti

Leaving in the Morning

Written By: Christopher Monti

I'm leaving in the morning. I'm gonna take that early train.
I won't say I'm tired of you, but I will say that I am tired of all this rain

One more cup of coffee, and then I'll hit the road
You left me with nothing, but still I cary this heavy load

I say to this woman, "Will you be my woman." She says, "I am a woman of my own."
"Oh Lord," I say, "There go my plans for a happy home."

I'm leaving in the morning. I'm gonna take that early train.
I won't say I'm tired of you, but I will say that I am tired of all this rain

Discography

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 www.christophermonti.com and CD Baby

Set List

I have about 40 originals and I like to play spontaneously, stretch songs out, maybe work a song into the middle of another.

Some of my originals:
Julie Song No. I
The Green Song
Long in the Tooth
Leaving this City
Green Mountain Blues
cats
The JCBFI Blues
Rat-Bat Astard
Top of the Hill
King Solomon and Zen Master Nam Cheon
Lowland
Long in the Tooth
...and many more

There are probably 150 songs that I cover.

country blues
(Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson)
singer/songwriters
(Neil Young, Gillian Welch)
rock and roll
(The Grateful Dead, Dylan)
old-tyme fiddle tunes
(I Truly Understand, Train on the Island)
folk tunes
(Whiskey in the Jar, Jack-A-Roe)
more blues
(Leadbelly, Bessie Smith)
more songwriters and rock n' roll
(Paul Simon, Talking Heads)