Chris Samson has been singing, playing guitar and writing songs for more than 30 years. His debut CD, "In My Own Time," showcases 14 of his original songs, recorded with some of the top musicians in Northern California, including guitarist Keith Allen (Steve Miller Band), violinist Al Garth (Eagles), harmonica player Bruce Kurnow (Mason Proffit), singer-pianist George Merrill (Boy Meets Girl) and trumpet player Peter Welker (Cold Blood), who also co-produced the CD. Listen closely to his songs from the intensely personal ballads like "Snakes and Dust" to the rollicking "Cold Weather Blues" to the stirring "Salvation Train" and you'll hear a sound rooted in American folk, popular and traditional music.
Notes From Chris's Brother, Rich
It seems like only yesterday when Chris told me that he was learning to play the guitar. He was a senior in college, and over the next few years, he embarked on a series of adventurous road trips, including a three-month jaunt through Mexico. While there, he wrote an early version of "Reforma in the Rain (Lost in Mexico)."
Later, he headed east in a VW van. Those long drives through the Southwestern desert produced the introspective ballad "Sky." In Massachusetts, he rendezvoused with a onetime flame. The haunting "We Should Have Gone Away" looks back at the affair that might have taken a different path. "Leslie's Song" offers an upbeat, benevolent toast to a composite of former lovers.
From Cape Cod, he ventured north to Ontario, Canada. The moody "Sometime in the Winter" reflects more emotional suffering and lost love, while "Evening Sundown" suggests an elevation of personal awareness. "The Beer Song" is a waltzing tribute to good brew and friendship. After Canada, Chris lived in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, where he composed some of his best music. "Salvation Train" is his stab at spiritual redemption, while "Snakes and Dust" was inspired by Jack Kerouac's novel, "Lonesome Traveler."
After a couple of years, Chris was lured to a 9-5 job as a newspaper reporter at Lake Tahoe. "Cold Weather, Broken Car, Infidelity Blues" is a parody of those cry-in-your-beer country tunes. The foot-stomping "Road to the West" embodies the spirit of his personal quests. Eventually, Chris settled in Petaluma, where he met his wife. "Song for Edy (We'll Get Through This)" is a lament for the loss of a life partner. It reflects the cycle of life and death with sadness, courage and acceptance. "In My Own Time" expresses a continually changing life and an ongoing search for individual truth.
Although it has taken many years to bring this first recording of original songs to fruition, it is a personal milestone and a major accomplishment of a gifted artist, confident enough to open his soul a bit and to share his music with the world. A treasure indeed. -- Rich Samson
"Chris' songwriting talents and folk background have landed him in the spotlight of a number of North Bay venues. His first self-produced CD of original tunes features his clear and genuine vocals and solid guitar playing. A crowd favorite, Chris' songs are always big on heart and meaning, and he's always good for some tunes that'll tweak your funny bones."
-- Larry Potts, award-winning singer-songwriter
"Chris and I were friends for a long time before I heard his music. When I listened to 'Salvation Train,' I was very impressed and suggested I write a horn part for it. When I heard his other songs, I encouraged him to make a full-blown CD of his songs and it became a fun musical partnership. His songs have an Americana feel. Some are light, fun and buoyant and others impart a poignant message."
-- Peter Welker, trumpet player, bandleader, arranger
"I met Chris on Cape Cod when he was traveling around America in his early 20s. He was then, as he is now, composed of three elements: a dry sense of humor, a sense of Swedish rectitude and an absolute passion for music. I always figured music was his real mistress, no matter whom he was with at the time."
-- Pete Ferry, writer, artist, philosopher (1932-1999)