Release date: April 28, 2021
After showcasing at Americanafest in Nashville in 2018 and soaking up the vibe of the Americana music scene down there, Chris and his long-time producer and sideman, John Ellis, knew which direction to take the next album. Chris’ previous album, Fragments, was more on the folk side of Americana, but Light & Dark has a more contemporary roots sound.
The track listing features a few rewrites of songs that originally appeared on Chris’ early demo albums along with more recent compositions including “Old Lover,” which was co-written with his brother shortly after the first COVID lockdown. COVID somewhat shaped the concept and making of the album, and some songs – particularly “Please Don’t Come For Me Now” and “Bones” – took on new poignancy because of the pandemic and the loss of Chris’ father to it. The track sequence intentionally alternates between dark and light moods/themes to send the listener on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride.
As for the making of the album, recording was delayed because the pandemic hit just before Chris and the crew were scheduled to hit the studio. Recording eventually began mid-March 2020 under strict guidelines and with just three band members: Chris, John Ellis, and Chris Nordquist. Bed tracks were recorded in two days, and John spent the following months adding his multi-instrumental magic. Aside from Chris’ acoustic guitars, ukulele, and harmonica and Chris Nordquist’s drums, John Ellis plays
everything including bass, dobro, pedal steel, banjo, mandolin, keyboards, and more. He also mixed the album.
Four tracks feature the stunning vocals of Natalie Ramsay, an up and coming Vancouver singer-songwriter who goes by the name Daughter of the Moon. The beautiful and calming “Pacific Time” features Chris and Natalie in full duet. For the environmentally-themed “Still Turning,” Chris wanted increasingly more people singing the chorus to give the impression of a growing movement. To do so, and to add a youthful touch, Chris had his children aged 12 and 14 (at the time of recording) join in for the final rousing chorus.
With all tracks mastered by the end of 2020, it was time to find someone who could tie the concept, songs, and artist together in a single CD package. Enter Juno Award-winning album designer Michael Wrycraft. Michael has drawn on his deep appreciation for music and creative mind to deliver superb design work for an album he said he never tired listening to.