Chris North, former member of The Points North, has a disposition somewhat akin to his music. This Jamaica Plain resident is a humble guy, while simultaneously being a no-bullshit and a very straight-to-the-point individual. His music resembles his earnestness, which he’s been writing and performing for several years now, dating back to his solo and collaborative efforts under the moniker of Saint Joe Hazelwood. North’s music has ranged from quite Appalachian folk to experimenting with static and industrial-esque soundscapes. Consistently honing and altering his craft, Chris has been a regular amongst the music scene of Jamaica Plain, often playing at the Whitehaus. Not unacquainted with touring, Chris has performed across North America and Australia. I took a brief moment to catch up with Chris on his current and past musical endeavors and also caught a quick glimpse at what he was working on next…
B: Now, Chris a lot has changed since the last time I saw you perform. What have you been up to lately in regards to your musical escapades?
C: The last time I saw you was in fact at a housewarming party in New Hampshire. Later that night I performed a long flowing set on open tuned electric guitar, harmonica, and vocals. I was accompanied by Regina on flute, and Chris McCarthy on drums (former members of The Points North). We performed in an old boat on a trailer in Matt’s yard. A weeping willow hung down and brushed us as we played, and we tried to avoid putting our feet in the water collected in the bottom of the boat.
The Points North consisted of Chris North, Regina Peterson, and Dylan Clark. We were at times joined by Evan Foudray and Chris McCarthy on bass.
B: Although you’re technically a “solo act” now, I’m assuming you’re still collaborating with other musicians?
C: Correct, I often perform shows as the Chris North Quartet, which includes myself, Max Holbrook, Chris McCarthy, and Kyle Alspach, though the cast is rotating and have been joined by a number of other wonderful musicians.
B: Cool, so I’m guessing that house-warming performance wasn’t completely out of the norm for you then?
C: The boat show in Matt’s backyard was unusual but not unorthodox for a Chris North show. As a solo artist I have been refining my songwriting, while also seizing all opportunities for a unique and appropriate experience, live or recorded.
B: You’ve been pretty busy over the past year…
C: I’ve released two records as Chris North, The Story of My Light, which featured the first batch of tunes I wrote post-TPN, many of which enjoyed the expanded lyrical freedom that comes with a solo project. And I’ve also released my new LOVEDREAM 12″ a few weeks ago, and it features some studio gems but also several live recordings and improvised duets.
B: Good stuff. I’ve also heard you’ve got a lot more work coming down the pipeline?
C: I’m working on another EP right now, to be titled ‘Near and Far Is All We Are,’ and will be out in May. You can preview what that sounds like here http://www.sendspace.com/file/h0dhvz. My house also just released a compilation LP titled The Whitehaus Family Record Vol 2: Are You In Paradise? It’s a collection of 20 two-minute songs and is truly inspiring in it’s creative approach and quality of work presented.
(You can check that out by clicking on this here link: http://www.areyouinparadise.com/)
Chris assured me that he’ll continue working on new tunes, getting into a rhythm and best practices routine intended to help him further improve his craft. He even just recorded two tracks with producer Dave Drago, and intends to release them as part of an EP along with remixes of the tracks by Many Mansions and Animal Hospital, which should be ready by this Spring. If you want to catch Chris perform, he frequently plays a variety of shows in Boston, and in April will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of my residency at The Haven in Jamaica Plain.
Chris can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also check out his music right here.