CHRIS CHANDLER (?)

By Dallas Embry

Since I began running Artist's Night (Wednesdays) at Uncle Pleasant's I have had occasion to meet some interesting and talented musicians.

One of these is a young man who plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, bongos and sings/raps a topical type of talking blues in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

Chris Chandler, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, currently hails from Cambridge, Ma., although his actual residence is his beat up old car, in which he travels all over the U.S. and sings wherever and whenever he can. From opening for Michelle Shocked (which he recently did in Cincinnati), playing with Pete Seeger, playing various festivals, clubs and artist night/open stages, he plays them all, yet, if asked, he is a "street musician."

He sometimes makes up songs on the spot and sometimes "borrows" lines from snippets of conversation he overhears, but he also has a tape of eleven songs which was recorded in various bedroom studios in Atlanta, N.C., New York City, and the Boston area. He dubs these tapes on a boom box in his car and sells them at his performances.

I have seen him perform three times now and have always enjoyed him. Most of his performance can be heard on his tape Stranded Musician Needs Gas Out Of Town.

Chandler is a political/social satirist and his material may not please everyone, but it will make everyone think and perhaps develop a new perspective on things.

With "Empire Rant," for example, he talks about everyone wanting the '60s to come back, but if the '60s come back 'in the '80s, "We'll all be wearing leisure suits in the '90s," and,

Now there is a fact that's widely known

That fossil fuels have destroyed the ozone

Now if you contemplate it's weird to think

That dinosaurs are going to make us extinct

When we shuffle off our mortal coil

A new dominant species on the evolutionary chain scientists think it'll be cockroaches with a forebrain

Now our human egos this might vex

That we like the once might Tyrannosaurus Rex

Through nature's ironic forces

Will become memorialized as statues on some bug's goofy golf courses.

Along with the "rant" he performs "Bush Lite," "She's So Mundane," "Watergate Generation," "Emotional Dyslexia" and my favorite "Whole Wheat Left."

With his frenetic guitar playing, his cracked bongos, his harmonica, his sense of humor and irony, he can be a very funny fellow while at the same time addressing serious subject like the accessibility problems of the physically disadvantaged.

Chandler will be back in the neighborhood sometime in the future. If you're interested in checking him out, keep in touch with either Bill Ede or myself and we'll let you know when he's scheduled to return.