DETROIT SINGER SONGWRITER/MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST
CHRIS EMMERSON RELEASES NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM,
Release Party with The Blueflowers and Greater Alexander
Set for April 24 at The Magic Bag in Ferndale
Detroit, Mich. – Take some funky, blues- inspired rock with killer guitar solos. Add in heartfelt, slow burning ballads. Mix in unexpectedly fresh takes on a couple of classics. This is Chris Emmerson, the Detroit based musician’s new self-titled album that showcases his rock-influenced, singer/songwriter sound. The album launches at a release party April 24 at the Magic Bag in Ferndale.
For this follow up to 2014’s It’s So Easy from Far Away, Emmerson turned to producer and engineer Tony Hamera at Tempermill Studios in Ferndale, MIch. The result – a cohesive, polished compilation that highlights Emmerson’s strength, sensitivity and range – shines from production to arrangement.
While this collection has a funkier, soulful sound that was influenced by Emmerson’s love of Motown and the blues, the tracks are steeped in rock roots with a hint of jazz inspiration and plenty of riffs to showcase Emmerson’s guitar prowess. With comparisons to Jeff Buckley, John Mayer and Elliott Smith, the emotion of Emmerson’s intimate vocals is perfectly blended with the rich, sultry harmonies of background singers to create a sensual vocal track with a rich melodic sound.
The album gets started with the playful What I Thought, an energetic, riff-driven, full-band rock track that has evolved in the five years since receiving national accolades.
Emmerson, who wrote What I Thought while part of his former band Hogan Says!, took top honors in SongDoor’s songwriting competition in the rock/alt category, but the song was never released as that version. The fresh, new adaptation benefits from Emmerson’s growth as an artist and more seasoned musical approach.
On the ballad We Will Pull Through, RootedGrass Music observes “Emmerson nails the perfect mix of confidence and vulnerability. He’s effortlessly evocative…the way his vocals play with higher registers is at once hopeful and heartbreaking.”
Crowdfunding Meets Artistry
In an example of the trend among musicians seeking new sources to help support album production, Emmerson offered one fan the opportunity to select a song to include on the album through a Kickstarter campaign. Emmerson was not only thrilled to have a supporter invest in his music at that level, but also with the song that was chosen, Bob Dylan’s Shooting Star. “I wasn’t familiar with that Dylan song, but love his work and think that the simple acoustic cover of it fits really well on the album,” he said. “And it was a great way to get people involved.”
Emmerson launches his new album with a release party at The Magic Bag in Ferndale on Friday, April 24. Doors open at 8 p.m. Joining him are folk noir favorites The Blueflowers and singer songwriter Greater Alexander. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
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About Chris Emmerson: Chris Emmerson grew up in southwest Detroit and spent his days huddled over a cassette player learning to play guitar and write songs. For more than a decade he has been a staple on the Detroit rock scene, performing at dozens of venues, including the Magic Bag, the Magic Stick and playing to a sold out crowd at the Majestic Theatre. A lifelong musician – starting his first band in fourth grade – Emmerson cut his teeth performing alongside his father as a teen. In the mid-2000s he began his professional career and found early success on guitar and vocals with Hogan Says!, a group that won accolades for their songwriting. His talents have multiplied over the years as he has expanded his musical arsenal to include keys, bass and drums.
Chris Emmerson – album track list:
- What I Thought
- When Will it End
- We Will Pull Through
- It Doesn’t Matter
- Shooting Star
- Something I Can’t Undo
- Push Someone
- The Climb
- Steve’s Song