The Storytelling Songs of Chris Haddox
Bruce Von Stiers
Chris Haddox has a style that moves between several genres. His music is a bit of folk, a bit of country and a bit of bluegrass all mixed together. Although it's hard to pin down Haddox's music into a single genre, it's mostly labeled as Americana.
Haddox has been around for quite a while. But after performing and recording with others, he has now recorded his debut album. The album is self-titled. It has thirteen songs and a play time of fifty-five minutes.
The album was recorded at four different West Virginia studios. And with the range of studios, there were also a range of artists who participated in the album. Pretty much all of them are West Virginians and noted for their musical talents. Ron Sewell was on rhythm acoustic guitar and harmonica. Ammed Solomon did the drums and percussion. Clint Lewis was on the upright bass. Bud Carroll played electric guitar. Johnny Staats played mandolin and Bob Webb played the cello. Other musicians were on dobro, accordion, clarinet, piano and Hammond B-3. And Haddox had several vocalists chime in on the songs. Those vocalists included Emily Miller, Mira Costa, Julie Adams and Ginny Hawker. There were other vocalists on the album as well. But, as with naming all of the musicians who played on the album, I'd be here all day writing the names and what they did. Let's just say that Haddox included a large cross section of regional musicians and vocalists to help him out. As for Haddox, he did all of the lead vocals and played the acoustic guitar and banjo on the album.
Haddox wrote all of the songs on the album. And many of the songs tell a story.
There are amusing songs on the album and ones that deal with loss, pain or tepid anger. There is also one particular song that is historical in nature. That one is titled Kalashnikov, and deals with the angst that the designer of the AK assault rifle must have felt.
Sunday Morning Stoplight is a fun song. It tells of being at a stoplight and nobody's around. Do you run the light and feel guilty, or possibly get a traffic ticket because there is a traffic camera hidden nearby? The song has fluid vocals by Haddox and nice backing harmonies.
Many of us have thought about how great it would be to have a money tree in the back yard. The album has a toe tapping tune about that, appropriately titled Money Tree.
Another toe-tapper is Says You, Says Who, Says Me. It is about marital and life troubles.
Streets of Danville is about heartbreak and not being with her, walking late at night through the town. The song has quite a bit of folk and bluegrass music.
Other good songs on the album include Tree Frog, We Can Fall In Love Again, Life Without Me and O' This River.
The last song on the album is very interesting. It tells a story about life and loss and a grave that's right next to a busy road. The title of the song is A Soul Can't Rest In Peace Besides the Four Lane / Haymond's Lament.
If you like bluegrass, folk and country styles of music mixed together, then you should definitely check out this album. Haddox is quite the storyteller in his songs. And with the artists he brought in to help on the album did a great job.
The album is set to be released near the end of March. But you can listen to a bit of it on Haddox's web site. And there are a few videos there that feature songs from the album. You will find that web site at https://www.chrishaddoxmusic.com/
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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers