Singer-songwriter Chris Orbach was born and raised in Manhattan. Although he first pursued acting for many years, he always played music and sang. He tried to learn piano properly for years, but instead he taught himself to play by ear, and composed weird Jazz-flavored compositions essentially as a hobby...all the while convinced that someday he'd be an actor. College changed all that. After burning out on acting at a theater conservatory, Chris changed schools (and majors) heading to NYU for Film and Television. There, he discovered two things: European films, and rock and roll...and everything changed. He got himself a guitar and started teaching himself to play at 21, and by 22 he was playing solo in clubs. After forming a band in the early '90's, Chris played out for three years or so, slugging it out in the trenches of Bleecker Street, and then threw in the towel, taking a long hiatus. During this long break, he acted sporadically, eventually developing a successful career doing voiceovers. But he never stopped thinking about 'the game', and his old tunes wouldn't leave him alone. Then when some new ones came along and his old friend and lead guitarist Stew Cutler heard them, Chris was practically ORDERED by him to start playing out seriously again! So, older and wiser, he came back on the scene in 2004, with the album Safely Through The Night. For this he was reunited with his old lead guitarist, Stew Cutler -- a talented jazz blues and rock journeyman who's worked with a wide range of artists from Wilson Pickett to Bill Frisell, as well as playing his own compositions. He also got back in touch with his old drummer Graham Hawthorne, who since the Bleecker Street days has built up quite a resume, touring with the likes of Paul Simon and David Byrne. And through Graham, he met bassist John Montagna, who also plays with The Alan Parsons Live Project. John's melodic playing, great backup singing, and positive vibe was the missing link that made things really come together. With the backing of this stellar team, Chris has been playing in New York and around the Northeast ever since, learning and growing all along the way. Now, with his new album, Secession, Chris shows us just how far he's come in recent years. Unlike Safely Through The Night, which was really a sort of 'best-of' collection of songs from a long period of time, Secession is from a shorter time frame, and therefore more tied together musically, thematically, and stylistically. The bulk of Secession was recorded in Chris' recently built home studio, and with studio time no longer being a constraint, he and the boys (along with the invaluable help of engineer and co-producer Troy Halderson) had a 'license to kill', and the result is an ambitious musical trip. As for the title -- rather than thinking about the idea of Secession in the political sense, Chris explores it more in the personal sense...in terms of declaring independence from the tyrannical things in your mind and in your past that hold you back. In typical off-the-cuff fashion, Chris calls Secession 'a sort of musical referendum on the death of my father and the last 8 years under George W. Bush...I guess.' But in the same breath, he'd probably tell you to only keep half an eye on the 'concept' and just enjoy the songs. From the accessibly poppy 'Samantha', to the rocking 'Edge Of The World'; from the gentle 'My Quiet Love' and 'Red Star Assassins', to the world-beat swing of 'Secession'; from the bittersweet 'All Away' to the sublime and elemental 'Long Lost Son', Secession is a musical journey worth taking.
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