People & Places
Chrys Mitchell's songs reflect his musical roots in the folk boom of the sixties and his view of life as an odd, puzzling adventure we muddle through as best we can. A native of Rhode Island, he has lived in Maryland, Alaska, and California before accidentally settling down (for now at least) in Iowa. He has worked as a day laborer, factory worker, window cleaner, truck driver, and college English instructor, managing to get by without a regular full-time job for more than twenty years--which has left plenty of time for refining his guitar technique. A self-taught guitarist, Mitchell sometimes says that ninety percent of his musical knowledge is in his fingers. His formal music education is limited to a few years of childhood violin lessons and seven years as a snare drummer in a youth drum and bugle corps. As a folk musician, he started out with a cheap five-string banjo and Pete Seeger's instruction book but switched to guitar after a couple of years. If you think you hear traces of banjo picking in his guitar work, you probably do. Mitchell lists Tom Paxton, Steve Gillette, and Hoyt Axton as the songwriters who have most influenced his writing. Some listeners will probably detect traces of Ian Tyson's influence as well--particularly on 'The Winds of Dakota.' But the strongest influences on his writing are the places he has been and the people he has known. Hence the title of the CD. The places mentioned in the songs are real. The people are mostly fictional. What is fact and what is fiction doesn't really matter, though, provided the songs are true songs. Tracks from this CD are currently available for individual purchase from digital download sites such as iTunes. See the links in the lower left corner of this page.
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