CIGF17: CHRISTOPHER PAUL STELLING
CHRISTOPHER PAUL STELLING
There is a fearless quality to the music of Christopher Paul Stelling. A voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style and lyrics that are both dramatic, and intensely confessional. It’s a sound that channels the restless spirit of a young man who left home to travel the country, formed by endless nights alone on stage with a guitar, playing to packed houses, other times to nearly empty rooms. Stelling estimates that he’s played over four hundred shows in just the past three years. It places him within a longstanding tradition that serves to nurture ones character and art.
Amidst the euphoria of playing in bars, cafes, theaters, festivals, under bridges and in living rooms, were late night conversations with friends, new and old, about the undercurrents of tension and change in their countries and concerns about what was happening back in his own. And so Christopher Paul Stelling wrote songs about it all. Darkly beautiful and powerful songs which became the album “Itinerant Arias” on Anti Records.
Unlike previous records, the new album finds Stelling backed by a band, electrified if you will. It is a record inspired by movement and travel. With a little more than a week before returning to the road, he retreated to a friend’s Connecticut cabin out in the woods with
some musician friends. They slept there, ate there and didn’t leave for the next eight days, recording the haunting and powerful record.
“The richly layered storytelling of John Prine, the croon-to-howl hybrid vocal of Tom Waits and Glen Hansard, and an intricately finger-picked guitar style that lands somewhere between Lead Belly and Lindsey Buckingham” – 10 new country artists you need to know – Rolling Stone, May 2017
“The musical storytelling of Christopher Paul Stelling embodies a long road full of lush folkloric, mythological and religious imagery.” — WNYC
“False Cities finds Stelling owning his particular pulpit with the strength of a dozen Southern Baptist preachers.” – SPIN
“heart-plucking stylings of an acoustic troubadour” – New York Magazine
“Every song on his debut album Songs of Praise and cooks with both down-home comfort and avant-garde brio, Stelling building earthy folk troubadour stories over a fluster of wild arpeggios.” – Village Voice
“The way this man delivers his songs, it’s not hard to imagine him actually “tap-dancing down the edge of this here knife,” as he sings at one point from within a small tornado of acoustic guitar and fiddle.” – SPIN
“…Stelling has put together an album that will hopefully draw people to live performances where they can see what a real self-contained, modern-day troubadour looks and sounds like. Songs of Praise and Scorn is a fine way to introduce someone who should be a voice to be reckoned with in the years to come.” – American Songwriter