Meet my very dear friend, teacher, mentor, and artist, Chris Sanders. I remember the first time I met Chris, she had come to my house for our first meeting, and warned her husband that she was going to the house of strange man, and if he didn't hear from her within an hour to call the police. Well, he didn't have to call the police.
She's one of those rare individuals that you just know quite quickly, is very special. We clicked almost instantly on a musical level, and soon thereafter on a personal level. I couldn't sing worth shit when we met. She'd roll her eyes, kinda chuckle, and encourage me to no end. She gave me the tools to work with.
It was pretty quick after we started, that she really dove right into my songs and songwriting. I've learned more about lyric writing, and music as well, from Chris, than from any other single person. She always carries a red pen with her. And subscribes to the theory that once you've written your song, take out the red pen and scratch out every other line, then you might have a song. Or the beginnings of one anyway.
She co-wrote the only song of mine to get played on the radio, "Christmas Eve Alone". I had started the song on Christmas Eve, really, no joke. That following summer, during a stint at Camp Bluegrass in Levelland Texas, we finished the song together in her dorm room (faculty housing). She also co-wrote, or really re-wrote, "It Could Happen To Anyone" while we were siting at a coffee table outside a studio in LA., making the point very clear that a song has to come from experience, and cannot be preachy. No one likes to be talked at, but rather talked to or with; it's a conversation, not a sermon. A big point in songwriting.
Chris has an incredible voice. And is a superb songwriter. She is part of The Hard Road Trio, along with Steve Smith (see separate post), and Anne Luna. They're an excellent Americana band, and are particularly great live ( see below). One of my favorite songs of Chris's is called "Beacon", from the Monticello record. Do yourself a favor and check it out down below.
Through the years, we continue to work together, though not as often as I'd like, for a variety of circumstances. And we continue to be great friends, supporting each other along the way. Chris, and her musical partner Steve Smith continue to be solid rocks in this growing life and musical journey I've undertaken.