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Chris Kasper

chris kasper

Sunlight in an Empty Room is the seventh full-length record by renowned songwriter, Chris Kasper. It is alive with nods to songwriters of the 70s like Bobby Charles, Lowell George, and Neil Young. Kasper also drew inspiration from the artwork of Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, embodying the musical essence of illuminating the small worlds within a larger space, focusing on the bittersweet beauty of simplicity often lost in grandiose landscapes.

This musical odyssey was prompted by a thought-provoking mantra he’d heard urging individuals to “Do something that scares you.” Kasper resonated with it as a challenge to let his guard down, be vulnerable, get out of his comfort zone and let a new type of record-making venture take shape. He reached out to accomplished engineer/ bass player Brook Sutton, and drummer/ musician extraordinaire, Jano Rix (both recognized for their work with The Wood Brothers), to set aside a long weekend at their Nashville studio. With the final addition of musician JP Ruggieri, sought out for his distinctive guitar work, Chris went to Nashville without demos or finished lyrics to record live-to-tape with a band he never worked with before. Thus, “do something that scares you.”

Drawing upon his prolific two-decade career as a songwriter, Kasper and his handpicked team sought to capture the elusive “lightning in a bottle” essence that resonates within his favorite recordings. The result? An impressive collection of 11 songs with a refreshingly real, exposed, and open sound.

Sunlight in an Empty Room traverses the Americana, country blues, indie folk and vintage rock spectrums, blurring the lines between genres. With the rhythmic foundations laid by Brook Sutton’s funky bass syncopation, JP Ruggieri’s minimalist guitar crunch, and Jano Rix’s captivating rhythms, the album is further enriched by guest appearances from Oliver Wood (“Getting Right”) and G. Love (“Ain’t it a Shame”).

Venturing into the thematic landscape, “Cold, Cold World” opens the record with the story of a former vagabond, kicked down by life and reborn by love, which in turn, breathes beauty into even the most mundane aspects of existence.

“Shuffle On Through” is a dreamy number which delivers poignant reminders that there is a simple solution to most hang-ups, that every ascent is met with a descent, and growth often requires breaking oneself to emerge anew.

“It’s Not Me, It’s You” is a stomper of a track, with a heavy Junior Kimbrough-inspired blues riff. The lyric is a fun old adage-turned-argument where the protagonists and antagonists are unclear and the fight goes unsettled. The sonic explosion that concludes the tune leaves an indelible impression on the listener.

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