|By KRISTYN ADAMS - Special to TimeOut||
January 23, 2014
Wisconsin has become a second home for Chris Weaver.
He has enjoyed
previous visits to the Badger State, and Weaver hopes to do it over
and over again in the coming years.
West Virginia native will make his way through southeastern Wisconsin
in early February, including performing an 8 p.m. show Feb. 8 at
Rooters, 901 Northview Road, Waukesha.
Between a radio
show on New Albany, Miss.-based WWZD FM and a sound-check for a solo
acoustic show later in the evening, Weaver seemed undaunted by his
hectic schedule as he interviewed from Tupelo, Miss., recently.
He calls Nashville
his home, but like most musicians, Weaver’s career calls him to the
road. He and his core group - Ben Owens, Matt Iceman, Corn Perry and
Josh Watters - will be touring the country extensively throughout
2014. His schedule is without a break.
way to say what’s coming up ‘after the tour’ because it just
seems to keep on going,” Weaver said.
Weaver’s ties to
Wisconsin have changed from once coincidental to solid and supportive.
friendships started after I played (the song “So Damn Beautiful”)
at a wedding reception. The couple lives in Arizona now, but I’ve
ended up with a cluster of Wisconsin guys who are great to be with.
Since we’ve had more radio support, I’ve played more venues here
in the Midwest and it has been very busy, but fun. I’ve had fried
ravioli and know all about cheese curds,” Weaver said.
Weaver said the
once difficult balance of family and life on the road is eased by
modern technology. Computers, cellphones and online video chats keep
everyone in the loop. Weaver reflected on how times have changed.
“The Sha-Na-Na and ‘Hee-Haw’ shows aren’t on TV anymore, but
my dad had a music group for 25 years that really perpetuated music in
my life. That’s a foundation that stays put.”
really ends for Weaver, but he’s constantly working on new material
for a third album. Weaver is inspired by the late songwriter Harley
Allen, who collaborated with Weaver on “I Should Have Said That”
from the “American Dreamer” album. Allen has also written for
Garth Brooks, George Jones, Linda Ronstadt and Alan Jackson.
“I’m in a
cross-the-gamut situation with quite a few music styles and I don’t
mean to avoid one or the other,” Weaver said. “I have the same
kind of situation many musicians have and it’s unfortunate because
in today’s (music) marketplace, it helps to be in a category. I
write and perform a song as it is anyway, and I’m pretty happy doing
Wisconsin audiences come away from his performances entertained and
fulfilled. He credits the Milwaukee area-country music group Chasin’
Mason and their lead singer, Billy O’Dwyer, for ongoing fellowship
“I want people
to enjoy an all-around different experience. Live performances like
ours - they’re pretty well-packed. We play straight through with no
break and keep the energy up the whole time we play. You don’t see
performances like that too often,” Weaver said.
Weaver avoids the
“perfectionist” label and prefers spontanaeity. His rough,
textured vocals have hints of gospel, rock, country and blues.
“The only real
perfectionists are classical musicians,” Weaver said.
He produced his
own debut album, “Standing In Line,” released in 2010.
His second album,
“American Dreamer,” was recorded in Nashville and produced in
collaboration with famed producer Josh Leo (Bad Company, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, Alabama, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and released Nov. 5.
The album features
a selection of songs that define the American fabric, from personal
determination and love, the strong foundation of family life, faith in
God, and the hopefulness of the American dream.
Dead” was Weaver’s single from the album. It was written by Weaver
along with James LeBlanc and Leo, and features backup vocals by a
include the emotive album opener “Gravy Train,” the soulful track
“California High,” the smooth ballad “I Should Have Said That”
and the Springsteen-esque “Time Has Wings.”
“The best way to
describe the difference is how you have pizza,” Weaver said.
“Making it yourself can be a great way to try doing it, but then you
go and experience pizza from someone who is right there in the kitchen
and it’s a whole better perspective.”
Dreamer” features guest performances from Jack Pearson on slide
guitar and vocalist Kim Carnes.
Dwayne Butler contributed to this story.)