Mister Chris at Summervale


By: McKenna Murray, Summervale Music Intern

Mister Chris will be taking the stage at this week’s Summervale! Mister Chris & Friends writes, records, and performs original music for all ages. Their new album, Fall, will be available at Summervale. Mister Chris and his music will be also be featured in a new children's TV Show Pilot with Vermont PBS coming soon. Bring your kiddos and come enjoy the sweet sound of Mister Chris!

Here is a brief interview with Mister Chris for a quick preview of what to expect at this week’s Summervale!

1. How long have you been playing this kind of music? How did you start writing kids music and where did that desire come from?

I have been writing songs and performing since I was 16. I grew up in Michigan with a wonderful group of musicians who eventually formed our record label Earthwork Music. My original material falls into the Indie Folk Genre comfortably and began as an expression of life and our journey through it. I started working with kiddos when my kiddos were born. I balanced my role as Dad and musician in the first few years, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not so much. It was when I started writing specifically for my children that it all started to fall into harmony.

2. How would you describe your music?

I write music that is intended to be joyful, thoughtful and respectful to children and families.  I enjoy collaboration with many different musicians and exploration of many different sounds.

3. What influences your music? What kind of inspiration do you draw from living in the Burlington area?

I am greatly inspired by the children and families I work with. I spend a lot of time listening to kiddos and parents. The cusp of life that is early childhood and early parenthood is incredibly special and fleeting as well. Also, there is so much good music in Vermont! I get a chance to hear a lot of talented players for I book bands for our Burger Night Concerts at our community farm, Bread & Butter Farm.   

4. What is your songwriting process like?

It usually starts with a melody. Then, I ask what is the emotive quality of this melody and what could I add to support the idea. Or, it will start with an emotion that I am trying to capture in a melody. Sometimes, I'll write a poem or a story that I carve into a song. My goal with kids music is to say a lot as simply and as beautifully as I know how.

5. Why are you excited about performing at Summervale?

Summervale is crazy fun!  It is a multigenerational gathering centered around food, music, and enjoying the outside during the fleeting Summer days of Vermont.

Abby Portman