Teaches: Mandolin, Songwriting and plays English Country Dance Music. Chris also serves as 317 Main’s Director of Music Education
Teaching Philosopy: 1) Have fun. 2) Develop new skills. 3) Find your expressive voice.
Musical Influences: My grandfather composer/pianist J. George Johnson, John McGann, Tim O’Brien, The Band, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bill Monroe, Keith Jarrett, and many others.
When I’m not making music: I’m working as Director of Music Education at 317 Main, exploring 19th century Shaker manuscripts, kayaking and hiking.
Current Music Projects: Magic 8 Ball, Spivey’s Robbins, Shaker music, solo songwriting.
Favorite place in Maine: Any salt water, rocky outcrop
Chris began studying piano at age seven and classical violin at age ten. He graduated from Waynflete School and received his degree in acting from Skidmore College. While living in New York City, Chris worked as a performance artist, musician, puppeteer, and on the staff of the Arts at St. Ann’s concert series in Brooklyn. While in New York, he studied with mandolin master Andy Statman. Chris founded the band Rust Farm with Boston guitarist John McGann. Rust Farm released two albums, the second produced by bluegrass great Tim O’Brien. Maine audiences also know him as the mandolin player for The Fogg Brothers bluegrass band.
Chris has composed, performed, and recorded music for dance, film, television, spoken word, theater, and visual art projects. He has performed as a classical soloist, and was awarded a Maine Artist Fellowship for songwriting in 2001. His songs have been recorded and performed by Adrienne Young, Mark Erelli, Rani Arbo, Carol Noonan, Barnstar!, Northern Lights, Dennis Brennan, Joe K. Walsh and others. Chris has taught lessons, classes, and workshops for mandolin, songwriting, traditional Shaker music, and English Country Dance music.
He lived in Nashville, TN from 2003-2013, where he founded the band Kindling Stone with fiddler Mark Wingate. Chris returned to Maine in 2013 to work as the Director of Music Education for 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth.