Unplugged By Jack: Chris Slone
A deep voice breaks through the clinking of glasses and shuffling of chairs in the local brewery he frequently entertains. Chris Slone is name well known in his local community, the small town of Du Quoin, located about 90 miles outside of St. Louis in southern Illinois.
Now 27, Slone was born and raised around Chicago. At the age of 4, he was given his first guitar as Steve Ray Vaught played in the background. His father, a blues-country guitarist and singer, watched as his son began to pick up the notes.
“I kind of taught myself, sometimes my dad would be playing and I’d come in the room and he’d throw me a bone and keep jumping on that.” When we spoke to Slone on the phone, he reminisced on growing up north of Chicago and his introduction to music.
Chris Slone is in a jovial mood, an infectious positivity that comes through over the phone. His passion for music, the life he’s created and surrounded himself in is clear. The passion is necessary, but not arrogant.
Slone grew up around music, playing in school and finding his voice. He played the Chicago scene, moving from north to south across the city. His music and his songwriting slowly moved south. For a few years, he played as a hired gun, filling in for bands from Arizona and Colorado until he ended up back in Chicago.
Slone had sold one of his songs and found the city to be an unfamiliar fit, so while playing a tour of shows in Southern Illinois, Slone found his new home. It was unlike Chicago, and the sense of community soon won him over.
Slone is more interested in what he calls the guts of music. His songwriting has been strongly influenced by his surroundings in southern illinois, where his viewpoint has altered his sound as well. He relates the language to that of the people, comparing Shakespeare to a love of whiskey, and communication passion in a way that is accessible. “Country gives you an outlet to tell someone how you feel without a thesaurus,” Slone says of his new country influences on his songwriting.
Today, Slone looks ahead to the future. He plays local shows in Southern Illinois and ghostwrites songs for artists in Nashville. Music surrounds him. He will make his St. Louis debut on March 30 at the innovative Gaslight Studios and Lounge.
Gaslight, located in the Hill, is not only a cocktail bar that share space with the crew from Cha Cha Chow food truck, but a recording studio. March 30 will be the launch of Gaslight’s first Unplugged event with By Jack. Slone will kick off the night recording in studio while the attendee listen behind soundproof glass, enjoying craft beers and a night of great music.
By Jack aims to bring the music back to the people as well as show musicians.This event is free but does require tickets. Tickets are available at www.byjack.com/unplugged