Chris [B]aron

10 Projects | 15 Years | 22 Albums

No project has been forgotten, and if I had my way none would be left behind.


[H]ello. I'm so glad you stopped by. Behold, I have rendered memorable website paragraphs.

Over the past decade, I have stirred many frys. I have cut the lemongrass on the bias. Also, I have collaborated in different musical projects, and perfected a few studio recordings. No project has been forgotten, and if I had my way none would be left behind. My first solo album, Searchlights in Mexico (2008) was good fun. My second solo album, Light Up The Sky (2014), turned out slightly more complex, both musically and politically. Life has been good, though, mostly because I have found stability in adaptability. Read on for a fantastical history.

I was born in October 1981. My family is entirely supportive and mostly cool. In normal everyday life, I hear pop melodies and sectional transitions in my head. I sit, I drive, I chef, I imagine. Then I pick up my guitar, record a demo and show it to the musicians around me.

A cross college and beyond, I jumped at the chance to work with amazing random talent, both in terms of bandmates and producers. This website is being born in the year 2014.

By summer 2014, my second solo album was released, and I took a moment to reflect. The Tummybuckles were able to release our 3rd EP; A Crab's Life was able to release a debut album and an official music video; Huge Sally is still improbably reuniting on average once a year; new collaborations are springing up with Portland phenoms Dors Ward (The Baron Ward!), and also Joel Tomfohr, and also Jesse Tomaino; K8nPdx is on a video-making rampage; and I find myself content. I am found in Portland, Oregon, maintaining a weekly rotation of live performances in my favorite venues, with my favorite musical comrades.

And the items below are still of note.

Kris Farm

I remember working with Maryspeak in early 2004, a brilliant young alternative pop band with classic songs, timeless guitar and vocal hooks, and absolutely no group-desire to do anything with it. It was an improbable learning experience. We finished our still-unreleased album and individually went on to other things. Through this, I met music producer and current Webmaster Kris Farm. That is Mr. Farm to you. He is first and foremost an Old Soul Friend. And he is quite notable for another particular reason: he donated a computer to me in 2007 and encouraged me to make quick recordings of the songs I was writing... which turned into hundreds and hundreds of hours of demo material that cultured into the music of full albums. This same computer also had a Word Processing function, and it is with this that I am typing this very About.

Ryan Ferris

Cheers to Ryan Ferris in my many darkest hours of glory. Since acquaintancizing in 2001, Ryan and I have completed six full albums with three different bands. From 2009-2012, until his son George was born, once per week (sometimes more) we would meet at his studio in N Portland and work on various projects in progress. Because of Ryan Ferris and Kris Farm, I have grown obsessed with Recording, and Records, and Sound Capture. Ryan gave me opportunities to really explore the studio space, and I ended up playing drums, bass, synth, and various percussions for several songs on "Light Up The Sky" thanks to his quiet and encouraging support of the unknown and the sparks that guide a creative vision. The "Light Up The Sky" audio was eventually mastered by him, and the album is as much his as it is mine.

Evelate & Searchlights

Evelate was wild, unpredictable "rum rock", and marked my embrace of being a Front Man…a thing of reluctance for many years. Evelate recorded our first album live in the studio (fourteen songs, 2005), and recorded and mixed in the vocals the next day. Simple as that. Our second, more polished, self-titled album took three months, and turned out to lay the ground-work for what would become Searchlights. Searchlights featured Joe Bass and Dusty Beats. I introduced Joe and Dusty in 2009 for a studio project, and we got along so splendidly that we formed a new original project. Searchlights was a special band, not only for the Music and stage presence, but the personality blends and behind-the-scenes friendships. We took on the entire Evelate catalogue for our live show, and also recorded seventeen new songs overall from 2009-2012; engineered and co-produced by Ryan Ferris, and painstakingly mixed and remixed by Ryan, Dusty Beats and I over that three-year period. As things turned out, Searchlights was never able to package an album of our own. But, seven of the songs from the Ryan Ferris Sessions were placed onto Light Up The Sky, and thus the arc of my efforts continues to tie us all together. The remaining "official/unmastered" Searchlights tracks can be found in my Library on this website. I would not be the man I am today without these two.

Rob Lewis & Will Downing

In the fall of 2005, after an Evelate gig in Beaverton, I was approached by Rob Lewis for the first time. He introduced me to Will Downing, whose songs and personality blew me away, and we recorded three albums of Will's music together over the next seven years. Rob encouraged Me to write and record a solo album. He said that he would produce and promote it. I quit my job in the insurance industry in early 2007 and moved to Los Angeles to live with Kris Farm for 7 months. I wrote "Searchlights In Mexico", returned to Portland by that fall, and Rob stayed true to his word and co-produced the record with me. We also ended up co-producing Huge Sally's Cold-hearted Bastard (2008). Will and I continued to grow closer, but sadly, he passed away tragically in May 2012, just after completing his third studio album but before he had a chance to release it. Before he died, I was lucky enough to spend plenty of time with him down on Johnny's Farm in south Texas, in the dusty town of Mercedes, and he encouraged me tremendously to fight to get my music out there. He even funded a couple of tours out of his pocket, traveling with me in his car as sound man and promoter. Without Rob and Will, I would not have been able to accomplish what I have. Rob BELIEVED in the music, and its power and longevity, and so did Will. Both were brilliant, both were unafraid to take risks and stick their necks out, and I pay tribute to Will at almost every gig by covering a song of his and telling a quick story. Rob Lewis lives in northern Washington State, and although he is not involved in producing new music as much as he was, we will always be in touch.

Bad Austin

My trusted friend Russ Rochambeau, whom I have known well since 1994, started recording my live sets and archiving them with a project called BadAustin in 2009. Russ recorded Huge Sally, Searchlights, The Baron Ward, Disorderly Conduct, Idiot Science, and The Tummybuckles as part of a diabolical program we called "Bad Austin Sessions." Eventually, he co-produced three official albums with me: Huge Sally (self-titled, 2011; The Tummybuckles EP I (2011); and Live @ White Eagle (2014). Russ is an extremely valued friend, not to mention my go-to for live sound, live recordings, and graphic design. When you see this gentleman at a show, say hi to him and offer your finest beef jerky. Although BadAustin is currently inactive, Recordings live Forever…Russ was the first person to REALLY make me realize this.

From Raging Ocean To Glassy Seas

Evelate and my wildly aggressive foray into innovative song arrangements and chop-styles in 2005 set me on a nice course for a ROCKING future. Searchlights carried on this tradition until 2012. Idiot Science fed this weather with ferocious vocal training to accompany the upheaval in my personal life from 2009-2013. But in parallel, a softer and more emotional storytelling style was brewing under the surface. This side of me strengthened through the Huge Sally years and eventually led me to my alternative folk group The Tummybuckles. The Tummybuckles, who were aptly named, won hi-fives through Portland's iconic DoverLaff and Artichoke Music families. I might call the style some kind of exploration of classical music theory versus club-style rock & roll. My sentimental roots will always remain in raw and gutsy alternative bang-rock. However, the experience of an enthusiastic energy through the art of the delicate composition has found a welcome home with me. Majestic waves and weathers and moods turn with the seasons, if not with the hours. And I've found stability in adaptability.

"Huge Sally"

I can't say I've been in a huger band than Huge Sally, a collaborative funky folk duo with my great friend Jake Riggs from Austin TX. This man writes southern-roots-blues songs, and we achieved a collaborative style that I was excited to promote with all my might. The western US tours we went on (destination was usually SXSW in Austin) from 2007-2011 changed my life for the better forever, that is a true fact. Our first album, Cold-hearted Bastard (2006), was recorded by Ryan Ferris and featured a rock quartet, including Joel Tomfohr (of Idiot Science). Our second album, self-titled in 2012, was stripped down to two voices, two guitars, and was produced by Ryan, Russ Rochambeau, and myself. The second one captures most honestly what we sounded like across all those hundreds of shows. Check out Jake Riggs Music if you are ever in Austin!

"I always knew that I would tell the story of another, in as many ways as one"

When you are busking, you are on the side of the road, and you get sold. But the people strolling by, they don't know a thing about you. You get sold, and sell You to the sea on the patio…and you don't know a thing about them. You suffer them. Less time than you wanted to, but you are only there for a moment. You never knew them…you never had the time to know them. Only there for a moment; When you are busking, the people strolling by are experiencing a version of you that is both Instant and Timeless. Instant because they only "know" you for those few seconds or minutes that they care to notice something. Maybe it is your shirt, maybe it is your handmade sign, maybe it is a piece of your musical performance. Timeless because once they move on, you are a memory, and that can last as long as a lifetime. If I ever busk again, I need to remember this: On the side of the road, you get sold, but they don't know a thing about you.