2003 – present (18 years)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
- Christopher Anderson
- Thomas Hien
Chris and Thomas is an American folk duo consisting of Christopher Anderson and Thomas Hien.
With sounds gathered from the landscapes of the American Southwest, chris and thomas’ music could just as easily find its home in the rainy hills of the early 1970’s English countryside. Combining American roots instrumentation with soothing vocal harmonies, the duo’s rustic sounds and heartfelt songs are filled with thoughtful lyricism.
chris and thomas became close friends at the historic art school in Liverpool where John Lennon and Paul McCartney had met up decades before. During their student years they found themselves in the bohemian surrounds of a group of painters, sculptors, renegades, holy men and metaphysical explorers who had made up much of Liverpool’s underground. They played the drunken Irish pubs till the sun shone and they sang for the Queen while they earned music degrees in film composition.
In the late 90’s the two had created “Cook Au Van,” a traveling cooking show. The vehicle for the show was literally an old gas board utility van that they had converted into a five star restaurant. Made from exquisite found objects, the van boasted water fountains, changing works of art and a fully functional wet bar. Inside the van, they hosted dinner parties for the Lord Mayor and countless British celebrities. After doing the circus lifestyle with the traveling restaurant and cooking for the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Bill Drummond, politicians and fine artists, the two had decided to turn back to their true love of music.
In 2003 chris and thomas arrived in Los Angeles, California. The duo’s live debut was on 11/18/03, opening up at the Hotel Café for singer/ songwriter Alexi Murdoch. Their unique live performance which involved playing with one condenser microphone and gathering around it like some modern day Carter Family, quickly earned chris and thomas a name on the L.A club circuit.
That was just the beginning. Returning from a weekend in Joshua Tree, the two were greeted by multiple phone messages from excited friends who had heard their song “Take These Thoughts” on L.A.’s influential NPR station KCRW. It was news to the pair. Their EP, Vista Street Sessions, was passed on by a mutual friend to the station’s tastemaker DJ /music director Nic Harcourt. Harcourt programmed the disc on his show, eventually included it on NPR’s syndicated Sounds Eclectic, which introduced a national audience to chris and thomas. Since then a lot has happened.
On air performances on KCRW and other radio stations followed with appearances at SXSW and other venues and festivals throughout the country. More radio stations have added chris and thomas to their playlists as their fan base continues to grow in the U.S., in continental Europe and in the UK.
“Take These Thoughts” recently won best song of the year in the Americana category at the Independent Music Awards 2006. The duo’s full length debut Land Of Sea was recorded with renowned producer/engineer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, U2, Tom Waits). Howard, who used to work with producer Daniel Lanois for over ten years, has a very unique way of recording. He rented out an old sound stage in Hollywood the size of Abbey Road Studios, where he set up vintage recording equipment, Persian rugs, Victorian lamps and brought in legendary musicians to accompany chris and thomas on their record.
The record was first released in the UK in 2006 in conjunction with a 5 week tour and has gained critical acclaim and rave reviews (4 stars and runner up to album of the month in MOJO Magazine).
The US release includes the bonus track "Horse In The Sky". The song, penned by chris and thomas and Oscar nominated composer John Debney, is featured in the end credits of Garry Marshall’s new film Georgia Rule starring Lindsey Lohan and Jane Fonda.
chris and thomas’ woven harmonies and sparse instrumentation will make you think of big skies with small clouds.
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