Singer-songwriter and musician Christopher Paul Stelling doesn’t need a backing band to convey power or intensity. There is a fearsome honesty to his music that matches the loudest electrified performances.
You can see it in his new video premiering at Acoustic Guitar magazine. The song “Dear Beast” is from his forthcoming album Labor Against Waste out on June 16th. Stelling stands in an abandoned Brooklyn warehouse he describes as a “church from the underworld” with just his worn guitar and a microphone. He performs live as a hand held camera gradually moves closer. The imagery conveys a fearlessness and unflinching sense of self, a command of craft earned from hundred of solo performances to everything from raucous crowds to lonely bars.
The song offers a moving examination of personal faith lost and then redefined. As Stelling explains, “It’s about turning the mirror back on itself. It’s about excepting our flaws completely, and moving on from there with them in our full embrace. It’s about taking responsibility and caring for the beast that lives in all of us and for the metaphysical beasts that we’ve created because of our inherent need to feel watched over and protected... Mostly it's a lullaby.”
Watch the video for “Dear Beast” care of Acoustic Guitar: http://www.acousticguitar.com/News/Exclusive-Watch-Christopher-Paul-Stelling-s-Haunting-New-Video-for-Dear-Beast
A young man living the life of an old-school troubadour, Stelling has spent the last years on the road playing over 400 shows in just the last three years - and he plans to keep going. On June 6th he begins a five week nine country tour of Europe, then comes home for the Newport Folk Festival before embarking on a US tour through Thanksgiving and beyond. The Huffington Post called Stelling’s sound "hauntingly powerful” and My Old Kentucky Blog wrote “fans of Tim Buckley and Ray LaMontagne will find Stelling a kindred spirit to both, with his magnetic intimacy and meticulously solemn reverence towards his craft.”
Beyond the artful songwriting and timeless voice, Stelling’s virtuosic guitar playing can leave one in awe. Wandering from place to place, he says he would practice for up to ten hours, perfecting a melodic finger-picking style influenced by blues legends such as Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, masters like John Fahey, and banjo greats Dock Boggs and Roscoe Holcomb.
But when you combine it all, the sound and stories, you end up with something both timeless and new. It’s a music that reflects a new generation, the art of the unsettled, the passionate, brave and still searching.