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Once upon a time, a kid from down and out St. Louis, MO, packed up his beater car, rambled over the mountains, and came out to Washington State to study music composition at Evergreen. Three and a half decades later, he’s still in the Pacific Northwest, composing, performing, and recording.
Christopher Bingham grew up in early 1970s St. Louis, where as a teen, the late night FM airwaves bit him with the prog bug. He never recovered. He’s done everything from acoustic folk through jazz, rock, and orchestral pieces, but he always comes back to writing chewy, complex music that remains melodic and accessible, while taking your mind to different galaxies.
After three solo records in the 80s and 90s, Bingham and his wife, Sue Tinney, debuted the seminal Pagan band, Gaia Consort, at Nudestock '97, playing for 800 naked sun worshipers. Achieving some moderate success, they eventually evolved into Bone Poets Orchestra in 2009.
So what do they sound like now? They make a kind of psychedelic chamber rock. Bingham, singing lead, and playing lead guitar has a clear tenor that gets compared to Greg Lake or Dave Mathews. Sue Tinney on co-lead and harmony vocals is a breathy alto reminiscent of Norah Jones. The string arrangements often sound like a nod to War Child era Jethro Tull. The rhythm section genuflects to Peter Gabriel’s drum sensibilities, with a Jaco-esque moments in the bass lines . There is hammond throughout the keyboards, and plenty of mellotron. The groove fits the lyric content, which inspires allegiance if you celebrate the natural world, polyamory, or have ever dipped your toes into psychedelic and alternative culture.
Bone Poets Orchestra is a concert band. Eschewing the club scene, Bingham built his audience by self-producing house concerts, renting community centers, small theaters, and eventually getting into some festivals. (Heartland 2000, Faerieworlds main stage for five years running 2005-2009, others.)
Long before Kickstarter, Bingham crowd-sourced his recordings. (Adopt-a-Song!) Over the years, fans have donated over $100,000 to make these records happen.
Live, Bingham leads with stories - sometimes visited by his alter ego, St Crispy, Patron of Flashbacks and Household Clutter - and there is a fair amount of singing along, and dancing too. Bone Poets Orchestra’s current line-up is an impressive group of world class players. Sue Tinney sings co-lead, Emmy Award winning co-producer Jay Kenney plays keyboards, Dan Mohler is on frettless bass, with Grammy nominee TJ Morris on drums, Larry Golding on violin, Sunnie Larsen on viola and voice, and Taryn Webber on cello and voice.
For more information contact Christopher Bingham at firstname.lastname@example.org
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