MP3 Chris Kniss - In The Face Of It All
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10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Gentle, FOLK: like Joni
About me and my music:
I've been singing since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Born in balmy Gainesville, FL (Go Gators!), I have lived most of my life in wonderful Harrisonburg, VA--the friendly city--which is quite the little breeding ground for musicians. Go figure. I was raised Mennonite, and therefore was raised singing and loving four-part acapella music. This love of singing led me to join the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir soon after its formation and I sang with the choir for seven years.
Yet, it was only after I quit SVCC that I found my voice. I picked up the guitar the summer after my freshman year, and started writing songs during my sophomore year. I never did bother with guitar or voice lessons. I gave a chapel at Eastern Mennonite High School, introducing myself as a singer/songwriter to my entire school as a shaky sophomore. By that time was already beginning to play coffeehouses and other small gigs.
My songwriting and guitar-playing skills (thankfully) grew along with my crowd of faithful followers over the next year. I met Brad Yoder (https://www.tradebit.com) and opened for him a number of times at a local coffeeshop, where I was soon thereafter invited back to play paid gigs. Brad helped me realize that my music making could be more than just an avocation.
In September of 2003, I went with a friend and her parents to Israel/Palestine, and lived in Jerusalem until December of that year. That experience marked a turning point in my writing and personal focus. It solidified and rejuvenated my passion for peacemaking, nonviolence, human rights, social activism, and justice. I have been writing songs which reflect this passion ever since.
Since my return from Israel/Palestine, things I have done include writing (of course), playing shows at coffeeshops, open mics, restaurants (i love you Little Grill! https://www.tradebit.com ), benefits, scholastic functions, and other various venues, gaining a larger fan base, and promising to make a cd "soon." I have since made good on all those half-hearted reassurances, and my first album, "In the Face of it All" is finally in hands and on the streets (and at this great website!). I was one of the artists at Mennofolk in July 2004, and am currently living in Goshen, Indiana if you're hoping to hear me play at a venue near you. I still go home to Harrisonburg on the occasion so there's another likely place to hear a live show. Other influences on my singing and songwriting include (but certainly are not limited to) Dar Williams, Ani Difranco, Joni Mitchell, Jewel, and Jennifer Knapp, Sarah McLaughlin, and Eva Cassidy. If you're looking to label me, I have been compared to all of these performers. I'm at least thigh-high to a grasshopper now, and I'm still singing. I will sing forever if I can.
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