Cory Chisel's Evening of Holiday Mischief featuring The Candles, Adriel Denae and Special Guests - 12/11
at City Winery Chicago
Old Believer \ Ōld bǝ-l ēvǝr\ n 1 : one who has been through a lot in their life and hasn’t lost hope 2 : one who doesn’t feel cynical and still feels connected to the world that we’re living in but is wise enough to know a thing or two about it 3 : OLD SOUL
Cory Chisel is an old believer. You can hear it in his music – there’s a wisdom beyond his years in that voice. You can see it in his story – the son of a preacher, sheltered from pop music, raised on hymns and Johnny Cash. “Mom played piano and organ, my dad did the preaching, the thing that my sister and I could add to the service was to sing.” As fate would have it, the kid was born to do it.
He grew up in the Iron Range town of Babbitt, Minnesota, and the rural flatlands of Appleton, Wisconsin. Along with the family’s spiritual doctrine, came a musician uncle, who taught Cory about the blues: Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson.
This musical education put young Cory on a path that was well worn by the greats who came before him and influenced him: people like Cash, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding. For Cory, songwriting is a by-product of existing. We all talk to ourselves. Cory does so with a melody. Those internal conversations are the seeds, the building blocks of his songs. “Where a painter, in order to express himself, would reach for a canvas and paints, I go to the guitar and try to build it out. Or sometimes songs just come fully-formed, usually, if I’m really sleep-deprived and driving for whatever reason, it’s like a radio station that my brain picks up.”
Old Believers is the second LP from Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons. The record, in Cory’s words, is about rebuilding, and there’s a directness that comes through in the songwriting. “Life is a series of creating things, living with the inevitable destruction of those things, and then finding within yourself the ability to create again.”