So, I suppose that since I am writing this myself then it is an autobiography - technically.
My name is Chris Friesen and I'm a twenty year old from Grande Prairie, Alberta. I play the guitar, as well as any other instrument I can get my hands on. I love listening to and playing pretty well every kind of music I can think of; and I'm sure that there are some styles that I haven't heard of that I would like to play as well. However, one of my favourite styles to play is the Piedmont Blues - in particular the rythmic, intricate fingerpicking style of players like Etta Baker and Mississippi John Hurt among others. My chief model for my style would have to Baker. I love the easy, rolling style of her playing, and I like trying to play it as best I can.
When I was growing up, I was exposed to music; but not the Piedmont Blues. That is very natural, since that style of blues is native and at home in a very particular part of the world - in the rolling hills of appalachia. I do not live in appalachia, or near it; and I never have. Growing up on the prairies of Edmonton and Grande Prairie, I simply did not hear that music. Grande Prairie has a reasonably strong music scene, and there is a strong country culture here, as in any agricultural place. I suppose in that way it does have something in common with the Piedmont region, if only a little.
However, until a few years ago I had not heard that kind of music before - at all. Yes, I had heard the blues before and knew what they were; and liked them. But Piedmont blues is not like other blues - it has its own feeling and flavour, and is in many ways more complex than the standard twelve bar blues. It pulls in influences of the blues, and of country, and folk songs, and gospel and even slightly classical music like ragtime. In some ways you could call it the original country, because it is the bedrock of a lot of different styles.
A few years ago, I happened to hear the music of Etta Baker, and I liked it. So, I bought some of it, and I listened to it; and I learned what songs I could by ear, and I found that I enjoyed playing it almost more than listening to it. It's such a relaxing - peaceful kind of music.
And so, eventually, in the spring of 2012, I got around to releasing an album of songs in that style. Some of my own, and some covers, and some old folk songs and hymns too. Little Mountain. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and hope to release another on in the future - hopefully sonner rather than later. It might end up being the same, but my musical tastes don't stop with the Piedmont blues, and some other stuff will probably sneak in there too.
I am currently not a full time musician, but who knows, if I find out enough people like my music, I might start driving around and playing it for them. As of right now I work as a teachers aid in a private school in town, and in the winter I also work as a snowboard instructor at the local ski hill. Divergent interests you say? Maybe a little - but I like it that way.