For a select few individuals, making music seems as natural as breathing. Chris Golden is one of those gifted souls. A skilled multi-instrumentalist and intuitive songwriter with a voice like warm honey, Goldens passion for music shines on every album.
Traveling and playing music has always been a part of Goldens life. A self-described backstage baby, Golden grew up surrounded by music. His father is William Lee Golden of the legendary Oak Ridge Boys. Chris knew early on that he wanted to follow in his dads footsteps. He learned to play drums, piano and guitar while still in elementary school. At 15, he became immersed in the Southern Gospel music world, playing piano for the Telestials.
As with most ambitious young musicians, he spent his teens and early 20s honing his skills in different bands, immersing himself in an array of musical styles that helped forge his musical personality. Joining his brother Rusty in The Boys Band, the group scored a pop hit with its Elektra/Asylum debut. He signed on with the popular Canadian band Cedar Creek for a successful stint, and later teamed again with Rusty and their friend Marc Speer to form Golden Speer, a group whose edgy sound and innovative look helped broaden the scope of Nashville's music scene.
"Music always came easy to me," says Golden. "Music spoke to me from a young age. I had already learned a lot of songs by the time I was 10, and a lot of that was because my brother was already doing it, I wanted to be like him. "We grew up in a musical home and I was always blessed to be around a lot of great musicians and singers. Some went on to make it. Some never claimed their fame, and those are probably among my greatest influences."
Music and family have always been intertwined for Golden. He and his brother Rusty had a successful run on the country charts as The Goldens, touring relentlessly and placing several videos on CMT/GAC, including a clip Chris produced and directed. He's also worked with the Oak Ridge Boys, touring for a number of years in their band. As a producer, he helmed his father's critically acclaimed box set, 'My Life's Work.' He's also contributed to several of the Oaks recent Spring Hill Records CDs, 'From the Heart,' 'An Inconvenient Christmas' and 'The Journey.'
However, it's his recent solo work that best showcases Golden's gifts. In 2004, he released 'Down the Road,' a solid collection that was recorded in hotel rooms, on stages and in dressing rooms across the country while Golden was on tour. "It really is what makes me the happiest," he says of performing. "That's when I'm at peace and I'm having more fun when I'm on stage singing. I feel like I'm making a difference, that I matter."
Golden's project, 'CenterStage,' is a powerful collection of country songs that celebrate faith, family and the things that matter most. Golden's reputation helped him score songs from some of Music Row's top songwriters, among them Jeffrey Steele, Bobby Tomberlin, Dennis Matkosky, Keith Stegall, and Fred Knobloch.
On Sunday Shoes, Golden makes a full-circle return to gospel music, the sound that remains his home base. The two-tone leather soles and shoeshine service on the album jacket say it all: He’s mining the genre in style with music that’s sure-footed, sturdy and built for the long haul.
"CenterStage" spotlights an artist at the peak of his creative intensity. Chris Golden has an ear for great songs and a compelling voice that brings them to life. He has that unique ability to totally inhabit a lyric, interpreting life in his songs in such a way that they seep into your soul. "I feel like I have been given a gift, and I would be turning my back on my calling if I didn't do this," he says. I love and live to entertain."