Sunshone Still* is the musical nom de plume for Chris Smith, a Nashville native now living in Columbia, SC. Since the 2005 debut release of Dead Letters, Chris was featured on the NPR program, All Songs Considered: Open Mic, placed songs on the 2006 PBS series, Roadtrip Nation, appeared on the compilation disc, The United State of Americana, Vol 3. No Depression went so far as to call Dead Letters an, "...impressive debut...a sound that reflects the work of artists such as Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake."
Now, Sunshone Still returns with an ambitious 17-track concept album titled Ten Cent American Novels on Potato Eater Records. Inspired by Hampton Sides’ non-fiction book, Blood and Thunder, this historical character study centers around Manifest Destiny and the complex life of Kit Carson: his beautiful Arapaho Indian wife, his heroic trapping and scouting days, his brave military service, and his ruthless part in rounding up the Navajo Indians for the fatal Long Walk. Written in the form of a novel (complete with prologue, chapters, and epilogue), the big ideas are expressed with big, eclectic musical ideas and arrangements – horns, strings, bells, organ and more. Contrastingly, the story’s denouement is expressed in a quiet, sunset-on-the-open-range style – acoustic guitar leading the way.
*And I was green, greener than the hill
Where flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now Im darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be
-from Nick Drakes "Place to Be"