Chris Lange-bio english

Chris Lange

Chris Lange 2006If anyone in Switzerland should carry the title of "Guitar Blues Pioneer" then it is, without a doubt, Chris Lange. It was during the "rocking fifties" when Chris, then a young teenager, first began to take an interest in rhythm & blues music from "Black America". Intrigued by the sounds of Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner and other big names of blues and R&B, he taught himself the basic notes of blues-playing on the guitar and the piano. A big influence on his music were also the soulful harmonies of the then popular "hard gospel"-quartet groups such as THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF MISSISSIPPI; THE SOUL STIRRERS; THE SENSATIONAL NIGHTINGALES or THE SWAN SILVERTONES. Those gospel groups were the main-inspiration for the more "pentatonic" southern soul/blues-style that Chris has been playing ever since. As luck would have it, in 1960, the famous blues-singer/piano-player Champion Jack Dupree decided to move to Zurich, Switzerland for several years – which marked the beginning of a long musical and personal friendship between Chris and the black bluesman from New Orleans. It is Chris, 19 at the time, who can be heard as backing guitarist under the name of "Stuff Lange" on Dupree‘s 1961‘s recordings for the Folkways and Sonet/Storyville record labels. During the following years Chris was practically "at home" in Zurich’s legendary Jazzclub "Africana", where he performed at countless blues-sessions with Dupree and other wellknown musicians. It was there that he earned his reputation as an excellent bluesguitar- and keyboard-player. As a result, he performed and toured with other American blues musicians such as Eddie Boyd, Curtis Jones, Junior Wells, Willie Mabon and Sonny Rhodes, not to forget all the many happy jam sessions with legends such as the great late Howlin' Wolf; Sunnyland Slim and Memphis Slim, when they were in Switzerland on "American Folk Blues"-tours. And last but not least, he also toured and worked with several R&B-groups such as "Driving Wheel"; "A Cat's Paw", "Baracudas" and "Why Not" during the sixties and seventies. Besides that, from the early sixties on Chris was also very active in producing his own soul/blues-guitar music, recorded in his small home-recording studio. A first selection of those recordings appeared 1969 on his self-produced instrumental-album "BLUESY MOOD". A further selection of Lange's music from the early to the mid sixties is now available on his new compilation-album "RUSTY STRINGS". Chris and his soulful guitar music can also be heard on recent recordings on his 1998‘s comeback-album "BACK DOOR TO YOUR SOUL".

Listen to sound clips and order both albums at CD-BABY.COM:
***Rusty Strings***
***Back Door to Your Soul***

The 60's compilation album "RUSTY STRINGS" is now available also at CEDE.COM

NEW:  Clips on YouTube: Spicy Stew (Served For You) (new recording 2015)  Racy Downhill (new recording 2015)   BLUESY MOOD (from Blue Blood BBLP-5001)  HORSEBACK (track from Rusty Strings CD)  DEEP CUT (unissued recording from 1967)   IT HURTS ME TOO (with Champion Jack Dupree and Freeway 75)   WOODCHOPPER BLUES - IT'S BOOGIE TIME - CHRISTMAS BLUES (3 tracks from Rusty Strings CD - with Champion Jack Dupree)   ZÜRISEE BLUES (with Dinu Logoz)   CHERRY CHOCOLATE BLOSSOMS (unissued Instrumental track from 1996)

Chris Lange 1961 Chris Lange early in 1961 "live" at Zurich/Switzerland's then most popular jazz and blues club "Africana".

Chris Lange 1964 with Howling Wolf and Sunnyland Slim

Blues session in Schaffhausen/Switzerland, November 20, 1964:
Chris Lange (right) playing guitar with Sunnyland Slim at the piano under the watchful eyes of blues legend Mr. Chester "Howlin' Wolf" Burnett (left).

picture courtesy of Ernst "Fats" Bührer

Chris Lange with A CAT'S PAW - 1969

Chris Lange, 5 years later (1969) with the R&B/Soul-Group "A CAT'S PAW".

Joey Gilmore and Betty Padgett Zurich in the early 90's: Chris (2nd from left) with Florida blues musicians Joey Gilmore and Betty Padgett (far right).

go to the Back Door Records-Page

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© 2004 Chris Lange    All rights reserved - updated August 31, 2013