By John Turner
Even as a child, Chris Blessing knew that making music was never a science.
Since he first began creating music during viola lessons as a third grader, the 19-year-old Skaneateles resident has relied on his instincts and pure passion to let music move through him, rather than forcing notes from his voice and his instruments.
Now, more than a decade later, Chris has taken his passion to another level. Last month he put the finishing touches on “Black and White,” an album of acoustic music Chris recorded at Parkour Records, a studio located at the Leitch Street home of musician John Buterbaugh.
“I’d say the album is kind of acoustic blues/rock,” Chris said last week during a telephone interview. The 10 tracks on the record contain five of his own songs and five covers, he explained.
The five originals showcase Chris’ natural ability as a singer/songwriter, a talent he has nurtured since he got his first guitar at age 11.
Because of his viola lessons, Chris already knew the basics of reading music, but he quickly discovered he preferred learning by ear, he said.
“I think music works best when it’s not forced,” he continued. “A song always comes out better if you can just let it happen, instead of ‘making’ it fit.”
Chris Blessing performs a song from his new album, “Black and White.
“Black and White” also features Chris’ interpretation of the Allman Brothers Band’s acoustic classic “Melissa,” along with covers of several songs by Cross Canadian Ragweed, a country rock band from Oklahoma.
Chris said he finished the album at Parkour Records on June 22, and that studio owner John Buterbaugh, who has been a longtime friend, was a tremendous help.
“That album was all Chris,” Buterbaugh said last week in response to Chris’ compliments. “He really came in with a lot of energy. … His authenticity really showed during our recording sessions.”
John said he originally created Parkour Records as a platform for recording his own music, as both a solo artist and as a member of various groups, but has since expanded the studio after repeated requests by other musicians to record music of their own.
Located in the attic space of John’s home at the corner of Leitch and Genesee streets, the studio utilizes Pro Tools 9 software, an audio composing and engineering program that is used by the very best musicians in the industry.
John said he also has a Fender Stratocaster guitar with a Roland VG synthesizer pickup, which allows guitarists to record an almost endless variety of sounds.
Parkour Records has recorded music from local artists like Marcellus resident Megan Grosholz, along with Skaneateleans Byron Lee and Peter Stanley, he added.
Chris Blessing said his Parkour Records experience was a fantastic one. “I think my album came out really great. … I’d recommend that studio to anybody,” he said.
ON THE WEB
For more information about Parkour Records visit www.parkourrecords.jigsy.com