Chris grew up in a small Southern Tennessee community of Bodenham, in Pulaski, TN (where the local store by his house had a sign reading the population was 99- More or Less). Growing up Chris would earn his weekly allowance helping his grand father do odd jobs around the county so the family would have a little extra money. While riding to the job sites Chris and his grand father would sing to the radio. This is where his grand father noticed Chris’s talent and always encouraged him to sing. At that time Chris was just worried about girls, sports, and his allowance…. However if there were a family “get-together” on the weekend- the only way Chris could receive his allowance was IF he sang at the pickin’ and grinin’. “Growing up- the only way you could get me to sing, was holding my allowance ransom- I was always way too nervous and more concerned with sports to sing.” Being raised by a man who LOVED country music by Merle, Waylon, Willie, and Jones, and wouldn’t listen to much else made their songs almost second nature to Chris because they were always together. Ask Chris how he first started playing music- he’ll tell you “my parents bought me a mandolin for Christmas when I was 14. I guess it truly started there- but I’ve been HOOKED on country music since I was in a crib thanks to Dad.”
As a standout football and baseball player, Chris had an opportunity to play football at the college level, but things didn’t fall into place as he had hoped, and he soon found himself working in the real world. Always searching for something to feel the void that sports left, Chris finally found it in music. After a very bad car accident that almost cost him his life, Chris started taking up the guitar. “I figured if Im going to have to lay on this couch rehabbing all the time, I want to learn to play the guitar. So he did, and then auditioned for a front man slot in a house band four nights a week at Sundance Saloon in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. “I went from playing for my girlfriend and 4-walls- to playing for 500+ people a night on the weekend- like overnight.” Six months later, he was recruiting Nashville-based musicians to play with him at various nightspots and dance halls in Tennessee to make his own start. By the end of 2010, the very friends that he recruited- started recruiting him to move to Nashville. In the summer of 2011, he moved to Music City to officially make Nashville his home.
His songs and singing style like most reflect the music that surrounded him growing up, influences such as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Hank Williams both Sr. and Jr. as well as Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Reba, and others…. but it’s flavored by the eclectic rock music he listened to as a teenager and young adult: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Pearl Jam, 3 Doors Down, Tom Petty, CCR, Jimi Hendrix, Smashing Pumpkins, Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. Mix in some of the contemporary country that is now on his iPod playlist (Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band), and you get a soulful, rocking style of traditional country music that is Chris Shrader’s sound alone.
You can find Chris electrifying the stages– all these years later – each Week- earning his “allowance” like he did as a boy . . . by singing the songs he loves, knows, and the songs that he now lives and writes.