Bio

The floor of the Louisiana Super Dome in New Orleans looks a lot different submerged in flood water, especially staring at it through a hole in your leg.

“Without the darkness I doubt we'd see the stars,” says East Nashville songwriter Chris Watts.

From suffering a gunshot wound as a National Guardsman on Hurricane Katrina duty to cutting his teeth at the raucous honky-tonks of Music City’s Broadway Ave., the Louisiana native has seen his share of both.

Watts developed the blue collar rock ‘n’ roll he calls Deep South Americana to help himself and others better understand the region he’s proud to call home, that patchwork of conflict, beauty, and nuance known as The American South. He uses universal themes and broke-but-not-broken characters to illustrate the truth and the lies the South tells to itself and others.

Church hymns and classic country crooners are Watts’ earliest musical memories. His father sang in gospel quartets and the choir at the Southern Baptist church he grew up in. Watts stayed in trouble at school, and learned to focus his creative energy on writing poems and short stories. Then he discovered rock ‘n’ roll.

Artists like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd drew him to the guitar. He started his first band, Mudflap Junkies, in Natchitoches, LA, while attending journalism school. After finishing college, he moved to New Orleans and eventually Nashville, where he would record and release his debut solo EP The God’s Own Truth in 2016.

Audiences from prominent festivals, theaters, and listening rooms across the country have become fans of Watts’ music, including Austin's SXSW Music Festival, BMI’s Key West Songwriters Festival, AMA Americana Fest in Nashville, and Music City’s world-famous listening room Bluebird Café.

He’s opened for internationally touring acts ranging from Sammy Kershaw to Snoop Dogg, and his songs have appeared on acclaimed U.S. terrestrial radio stations, including WWOZ New Orleans and WSM Nashville, home of the Grand Ole Opry.

His debut EP ‘The God’s Own Truth’ was named “Best of 2016” (The Revue). “Watts sings in the title track ‘I may never be Bob Dylan,’ but he has a knack for melody, lyrics, and truth that shows promise as an artist coming into his own.” (No Depression). 

 

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Watts sings in the title track “I may never be Bob Dylan,” but he has a knack for melody, lyrics and truth that shows promise as an artist coming into his own.
— No Depression
Chris’ songwriting is so personal and engulfing that it’s almost impossible to not find yourself entrenched in his storytelling right from the first listen. With a voice that is so natural and believable, anything that he sings will be eternally his
— Jack Miele, Grammy/Emmy-winning producer
Sounds like the jukebox in a smoky pool hall on the wrong side of Nashville in 1974. It’s a hard-living, swaggering and bent-but-not-broken sound taken from equal parts Texas Outlaws and Neo-Traditionalists. This is the sound we’ve been missing.
— Brent Holloway, Gainesville Times
The grittier side of Americana music has it getting into broken homes and heavy topics that puzzle-piece southern culture. Louisiana musician Chris Watts has the constitution, however, to handle such a harsh diet of topics while balancing the good with the bad, singing about life and its many experiences.
— Justin Stokes, The Rowdy
Written, produced and recorded at East Nashville’s Best Friend Studio with engineer Stephen Allbritton, the five track collection exploring small town life, addiction and life on the road can best be described as honest American roots music; music in the same vein as singer-songwriters such as Rodney Crowell, Chris Knight and contemporary Ward Davis.
— Daily Country
Chris Watts is a rising star in country music.
— Tori Ladd, Shreveport Times