Musician, hatter, and all-around jack of all trades Chris Roberts released his first EP, Red Feather, this winter from the deserts of Joshua Tree, California. While he’s a jack of all trades he’s also arguably a master of some, as Roberts has spent time working in many fields, with music being the latest and the one that will undoubtedly stick. An amateur for the greater part of adulthood, music seemed to serendipitously come into his life, and a pandemic led him to turn just a hobby into a committed relationship. The result is Red Feather, a five-song EP that’s best described as country hippie rock.
In terms of his music career, Roberts is relatively new to Colorado. However, he’s the founder and owner of Aspen Hatter, a custom hat shop with an impressive client roster. He says being in the mountains has had a huge influence on his life, crediting his move from Texas to Colorado for inspiring him to first start a retail business, and then to take up music. “Everything around me has inspired and let me let go,” Roberts said. “I’m getting more used to calling myself a musician.”
It wasn’t until a retired music producer and manager caught him casually playing one day that Roberts’ musicianship turned professional. During one X-Games weekend, Aspen Hatter was used for a commercial and when the crew went back to Roberts’ house, he brought out the guitar. “One of the producers asked me to keep playing and told me, ‘I guess I’m getting back into the music business,'” said Roberts of his now manager. “Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster.”
Roberts and his Los Angeles-based band were mid-tour when the pandemic hit, and when forced to cancel everything, he asked his manager to find them a house in the area with a recording studio. They wound up in Joshua Tree during the quarantine and recorded Red Feather on the fly. Some songs, like “Remember That It’s Me,” they had already been performing while on tour.
Other songs, like “Get Down,” came together in that Joshua Tree home studio. “We got there and I had a few ideas, I was inspired by what we were doing, what we were going through,” Roberts said of how those songs came to fruition. The theme of “Get Down” is about just getting on.
“I believe you can take a bad situation and turn it into a positive. We had to get on with the get-down. This is what we do in life and the situation we were in was so weird, but we didn’t have any other choice.”
With life slowly reopening, the band is “dipping our toes back in the water.” Roberts is looking forward to June and an East Coast tour that will be strictly acoustic. Come July, he’ll be hitting the road with the full band. “I’m really looking forward to people hearing more songs,” said Roberts of the upcoming summer tour. “They’ve only heard a few songs. That’s nothing when we’ve got 25 more that are ready.” Having not performed all that much yet in Colorado, he’s excited to keep pushing and to have people keep catching on to the music.
Listen to Red Feather by Chris Roberts on Spotify here.