As the son of Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Buffalo Springfield) and French singer/songwriter Veronique Sanson, there's no denying that singer/songwriter Chris Stills comes from musical roots. When Chris was a child, his mother taught him how to play the piano, and though he also played drums, it wasn't until Chris was 12 that he picked up the guitar. On the road with Crosby, Stills & Nash one day, one of the band's guitar techs put a spare guitar in the young Stills' hands and -- upon teaching him some simple chords and a song -- Chris was hooked. His parents divorced in 1978, and at 13 he went to live with his mother in Paris. He attended the renowned American School while there, and at 16 Chris wrote his first song, "If I Were a Mountain."
After graduating from high school in 1993, Chris moved to back to the States, Los Angeles to be exact, and worked as a roadie for his father. He also lived in New York for a few years, forming a band at one point with another American School alum, Adam Cohen, son of famed singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Eventually, Chris hooked up with Atlantic Records (the same label his father's band called home) and the 23-year-old released his debut solo album, 100 Year Thing, in January 1998.
Growing up listening to Buffalo Springfield, CSN, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and the Police, Chris also drew influence from both parents (especially his father's folk-rock) to create his own blend of '60s-inspired rock, folk, and blues on 100 Year Thing. Other influences came from Chris' experience playing over the years with acts like the Jayhawks and Ryan Adams. Stills' eponymous sophomore effort drew equally from his French and American heritages, and for the first time he sang in both English and French on the record. The album was released overseas in October 2005 and found its way onto stateside shelves the following May. Recorded at the Studio du Palais, the live EP When the Pain Dies Down: Live in Paris appeared two months later. ~ Corey Apar