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National Grange News
Celebration Banquet Entertainment: Chris Guenther
  JUNE 2007 -- Attendees at the National Grange's 141st Convention in Reno Nevada will sure to be entertained by Chris Guenther at the Celebration Banquet.

Introduced to country music as a small child, Mossyrock, Washington native and Red Arrow Recording artist Chris Guenther began performing music at eleven, and turned professional at the age of seventeen. After formative years performing in acoustic strings bands, honing his guitar-playing, songwriting, and singing talents, Guenther took his music in another direction. Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and Ernest Tubb became strong influences, and after hearing a Buck Owens record for the first time while in high school, Guenther immediately found a connection to Tumwater native Don Rich, Buck Owen's lead guitar and fiddle player. It was this discovery that lead Guenther take up fiddle.

At eighteen Guenther formed his first country band and began playing dance halls, honkytonks, and fair/festivals. A member of Mossyrock Grange #355, Guenther won second place in the National Grange Talent Contest in Fresno, CA. Success was slow to follow, yet after three years performing in greater Southwest Washington he formed Blackboard Records, and began his recording career with his debut release Honky Tonk Livin' (Blackboard 2001). Guenther continued building his band the Honky Tonk Drifters, and expanded his performance schedule, playing venues throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, opening for acts including Merle Haggard and the Strangers, Lacy J. Dalton, and Lila McCann.

In 2005, Guenther released Destinations Unknown (Blackboard/Red Arrow 2005). The album charted in European country radio markets, moving to #2 in Britain on the International Country Music Chart. Juarez Mexico, the first single from the album charted in the ECMA top 100, despite receiving limited play in Southwest Washington markets. In 2006, Guenther released his third album Ten Sides (Red Arrow 2006). Like the former album, European markets embraced Guenther's release, charting #1 in Britain on the ECMA, #2 in Denmark, Belgium, and Germany, and #3 in Italy.

Guenther has never measured success by popularity and mainstream appeal. "It is not about blending the lines between contemporary rock and country music to make monetary gain, but staying true to the roots of the country music genre, and maintaining an American tradition."
 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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