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Chris Sand

August 29, 2011

Chris "Sandman" Sand photo by Emily Nash

The great-grandson of Montana and North Dakota pioneers, rappin’ cowboy Chris “Sandman” Sand grew up hearing cowboy poetry and country music. When hip hop culture hit “the Rez” (the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana, where he lived most of his early years), Chris learned to rap and rhyme to the pulse of baling machines and irrigation pumps. By his late teens, when he discovered Marley and Dylan, he had already begun to find his own distinct voice.

A prolific songwriter, Chris has produced fifteen musical recordings, including ten CDs. His music is a genre-bending, label-defying fusion of country, hip hop, folk, cowboy, and punk. Whatever you want to call it, it’s unique, fresh, sexy, and distinctly western.

Sandman has toured the country many times, sharing bills with acts ranging from Devendra Banhart to Kimya Dawson to Michael Franti and Spearhead. Sandman performances shine with heart and humor. If you are curious about the sound of avant-garde western Americana, take time to listen to this one-of-a-kind rappin’ folk singer.

Chris is also the subject of Elizabeth Lawrence‘s documentary Roll Out, Cowboy. Look for it at a festival or art house cinema near you!

1. What is your hometown?

Dunn Center, ND

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Sir Galahad

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Chris Rock.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

The wood carvings of Camp Bosworth, in particular one of a dead truck driver in heaven.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I’m currently and simultaneously reading three terrific books: “Drop City” by T.C. Boyle, “Jazz” by Toni Morrison, and “Giants of the Earth” by O. E. Rolvaag. I recommend all three highly.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I’m listening tons to an Anthony Hamilton CD called “Ain’t Nobody Worrying.”

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

“The Last Temptation of Christ” gets me watered-up when Jesus defends Mary Magdalene.

8.  Cat person or dog person?


9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Kindness in my opinion is a verb and Truth is a noun. Kindness allows us to see Truth, so I guess they are part-and-parcel and equally important.

10.    How do you define sin?

That which occludes Truth.

11.    How do you define virtue?

That which opens doors to Truth.

12.      Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

“Adios amigos!  Voy a bailar La Bamba!”  (burned into a weather-beaten chunk of drift wood)

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Camp Bosworth

Chris Sand
Roll Out, Cowboy


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