A modern day balladeer, Christopher Spanos sings of life, love, and social injustice. Asked about his life journey, Chris will only say that he was born in New York where he learned to play the guitar at a young age, then to LA as an adolescent where there was no shortage of opportunities to jam. A resident of Tijuana since 1997, he was part of bands such as Medusa and Los Internacionales before going solo in 2011.
You may have encountered him in several venues from Rosarito to Punta Banda, but you can count on him every Tuesday at Charly’s. In the back room, Chris’ rugged good looks cut a trim silhouette against a papel picado background. Some of his groupies are in attendance enjoying easy on the wallet happy hour food specials washed down with one of Rafa’s margaritas.
A consummate cabaret artist, Chris immediately reconnects with the audience with whom he is on a first name basis, inviting requests from newcomers thus bringing aboard new fans.
Starting on his 6-string guitar he warms up the audience with some Willie Nelson favorites. A high octane version of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire – an oft-requested favorite – is sure to be delivered during the first set. Chris’ repertoire of 130 songs guarantees surprises, although some people are hard to stump in the ‘name that tune’ banter that is sure to follow. A pop culture ignoramus, I have discovered many songs that passed me by in the last half century.
Chris injects personal touches in his interpretation of famous artists; however his sensibilities shine through the songs he penned such as So Bold and the title song of one of his CD’s The One Percent.
The evening culminates in the third set showcasing Chris’ mastery of the 12-string guitar. A fuller, richer sound envelops songs such as Mr. Tambourine Man or Wish you Were Here.
In Paul’s words, a first timer to Charly’s, “Chris puts my generation’s feelings into words. After rock and roll, the transition to the Beatles was traumatic. It took some time to move into the folk era. Chris’ songs evoke the prime of my life.”
To the strains of Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door, you go home from a rich evening with a box of memories.