In 2014 Chris finished the recording of “The Road Ahead Shines” which will be released worldwide January 16, 2015, his first studio album in 5 years. Self penned like his debut studio album “Western Stars”, which was nominated for best country album in 2010*, “The Road Ahead Shines” is a collection of new stories and characters which continue the Technicolor road trip that started with Western Stars.
The Road Ahead Shines is an art gallery featuring individual scenes of hope and hopelessness, faith and triumph, perseverance and freedom. From the boy who can't walk but saves 1000 lives by racing a Civil War era pony across Northern Nevada to the Sedona rock climber who triumphs over suicide, to the Hemingwayesque Matador who also does - in his own way. It is also a literal art gallery. "I spent as much time painting and photo editing the album art as I did recording it." The album features 16 panels; rare these days for an indie artist.
Chris was born and raised on the outskirts of Las Vegas. “Most people think of Vegas as one big casino but my childhood was spent on either a horse or a dirt bike out on the desert or on some jet boat at Lake Mead with my cousins. I very much was in the sticks or the “boondocks”. Las Vegas is where I discovered rodeos and country music; listening to artists like Don Williams, Kenny Rogers and George Strait on KFM 102. "More importantly I started seeing that songwriters like Bob McDill, Don Schlitz and Dean Dillon were the writers behind the songs that were tearing my heart out."
Chris moved to Nashville where he learned to craft his stories by watching the aforementioned masters. "I had alot of evolution left in my writing, and I was broke as hell so I ended up back in Vegas where I met my first wife and had two amazing daughters. My daughters are my greatest accomplishment. All this other stuff is just gravy." Chris went back to Nashville frequently and in 2009 Western Stars was recorded there in with bandleader and co-producer Pat McGrath who recruited a band of Nashville session royalty to bring his songs to life netting Chris two top 100 singles on the US Country Breakout Chart and several top tens in Europe including a number one** with “Cow or Cowboy”. His song “Dirt Rich” hit the US country breakout chart at the highest position in 2010 winning the Music Row Power Chart Debut spot and going on to win the prestigious Robert K Oermann DISCovery Award around the same time. “Dirt Rich” was later featured on the bestselling Wii and Xbox Kinect “Country Dance II” and “Country Dance All-Star” games.
Just about that same time Chris put together his ace Las Vegas based “Dirt Rich Band” to promote his new album with dates throughout the Southwest. Fast forward to 2013 -2014 to see them playing for 350,000 people at NASCAR and BIKE FEST. “We have been together for 5 years and in that time we have played biker bars, country clubs, rodeos, award shows, charity events, corporate grand openings, Native American Casinos, and most frequently the Arizona Charlie’s showrooms on opposite ends of the Las Vegas Valley. “We will do my originals combined with the type of Cosmic American Country Rock that does it for us and our crowds, which is a blend of 70’s hippie nudie suit country rock and Americana. It is not uncommon to see the Chris Heers Band do all request shows. We do every show on the fly as it happens which makes each show it’s own event. No tracks. If you go to a Chris Heers show you will come away with a unique experience. “We read the crowd and make them a part of our shows”, says Heers. It is all about them and it is always a party. Chris’ song “Whiskey Courage” which was one of the 8 songs he wrote with Sammy Steele for Sammy’s 2012 breakthrough album “Songs from the Third Cactus” finds the crowd shouting “Strong Like Bull” at the end of each chorus.
Chris frequently does Nashville style solo acoustic songs and stories shows including A 2014 highlight show at the Hotel Café in Hollywood California where he shared stage and stories with friend Justin Furstenfeld from the band Blue October. Furstenfeld calls Chris’ harmonica infused live solo show a cross between Townes Van Zandt, Ray Lamontagne, and Bob Dylan.
Chris can be seen at frequently in an unplugged acoustic format at the haunted 100 year old Pioneer Saloon out at Goodsprings, NV. “I’ll look out at the crowd and see bikers, hippies, stock brokers, the Pawn Stars. You really never know what will happen at those shows.”
All of that aside I would have to say the weirdest gig I did was late summer 2013 in a hanger at a place that doesn’t officially exist out near Groom Lake, NV. But I can't talk about that.
2015 will find Heers touring in support of his new album. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?
"Western Stars" (Debut Indie Studio Album)
"Dirt Rich" (Single - USA MusicRow CountryBreakout)
"Dirt Rich" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Cow or Cowboy" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Beyond" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Happy Thought" (Single - USA MusicRow CountryBreakout)
"Nowhere Train" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"Sarah the Butterfly" (Single - Europe/Australia)
"The Road Ahead Shines" (Studio Album release date 1-16-15)
What you should know:
The "Dirt Rich Band"
(Lead Guitar, Steel Guitar, Harp)
(Steel Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Lead)
(Specialty Lead Guitar)
(Drums and Percussion)
(Drums and Percussion)
Angel Santilli Mullis
(Bass Guitar, Vocals)
(rhythm guitar, back up vocals)
(Acoustic Guitar, Harp, Lead Vocal)
George Strait Guy Clark Steve Earle The Eagles Jimmy Buffett Rodney Crowell Kenny Rogers Townes Van Zandt Kris Kristofferson Don Schlitz Mac McAnally Hal Ketchum Bruce Robison Charlie Robison Steven Spielberg Ron Howard Tony Joe White Joe Diffie Ricky Skaggs Mark Chesnutt Willie Nelson Conway Twitty Hank Sr Hank Jr Waylon Jennings Johnny Cash Scotty Emerick Toby Keith Garth Brooks Alan Jackson The Flying Burrito Brothers George Jones Ryan Adams Wilco - Tweedy Shawn Colvin Richard Thompson Chuck Cannon Don Henry Rivers Rutherford Vince Gill Craig Wiseman Jeffrey Steele Steve Wariner Clint Black Roy Rogers Some street player I met in Munich 1990 Gene Autry
They Say I Sound Like:
Hal Ketchum George Strait Garth Brooks Rodney Crowell Guy Clark Steve Earle Kenny Rogers
Las Vegas, Nevada
“What Would Steve McQueen Do?”
“The Dude Abides”
(The Big Lebowski)