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BIOGRAPHY

I grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. I released my first CD in 1996, which was followed by a dozen more over the next twenty years. I tour throughout the U.S. and Canada, performing a unique blend of original folk, punk, rap, and cowboy music.

In 2008 I was the focus of a feature-length award-winning documentary, ROLL OUT, COWBOY, which continues to play at film festivals in North America and Europe.

I keep my life simple. I perform and tour on a shoestring budget. I’ve played the same guitar for 25 years. I still rock my old Casio Rapman. I drive a 15-year-old Buick.

In 2012, I became the proud dad of daughter Stevie and took a three-year break from music. We live in Missoula, MT, where I work as a night janitor at The Roxy Theater.

What motivates me? I want to be part of a wave of change that makes life better for everyone—more fun, more fair, more holy. I use humor, music, and poetry to tell stories, build connections, and get people thinking. I’m grateful that the world is filled with weird and unexpected beauty--great inspiration for my songs!

PRESS

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Photos by Allison V. Smith

"One and only cowboy who lays down a beat"
Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips


"(Chris Sand) is the classic wandering American minstrel."
Weekly Volcano, Mark Thomas Deming


"(Chris Sand) blends and balances rap and country music with a conviction and sophistication that transcends novelty without eschewing levity. . . . Sand’s music saunters, struts and strides through not just musical barriers, but those in age, society, politics, and so many more, one loses count."
Movies on a Big Screen, Galen Howard


"...one of America’s most unusual entertainers—Sandman, the Rapping Cowboy, a.k.a. Chris Sand. Sand is a true original, one of those charismatic oddballs that populate quirky indie comedies but rarely seem to exist in real life. His music is catchy and fun, his personality is damn near irresistible..."
A.V. Club - Denver, Cory Casciato


". . . how easy it is to go from skepticism to complete admiration for the Rapping Cowboy. Chris ‘Sandman’ Sand matters."
Encore, Justin Lacy


"Sand, a gifted songwriter . . . manages to charm even at his worst."
Memphis Flyer, Chris Herrington


"His music might be an acquired taste, but it’s easy to understand how rappin’ cowboy Chris Sandman’s (sic) irrepressible energy, goofy lyrics and wild showmanship win him followers wherever he goes."
7 x 7


"(an) undeniably magnetic and talented character."
A.V. Club - Austin, Joshua Huck


". . . playful, pugilistic, and part of the deep tradition of troubadours keeping culture alive while pushing the cultural envelope."
360 Main Street, Ryan Wilson


"his stripped-down sound and unadorned words contain hopeful ingredients most anyone can feel at home with - except maybe in Cincinnati."
The Olympiant


"His wry, brutally truthful approach isn't for the easily offended (or easily confused), but you can bet your bottom dollar that his show will be one of the most unusual and entertaining of the year."
Portland Tribune, 2007


"He is alone in his field as the creator of countrified rap fueled by dry humor and a singular rural/urban outlook."
Weekly Volcano, 2005


"A frontiersman of fusion."
Missoula Independent, 2008


"The Sandman is undoubtedly one of the most challenging, intelligent, and gut-busting funny performers this side of the Mississippi. . . . The central theme is really folk music, but don't be fooled: this is not your Mom's folk."
The Local Planet


"Finally, someone has figured out how to put rap and country together into a brilliant musical act." -- Missoulian Entertainer "There's something important about this music. It encompasses a lot of genres and the bottom line is that Sandman sets himself apart with a rousing originality."
Portland (ME) Press Herald


"Olympians know Sand as the Sandman, an acoustic-guitar carrying songwriter who writes with the traditional voice of wandering dust bowl cowboys from the 30s and 40s. They also know him as one of the area's most prolific and distinctive-sounding rappers. . . . a musician who's always searching and always learning. . . . an artist with depth and dexterity."
The Olympian


"Sandman produces a thoroughly contemporary and unromanticized vision of the itinerant minstrel . . . His songs arise from the same dusty world Woody Guthrie wrote about without being mired in the dust of Guthrie's tradition."
No Depression, Grant Alden


"Sand sings songs of social subversion, but he gets off on weaving metaphors and spinning rhymes, rather than rhetoric."
Willamette Week


"Sandman is our troubadour for the 21st century."
Punk Planet