This week, we’d like to shine a spotlight on one of the eTones, Chris Engleman, who has been our bass player since the very first show more than 31 years ago. Chris has been not only rock solid, but he has played with such a great feel, such deep musicianship, that so many visiting artists instantly relaxed when they felt how deep the groove was with Chris on the bass. Chris is currently undergoing cancer treatment, and has had very good results so far through clinical trials in immunotherapy.
Nick: “What stands out for you as you look back on more than 30 years as an eTone?”
Chris: “Well, for me personally, it has been the best gig I could have had. To get a chance to play with so many artists over those many years has been amazing. What a rewarding experience playing not only with heroes of mine but, as well, playing with great artists I didn’t really know so much at first but came to admire and really appreciate. And then to be a part of show that reached so many people across the country over so many years, with great music and inspirational stories, has been fantastic.”
Nick: “What made the house band work so well?”
Chris: “All the house band members have many years of experience playing with many different people and in many different styles. As much as that, I think that for everyone in the house band, making the artist’s song sound good and right, is the important thing, not how “cool” we can make our individual parts. Also we all really listen to, and enjoy and respect all these different styles of music.”
Nick: “Any favorite musical moments?”
Chris: “There are so many favorite moments it is hard to pick just a few. But I do have to say, because these were heroes of mine, and whose songs I played in bands in my younger years, that playing a few times with James Taylor and also with Michael McDonald were particularly memorable. Getting to play “What a Fool Believes” and “Minute by Minute” with Michael McDonald was definitely a thrill. And both of these people were also so very nice. I know that at one show, James Taylor dedicated a song to my wife when he found out my wife and I were just marrying. “A Song For You Far Away” I believe is the song, as I had mentioned to him that this was one of my favorite songs of his. But there are so many other memorable moments: Shawn Colvin, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Mullins, Tim O’Brien, Sonny Landreth, Keb Mo, Jonatha Brooke. I mean I hate to leave anybody off of this list.”
Nick: “How’s your treatment going?”
Chris: “I received a cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2018, and I’ve been getting some treatments since then which have been very effective. I’m doing really very well. I feel good!
Thanks so much for catching up with us, Chris!!