MP3 Chad K. Slagle - High, Wild, And Free
A stunning mix of lyrics and Appalachian-based country/folk that reaches to the heart of the outdoor experience, and those who long for a simpler time.
10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, COUNTRY: Country Folk
Chad was born and raised on a small farm in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. It was on that farm in West Virginia that his two greatest passions grew: music and the outdoors. It would be some years later that he would fuse the two together to make his brand of music, touching the hearts of people around the world.
When Chad was still in grade school, his father opened one of the first archery pro shops in the area. At an early age, he would spend time after school helping to make arrows, stocking shelves, and listening intently to the stories from the “local pros”. Although Chad competed in archery tournaments all over the country and took a few state championships, it was the time spent roaming the family farm with the green Kodiak recurve his grandfather had given him that he enjoyed most. There was something special about the way it felt to carry a simple bow, to trust his instincts could help the arrow find its mark. He continued to shoot a modern bow into adulthood, but the lure of the bow of Robin Hood was deeply rooted.
As a teenager, Chad began playing the guitar and writing songs. He idolized the writing abilities of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine. His grandmother, a fine musician in her own right, introduced him to country greats like Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and George Jones. He decided early on that combining the writing style of the folk singers he loved with the country sounds he heard on the Grande Ole Opry was the type of music he wanted to make.
Chad honed his playing and performance style in the great college town of Morgantown, West Virginia, home of West Virginia University. Famous for its rowdy, party school atmosphere, Chad was given the perfect stage to blend all of his influences into what became known as the “Slagle Sound”. It was not uncommon for him to cover everything from Kenny Rogers to Bob Marley in a given night. He soon learned to take hundreds of songs and interpret then into his own brand of music, catering to whatever crowd he was given during his 6 night a week playing schedule at more than 20 clubs.
Chad continued to concentrate on writing songs in what little time he could find. His songs caught the ears of artists like John Mellencamp, EmmyLou Harris, Ed Bruce, and one of his idols, Willie Nelson. Chad decided to pack it up, head to Nashville, and try and further his writing with some of the best talent in the business.
Chad soon learned that he was more like his idols than he realized, as he found the modern music industry to be more about looks, networking, and schmoozing than making real music. Like Waylon, Willie, and the other outlaws who fought to make their style of music, Chad turned his back on the “opportunities” afforded him, and decided to go his own way.
In the few years that followed, Chad nearly dropped out of the music business altogether. Instead, he decided to concentrate on the one thing that he loved just as much, the outdoors. With the encouragement of a friend, Chad sold his modern bow and purchased a longbow, determined to master it enough to hunt with it alone. Time progressed, and he became more successful with the longbow. He then began studying primitive skills. He made a few of his own bows, some of which held together, and something happened. He began writing again. He knew that the passion he had for traditional archery, conservation, and the outdoors was something that many could relate with, and even more needed to hear.
What you will hear when you listen to Chad’s music is an old voice with a new sound. It is a voice for wild things. It is a voice for a natural world that is being replaced by a synthetic one. It the voice of the Native Americans, the mountain man, ancient peoples, and those today who fight so hard to keep what little untainted land we have. His words will penetrate your soul like one of his handcrafted arrows, and his music will ease you like wind through a willow tree.
Chad has a gift to put things in words and song that we all experience, but can rarely express. I have been fortunate enough to hear these songs along lonely streams, high in the Smoky Mountains, and around small campfires. Although his songs were to me like a secret fishing spot that I never wanted to give up, I have enjoyed watching people discover his songs for the first time at banquets and outdoor gatherings across the country. I am thrilled that people from all over will be able to enjoy these songs in the form of a CD. Some secrets are just meant to be shared.
It has been said that Chad should have lived in another time: trapping his way west with Jim Bridger, hunting the California hills with Ishi, or exploring new rivers with Lewis and Clark. I don’t think so. I think he is right where he needs to be, helping all of us to remember who we are and where we come from. In a world of technology, we need someone who walks a different path, a simple path. He shows us what is important. He reminds us of the healing power of a flowing stream and a low burning fire. You will find many things in his music: mountain men, wild places, adventures, peacefulness, and if you listen very carefully, you may just find yourself.
Horace “Hacksaw” Worcester
Friend and Hunting Guide