By Miriam Longobardi
Watching Chappaqua’s Chris Fox perform his catchy original songs live, it is difficult to imagine him being anything but a musician, yet, for the past 25 years, he has been a successful hedge fund manager. I never stopped writing or dreaming,” says Fox, a Chappaqua resident for the last 19 years. “I remember, during the early part of my career, working 12-hour days and gigging at night. I wasn’t sleeping much, but I was creatively satisfied.” Despite reaching a pinnacle when he opened for David Crosby in Greenwich Village in the early 90’s, Fox stopped performing when he opened his hedge fund and his children were born.
His musical rebirth came five years ago with his children in their teens, as Fox scaled back his business to focus on his passion. Re-entering through the local jam scene, he soon formed his own band, Fox Force Five and began playing area bars such as Lucy’s, Gordo’s, Katie Mac’s and Bridgeview Tavern just to name a few.
About a year ago he created Mojo Monde, the band that plays performs his original music. The “Mojo” in the band’s name refers to the blues tradition that inspires the group; “Monde” (French for “world”) references the multiplicity of influences that shape the band’s direction. Distinguished by their captivating melodies, deep grooves and intelligent lyrics (one song references Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard), the quality of the songs quickly led to more prominent gigs, including performances at the Mamaroneck Harbor Festival, Orange County Fair, Peekskill Celebration and the Yorktown Grange Fair.
The recognition culminated in an invitation this summer to perform at the 2011 Pleasantville Music Festival one of only ten artists chosen out of over two hundred submissions. This fall, Fox and his band were invited to perform their original music at the nationally recognized venue, The Turning Point in Piermont, New York.
Fox and the band are now in the process of recording their first album– a significant project given the 18 original compositions that are in process. But that is not the only project keeping Chris Fox busy. Watching the destruction of the recent Hurricane Irene moved him to create the music video “Irene (You’ve Been Such a Bitch!).” Written, recorded and uploaded to YouTube in one day, it received over 7,000 views within the first week.
Fox’s band-mates in Mojo Monde include some of the most respected musicians in the area, including fellow Chappaqua resident Jon Cobert (five time Grammy nominee) on keyboards, Tony Tino (who tours regularly with Gavin DeGraw) on bass, and Denny McDermott (formerly with David Johansen and many others) on drums. The collaboration and wealth of experience brought to bear by these musicians has created a sound that is memorable and wholly original. “Our music is deeply rooted in melody driven rock while drawing from the stylistically diverse abilities of each band member,” said Fox.
What’s next for Chris Fox? He neither knows nor cares. He pointed out that he has no illusions so therefore cannot be disillusioned. “If I knew for a fact my music career would go no further than it is at this very moment, there is no doubt that I would continue, just for the sheer love of it. I’m not striving for success– I just get huge pleasure from writing and playing.” And as he continues to create and play music with a fresh, authentic and unique quality, we get huge pleasure from it as well.
For upcoming shows and free downloadable music visit chrisfoxsongs.com