Christopher Joseph Dallman (born September 23, 1978) is an American singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Dallman has released a full album (Race the Light) and four EPs (Sad Britney, Never Was, Live in L.A, Light The Love).
Early life and start of professional career:
Christopher was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Robert Dallman, a tax attorney, and Kathy Dallman, a former teacher. Dallman attended Dunwood Elementary, Bayside Middle School, University School of Milwaukee and Emerson College. He however did not complete his studies at Emerson and, after two years, moved to New York City to pursue his music career.
Christopher started playing the guitar at the age of 16 and practiced piano for 8 years. Self-taught on guitar, Christopher started playing by writing his own original songs. He was not learning how to play fast enough in the standard tuning of the guitar and instead began re-tuning the strings to his own preference and has never played in the standard tuning since. In 1996 when Christopher was 18, he started playing at a local coffee shop on the east side of Milwaukee called Sunset Boulevard. He would play every Friday night and developed a devoted following. In 1997, Dallman moved to Boston, Massachusetts and was the lead singer in the band The Rory Calhoun Project. The band performed around the Boston area, breaking up a year after starting. After the band's end, Christopher developed a paralyzing stage fright which prevented him from performing for several years.
In 2000, Dallman moved to New York City. In an attempt to conquer his recent fear of performing live, Christopher would sign up to perform at open mic events in the East Village only to become too nervous to sing and subsequently leave before his turn. In 2001, Christopher began to subdue his fear and started performing again. Dallman would play at small clubs in Alphabet City and considers those performances as the start of his professional career. Christopher tried to land recording contracts through the standard route of recording demo's and sending them to different record labels. He had some interest from the labels but ultimately was not signed. Dallman grew frustrated with the process and decided to pursue his music career independently. Only after a week of choosing his independent career, Christopher met producer Mike Newman. He managed to find an investor for his album and began working on his first record. Newman and Dallman worked on the album from October 2003 to March 2004, recording it at Scullville Studios in South Jersey, New Jersey. Contributors to what ultimately became his first album, Race The Light, included Ivan Funk, Devin Greenwood, Rachel Alina, and Dred Scott. Race The Light was released on the 20th of April 2004 under the independent label Treasure Records. Christopher debuted the album with a live set at New York's famous folk venue The Living Room. In May 2004, Dallman moved to Los Angeles, California for personal reasons and to try expand his foothold in the music industry.
The touring and promotion of Race The Light was grass roots and internet based. Dallman utilized the social networking site MySpace and managed to book almost two years of touring in the United States and overseas without an agent or manager. He performed at colleges, small clubs, theaters and even living rooms.
Exit from music and subsequent return:
When Dallman finished touring in 2006, he was exhausted and financially strained after strenuously promoting Race The Light over the course of two years. While promoting the record, Christopher had not written any new songs and did not feel motivated to write. Frustrated that his first album had not expanded his career, Christopher no longer felt that music was a viable option for him anymore. Over the next few years, Christopher had totally left the music industry and was waiting tables at local restaurants. During this time he continued to write songs, albeit, at a slowed pace.
In October 2008, Christopher attended his mother's wedding in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a city he had only visited a few times. Dallman was in the lobby of the reception venue when a stranger recognized him and promptly began to tell him of his enjoyment of his music. Christopher considered this to be a sign that he was ready to return to music.
Return to music:
Dallman's first recorded song after his departure from music was a single-song EP called "Anthem". It was produced by George Stanford and recorded at his home studio in Hollywood. "Anthem" was released in August 2009 with half of all proceeds from the single going to support the Human Rights Campaign after the passage of Proposition 8 in California. This was also Dallman's first song to be released under his own record label, Beauteous Bird Records.
After the completion of Anthem, Dallman reconnected with Rachel Alina who had been the assistant engineer on Race The Light. Alina brought Dallman to Barrie Maguire, who used to play bass in the Wallflowers and was a producer of several Amos Lee records. Barrie took Dallman to Redstar Studios in Silverlake, Los Angeles and started recording with him. Dallman had raised a substantial amount of money for recording through an online campaign asking friends and fans to donate. While recording, Dallman decided to release a series of EPs as opposed to a second full album as he felt that he was entering the music industry from a fresh perspective. Dallman felt that releasing several shorter albums would strengthen his public profile by building higher public awareness of his music through each subsequent EP. Dallman also felt that his writing over the previous few years had been disjointed and did not seem to arc into a theme which would warrant a full second album.
In 2009, Dallman released two multi-song EPs. His first, Never Was, was an original compilation of four songs; while his second, Sad Britney, was a collection of four Britney Spears cover songs. Sad Britney was the first release of Dallman's to chart on a public forum and climbed to number six on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts on its release based on word of mouth promotion alone. Christopher's first single from Never Was, Ghosts, topped the MTVMusic.com charts within two weeks of its release. Christopher released music videos for the songs "Gimme More" (from his Sad Britney EP) and "Ghosts" (from his Never Was EP). The "Ghosts" music video charted on Logo TV's "The Click List" for five consecutive weeks.
In September, 2011, Christopher released his latest EP titled Light The Love. The EP comprises five original songs and is available as a digital download as well as a limited edition autographed physical disc. Light The Love was released under Dallman's own music label, Beauteous Bird.