Chris Merrill plays live music in the Ram’s Head Bar
The great grandson of Alcatraz inmate Leo Craney, singer Chris Merrill knows a thing or two about hard times. Merrill grew up in poverty in Rockwood, Oregon, with his mom and three brothers in a small apartment. Constantly struggling, it was those hard times that led to his love of music. Used as an escape from menacing bullies, or the lack of resources, Merrill was moved at a young age by the emotion and passion of soul and rhythm and blues music. It was that same emotion and passion that would drive Merrill in his own pursuits as a musician, songwriter, and entertainer.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
While some might say Chris Merrill is best known for shining moment as Shawn Devino on Portlandia, we would like to think he should be known for his shining talents as lead vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist, and songwriter for Merrill.
While Merrill was formed in just 2006, Chris has actually been writing and performing music since before he could read. Okay, we know that’s not true, but he grew up with a passion for music and credits it to musical inspirations from such diverse artists as Stevie Wonder and Prince to 90s rock acts like Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls.
When not touring throughout the U.S., rocking out in local venues, and winning musical awards such as West Coast Songwriters Portland Song of the Year in 2010 for “The One Thing,” Chris can be found looking for lost love, a cold beer, and a sandwich. Not necessarily in that order.