Jordan Chassan began by studying classical piano,
violin, and guitar, at the tender age of seventeen he was leading
his own band Stuart's Hammer in regular weekend
gigs at the now legendary underground dive CBGB in New York City.
Atlantic Records showed some interest in the blossoming
scene and the band (first ever to be called 'country-punk') appeared
on the Live at CBGB anthology. Rolling
Stone magazine called the Chassan-penned tune "Everybody's
Depraved" the "best song on the album."
Said young Chassan "I'll be rich and famous!" The recording
was recently reissued by Atlantic to commemorate the twentieth anniversary
Next came a succession of bands with independent releases, most
notably It's the Hendersons and The Young
Hegelians, the later touring England and garnering rave
reviews as "the best unsigned band in New York" while
popping up frequently in NY Post gossip columns.
After the demise of that highly promising band (whose excellent
live recordings are now available on the new indy label Strong
Recordings.com), Chassan decided to go it alone and
began performing as a solo artist, first in Greenwich Village nightspots
like Folk City, Tramps, and The
Lone Star, but eventually building a wider Northeast base.
Fortune smiled again when record producer and impresario Davitt
Sigerson heard a live recording and immediately signed
Chassan to an exclusive contract with Polydor Records.
The resulting album was recorded live in the studio direct to two
tracks, featuring his distinctive songwriting, acoustic guitar,
and vocals. The 1992 release won him many new fans and long deserved
national attention. To quote one critic: "His fretwork is beautifully
allusive, yet rendered so seamlessly and unobtrusively that it's
true quality may not be fully appreciated, even by those who find
it pleasant enough. There is more there than meets the eye."
Another said, "…nearly everything he does comes across
with a breezy, playful intelligence and a kind of studied effortlessness."
During the mid 90's Chassan relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where
he now lives and works. Most recently he has been consumed with
all aspects of recording, having built the Inglewood SoundBarn
out of an old barn on his property. The studio features vintage
analog equipment and an old school approach, and has been the center
of lots of activity lately. In the related world of TV and film
production, Chassan worked with the legendary musical historian
Peter Guralnick as location sound recordist for
the A&E Biography presentation "Sam
Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock n' Roll" which
recently had its debut at the Museum of Television &
Broadcasting in New York City.
Chassan is involved as producer with several projects in various
stages of completion. Amy Allison's album The
Maudlin Years (Koch International) got lots of attention
when it was released and recently popped up on Elvis
Costello's list of 500 albums "essential to a
happy life" as published in a special music issue of Vanity
Fair magazine. Also completed is a solo album (vocal and
guitar recorded live to stereo) by the late Walter Hyatt,
much loved but as yet unreleased.
"When I finished construction on the Inglewood SoundBarn a
few years back, the first guy I ran into in a trip back to New York
was the great renegade writer / artist Mark
Johnson" says Chassan. "His album 12
In a Room is an underground classic. To make a long story
short, I kind of kidnapped him and brought him down to Nashville
for the maiden voyage of the SoundBarn. We hung out and wrote some
songs together and I got to really stretch out in terms of production
quality." That project is now complete, and Mark’s new
mini-album “Green Summer Rain” is available
on Strong Recordings.com.
Chassan has also recently worked with Molly
Thomas, a relative newcomer who hails from Mississippi.
"Molly has a great voice, and a really unique approach to lyrics
and melody. I think she's got something to say."
Other recent production credits include former United Artists
recording artist and Hollywood actor George
Gerdes, hipster-revivalist Greg
Garing, and Holly Yarbrough (daughter
of folk legend Glenn Yarbrough).
The finishing touches have finally been made on Jordan Chassan’s
new album “East of Bristol, West of Knoxville”,
which is also available on, you guessed it, Strong
Recordings.com. It features ten new songs, and Chassan
is joined by many of his Nashville pals. The record was produced
and engineered in part by Flash Flood, of whom
Chassan says “he’s definitely one of the most pseudonymous
producers around”. Highlights include a spirited vocal duet
with Gillian Welch
on the track “Wound Up Way Too Tight”, and more of the
live ensemble to 2-track studio recordings Chassan is known for,
recorded by ace engineer Roger Moutenot.