written by Kathy Patten | photos by Eugene Pavlov
You might say Chris J. Arellano is chasing the “Americana Dream.” His self-titled debut album, recorded in Salem, chronicles Arellano’s life of Americana roots music—a blend of country, blues, jazz and música norteña. Raised in Costilla, New Mexico, he played drums with the family band from age 8. After a tragic car accident took his father’s life, young Arellano found solace by learning to play guitar.
“Cuentas Que Te Vas,” a reworked version of his dad’s original song, is the first cut. Each subsequent track follows Arellano through his years in Los Angeles, Nashville and, ultimately, Albany. His daughter, Jayden Italia (“Carousel/ Jayden’s Song”), takes the reins on the bluesy country-rocker, “Troublemaker.”
Along the emotional journey, Arellano never forgets the people and places that inspired him, including Oregon. “I have a lot of roots here,” he said. “It’s exciting to know that things are starting to happen here.”