C.J. Boyd

About

Bassist turned vagabond C.J. Boyd uses bass loops and voices in order to try and stop time. On perpetual tour since March 2008, movement and stasis are both at the center of his music. Weaving together improvisation with a sparse, minimalist aesthetic, Boyd creates waves of sound, worlds of provocative unlived memories through a singular approach to the upright bass, electric bass guitar, and bass ukulele that makes everything near and far.

Though solo performance takes up the lion's share of his time and effort, he periodically tours with the improvised chamber orchestra Kurva Choir, and can occasionally be found lending his low end to other bands. Some of these in recent years have included Thor & Friends, Paleo, Harm, Molly Sullivan, Andrew Weathers Ensemble, Shy Hunters, and Real Live Tigers. Boyd has released collaborative recordings with Chris Schlarb, Helena Epvall, Eliot Lipp, and Andrew Weathers, while making the occasional appearance on the records of Thor Harris, By The End of Tonight, Rebecca K. File, and many others. Current recording projects include Move and a sample-based alias DJ Too Slow, while previous bands include Desert Center, Rhonya, Like No Tomorrow, Kirtan, and The C.J. Boyd Sextet.

In 2019, Boyd released a four hour, 51 song album entitled Kin Ships that features a song recorded in every state (plus DC). Each song is a cover of someone with whom he has shared a stage and who is from that state. A Sharon Van Etten cover recorded entirely in New Jersey, a Bonnie "Prince" Billy cover recorded in Louisville, an Angel Olsen in Missouri, you get the idea. Songwriters ranging from Circuit des Yeux to WHY? to Dirty Projectors, and many, many names the listener might not know yet but should, all of whom Boyd has encountered in the solid decade of permatour. This landmark documentary of his monumental travels features 186 guest musicians recorded in every imaginable space from a stairwell in Hawaii to a state of the art studio in Maine. A tiny selection of the guests featured include Thor Harris (Swans), Nona Marie Invie (Dark Dark Dark), Karl Blau, Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors), Hanna Benn, Kyle Field (Little Wings), Emily Cross (Loma), John McCauley (Deer Tick), Michael LaCour (B L A C K I E), Sima Cunningham (OHMME), Benoît Pioulard, Victor Villarreal (Joan of Arc), Ashley Eriksson (LAKE), and so many more. This album was released on CD with an extensive book full of photos and copious notes by the Indiana-based record label Joyful Noise Recordings, celebrating Boyd's first decade of non-stop touring, as well as a decade releasing music with them.

Besides being on permanent tour for over a decade, Boyd also runs a tape label called Obsolete Media Objects , which has released such lovely folks as Balmorhea, Aisha Burns, Lung, Dolphin Midwives, Dilute, and Nelly Kate. Since 2018, Boyd also hosts the weekly podcast Worst Show Ever", in which he talks to friends from the road about their most terrible concert/tour experiences. Guests have included Will Oldham, Jolie Holland, Jonny 5 (Flobots), Puma Simone, Rachel Ratner (Wimps), Yoni Wolf (WHY?), and many more.

His non-stop musical travels have been propelled primarily by a van that runs on vegetable oil and diesel while in North America, whereas frequent European tours will find him catching trains, buses, planes, boats, and cars. Regardless of how he arrives to the gig, the music is driven by a commitment to ceaseless discovery and re-invention. His oceanic approach to the bass provide a home for the homeless and journeys to the homebound.