Jon Chandler has been awarded the 2009 Spur Award for Best Song from the Western Writers of America for his song, Linwood. He was also named “2009 Best Living Western Musician” by True West Magazine, and won the Audience Award in the Western Folklife Center’s Yellowstone & the Tetons song competition for his song, The Road That Leads to Yellowstone.
A review of Jon Chandler’s CD WESTERNS included the phrase, “Chandler’s music is literate and literary.” Yep. There’s not an ounce of stereotypical Gene ‘n Roy retro-cowpoke, Lazy Z Chuckwagon faux-western shtick in his music or voice (that is, if you don’t count his kid’s project, Cowboy Critter Campfire Tales). Chandler writes songs of the historic and contemporary West, not particularly cowboy songs, although they tend to show up now and then. His songs owe more to Larry McMurtry, Elmer Kelton, Robert Service and Mark Twain than they do anyone in a band that ends with Wranglers or Ramblers. Simply put, his music is a reflection of his heritage. A seventh-generation Coloradan, his novels, songs and poems serve to keep alive the West’s frontier ethic.
Singing in honky-tonks and folk clubs while earning his Graduate Degree, he continued to utilize his musical talents in the corporate world, writing advertising jingles and producing soundtracks for audio-visual presentations. Jumping ship from the marketing arena, he joined Denver’s seminal country-rock band, Dawson, and toured extensively before forming a series of creative businesses. Hooking up with Newport Publishers as a voiceover talent, he soon began producing children’s product, audio novels, and his first solo CD, Out West of Laramie. His award-winning Keepers of the Flame CD and its attendant music video served as the focal point of a nationwide conservation education program administered by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Department of Agriculture). His CD, WESTERNS, has been dubbed “a landmark recording” and was chosen “best Western CD” by True West Magazine.
Sepia Soul, the Best of Jon Chandler was released to rave national reviews, with the iconic Cowboy Magazine noting, “It’s very difficult to categorize Jon Chandler’s music. It is western, sorta, because Chandler is a man of the West, but it is also, at times, Americana, progressive country, folk, southern, bluegrass, balladesque. Regardless, listening to this Jon Chandler album is a relaxing, mellow, beautiful musical experience. Truly wonderful music.” Maybe It’s the Moon – Jon Chandler & the Wichitones LIVE! was recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, and received stunning reviews, including Country Line Magazine’s, “Thank God for Chandler and his band of musicians.”
He is also a Spur Award-winning author of Western fiction, a contributor to several magazines, and the voice of the Historic Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, CO and the Historic Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, WY