Chris Antonik, the blues-rock, guitar wielding, singer-songwriter from Toronto has released his new album, Morningstar. The 14-track album features guest artists such as 2x-GRAMMY Award-winner Mike Mattison (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Derek Trucks Band), multiple-Maple Blues Award-winning guitarist Paul Deslauriers, Juno Award-nominee Alison Young and 3x-Blues Music Award nominee Jarekus Singleton.
Antonik has just gone through a five-year process of personal growth and self-compassion building — and he wears his stories on his sleeve across Morningstar. The album’s lead single, “Waves of Stone” (released June 3), debuted at #6 on Roots Music Report’s Blues Singles Charts in the U.S. and #1, respectively in Canada. The blistering song hits like a thunderbolt on a musical and emotional level. Musically, it’s riff-driven blues-rock showcasing Antonik trading searing lead guitar solos with American counterpart, Jarekus Singleton.
Both “Waves of Stone” and the album’s sophomore single, “Pilgrim,” found support from Joe Bonamassa by being added to the acclaimed guitarist’s Spotify playlist, “Cutting Edge Blues.” Meanwhile, Blues Rock Review gave the album a 9/10 review and raved about “countless exceptional guitar solos” and Morningstar’s boundary-pushing blues.” Rock and Blues Muse said Mornignstar “pushes the boundaries of blues/rock by folding soul, future-funk, psychedelia, late-1980’s-Clapton/Robbie Robertson/Daniel Lanois influences, and other experimental touches into its mix quite successfully…he’s a fully developed artist working on something big. We should all be listening.”
“In 2017, I had started a new life after a divorce,” recalls Antonik on the catalyst of Morningstar. “I made the mistake of getting into another relationship too soon. Driven by a fear of being alone and to soothe my grief from the divorce, I dove in. The relationship didn’t last long. The pain and anguish that I experienced when it ended was compounded by the fact that I was still grieving divorce. ‘Waves of Stone’ is a snapshot of how heartbroken and frustrated I felt in the last few weeks of the relationship and right after the breakup. The song gets the anger stage of grief out of my system so I can move onto the other 13 songs on Morningstar which are about hope, re-building, community, new beginnings, and love.”
Morningstar — co-produced by Antonik and JUNO Award-winning producer Derek Downham — tells a cohesive story of his experiences as he enters mid-life. The last few years’ worth of life, love, loss, and growth are synthesized into an epic collection of songs about new beginnings, building community, mindfulness, self-compassion, Antonik’s sobriety, and the power of home. Through it all, Antonik plays his guitar with unbridled ferocity and passion, mining his soul deeper than he ever has before.
“I wanted to do two things with this record,” says Antonik, “one: push the boundaries of modern blues and blues-rock, and two: tell a sincere story about the human experience that others could relate to. I believe we achieved both. While each song can be heard as a stand-alone piece, together the tracks comprise an even greater connected saga.”
Track listing for Morningstar:
“Waves of Stone” (feat. Jarekus Singleton)
“Back To The Good”
“Trust In Me”
“In Our Home” (feat. Alison Young)
“The Greatest Of The Americans (Part I)”
“The Greatest Of The Americans (Part II)”
“Learning To Love You”
“How To Be Alone”
“We're Not Alone” (feat. Paul Deslauriers)
“The Promise Of Airfields”
“Be Here Now” (feat. Mike Mattison)