Eugene Chrysler. Where the heck did he come from? His videos have aired on TNN, CMT, and even up in Canada on CBC. A couple of tunes from his first cd, "I Saw The Light… but it was neon", have made their way onto tv shows including "Law and Order" and he even had actor Jerry Orbach do a cameo in one of his videos. Eugene who? Well, there's a couple of variations on his origins.
Eugene has been playing around now (musically speaking) for over 25 years. Sometimes life deals us little sidetracks, adversities, set backs, locusts (all of which make for great songs), but Eugene has endured. He penned his first song "Hold On Hard" at the tender age of 12 and has been playing dog house bass ever since he could reach the strings.
His own blend of solid country music takes its influence from blues, rock, western swing, boogie, and rockabilly, all with humor and an upbeat twist. (What the heck does all that mean? We don't know.) Eugene does mostly originals, but every once and a while a tune will slip in from someone else and Eugene will rope and brand it to make it his own. Just listen to his country version of the Elvis classic "Viva Las Vegas". He puts his signature on another Elvis tune "That's All Right Mama", with a country rap in the middle that tells about the time Eugene tried to steal actual dirt from the lawn of Graceland and got caught (all true).
Sly humor is an important element in Eugene's songs. "No matter what happens with my career", says Eugene, "I'll always perform because that's what I do, that's what I love." There is also an element of sadness in some of Eugene's tunes; "Love gone sad" as he calls them. You'll find that in "No Reason To Blame: and in his waltz, "Drinkin' My Dinner and Eating My Words". ("Without me you'd be lonely, or so it seemed, but you found another while I'm still with Jim Beam"). Sniffle sniffle.
Heartbreak and happiness go hand in hand in Eugene's world in "Next To You…I Look Like A Rocket Scientist"; "Well I don't know how to fly, I don't know how to drive, I don't know how to tie my shoes or what comes after five, I don't have rich and fame, can't even spell my name, but next to you… (yep, you guessed it).
The story of Eugene Chrysler begins in Guphead, Tennesee, not in Detroit as the name may imply. Many nights of playing in beer soaked gin joints with his Uncle Bud and big brother Ray got Eugene hooked on music. He formed a band with his brother Ray (on guitar) and his cousin JJ Caruso (on drums). They called themselves appropriately "The Chryslers". After many many years of fine tuning their repertoire, the boys started opening for some of the bigger acts in town. Years went by and one day the call of the farm got to big for Ray and he decided to call it quits to music and take over the family business. JJ too gave up playing (mostly due to the law and having to spend a few months away).
Left alone and discouraged, Eugene almost gave up too; that is until he remembered the words told to him by his Uncle Bud; "Never drink a beer that's been left on the bar, change your socks everyday, and do what comes natural."
Those words of inspiration motivated Eugene and have kept him playing for the last 25 years.
Eugene Chrysler is back with his second cd, with the help of a bunch of his pals from the Lone Star State.
Hill "Billy" Shakespeare was recorded in those two towns duking it out for the title of Music City USA, Nashville and Austin. Special guests include Asleep At The Wheel's Ray Benson, Cindy Cashdollar, Jason Roberts, and Floyd Domino. Also along on the ride are Toni Price, Champ Hood, Mark Kazanoff, and Brian Hofeldt from The Derailers.
Even though Eugene is based up in the New York area, his roots are in the South. He grew up listening to Elvis, Carl Perkins, Bob Wills, and Asleep At The Wheel. If you told him when he was a kid that someday he would do a duet with Asleep At the Wheel's Ray Benson, he would have
Eugene's music is a mix of rockabilly and classic country, with a dash of western swing and a quirky sense of humor. It's snappy and a lot of fun to dance to.
His live performances have more energy than a trucker full of Red Bull and Krispy Kremes. He flips his big ol' doghouse bass around like a fiddle and has been known to play it behind his back!