Chris Bullinger Evokes Dr. John and J.J. Cale with Smoky New Single, “Payin’ Dues”

By on June 28, 2024

A “Stomp of a Song” from His Upcoming Album ‘Waitin’ To Be Seen,’ out 8/16

Today, Chris Bullinger, the poet and singer-songwriter, releases “Payin’ Dues,” a standout track from his forthcoming double album, ‘Waitin’ To Be Seen,’ slated for release on August 16th. This album is a rich tapestry of 23 songs, each a vignette that collectively narrates a story of love, self-discovery, and the search for genuine connection.
Payin’ Dues” arrives as the album’s midpoint and serves as a thematic cornerstone. “It follows the meeting, break up, self-reflection, and, maybe, reconciliation of the singer and gal he meets along the way,” Chris shares. “And it’s right here at this halfway point where—after being alone, together and then alone again—the singer admits that although they split, maybe, just maybe, he’s the one who lost his way.”
Musically, “Payin’ Dues” evokes the vibrant atmosphere of an old-timey circus sideshow, weaving a soundscape of layered instrumentation—vibrant horns, chunky guitar riffs, and twinkly keys—all underscored by Chris’s distinctly gruff vocals. “It’s a stomp of a song—think Dr. John and J.J. Cale—about bubble baths and garden paths and getting shot on a rocket into outer space,” Chris shares.

Raised in the Midwest and influenced by hard-luck, outlaw country singer-songwriters, Chris has made singing a defining part of his artistic identity, complemented by his soulfully weary vocals. A seasoned songwriter, he writes songs of earned-wisdom in the spirit of icons like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. “As a songwriter, I write about truth more than fact,” Chris explains, revealing his deep connection to the craft of storytelling through music.
In college, Chris started recording for himself, later moving between jobs to cut records in the studio. However, his music career temporarily took a backseat as his enterprising spirit led to the founding of several successful business ventures with his twin brother, including one that grew into one of the largest renewable energy power plant developers in North America. Now that he’s achieved his goals in the renewable energy business, Chris is ready to focus more of his energy on his music career.
The ensemble of Nashville musicians featured on ‘Waitin’ To Be Seen’ has developed an intuitive interplay over years of working together at Nashville, Tennessee’s iconic The Bomb Shelter Studios. This album concludes Chris’s Bomb Shelter Trilogy, a series of works that reflect his deep and enduring commitment to his music. Reflecting on his path, Chris shares, “I always felt I was doing the songs some sort of injustice not putting them out there. I feel very grateful knowing that these songs are out, and will, undoubtedly, connect with someone somewhere, whether it’s one person or one million.”
“Payin’ Dues” follows the release of the album’s lead single “Darlin’ In Me,” which finds the songwriter reflecting on the beauty seen through a loved one’s eyes, framed by psychedelic lyrics and a compelling rock groove. “Darlin’ ‘n’ Me” is a frolic alongside the notion of how beautiful someone can be through a loved one’s eyes, embodying the album’s overarching narrative of seeking authentic connections,” Chris shared upon its release.
To date, Chris has recorded five critically acclaimed albums. His 2022 album, ‘True Rendition,’ and 2023’s ‘How to Bleed’ charted “#1 Added” on NACC Folk. He’s garnered 100k monthly listeners on Spotify, and over 2.8 million cumulative views across Vevo and YouTube. As a songwriter, Chris writes about truth more than fact. He believes the process of songwriting — and art in general — comprises three key components: observation, empathy, and rhythm. Accordingly, he is an astute observer of the human condition, often focusing on one key instant, empathizing with it, and then expanding that moment through rhythm.
‘Waitin’ To Be Seen’ marks a pivotal moment in Chris’s career, and is a testament to his profound ability to translate the human experience into music that resonates. It’s a collection that promises to captivate and connect, reflecting both the nuances of individual stories and the universal truths of our shared human condition.

‘Waitin’ To Be Seen (Part 1)’ by Chris Bullinger
1. One Complete Connection
2. Ain’t Life Grand
3. Doin’ Bad Good
4. Darlin’ ‘n’ Me
5. Up All Night
6. Carving Tree
7. Already Broke
8. The Way Things Go
9. I’m Not Comin’ Back Home
10. Gotta Save Yourself
11. Temporary Baby
12. Payin’ Dues

Chris Bullinger is a poet, singer-songwriter, and relentless observer of the human condition. His music, characterized by its depth of emotion and literary finesse, has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated global audience. With a career that spans over a decade, Chris’s work explores the themes of truth, empathy, and the rhythm of life, proving time and again that his voice is one that resonates with the core of human experience. With five critically acclaimed albums to his name, Chris has touched the hearts of listeners worldwide, amassing a dedicated following eager for his next revelation.

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