As long as Chris Messytone (born Chris Meseyton) can remember, he has had a keen interest in music. Chris grew up in a musical family in Portage la Prairie and has always expressed his love for a wide range of musical styles. As a child, Chris recalls becoming familiar with vinyl records lying around the house, not to mention the weekly musical programs on the radio.
At age 12, Chris's true passion for music was sparked by the spontaneous visit of a door-to-door salesperson who had a mission to sign people up for classical accordion lessons. Messytone was intrigued by the thought of learning a foreign instrument, and his father soon enrolled him in private lessons.
As a teenager integrating himself into the local rock scene of the 1980's, Chris began to stretch the dynamics of classic, old-time accordion playing into entirely new sounds to compliment the heavier feel of rock music he was exposed to. For Chris, music quickly transformed from an interest to a hobby to a career in the span of just a few years. Not only did Chris learn the accordion, but he also mastered the piano and worked on playing both the accordion and piano at the same time!
Chris played solo into his early 20's at various gigs in Portage la Prairie, and also teamed up with his brother Curtis to spread music throughout town in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Chris even extended his growing "punk accordion rock" career into Winnipeg, where he performed at venues in the city's west end, as well as on the stages of Wellington's and the Royal Albert Hotel in The Exchange District.
In the 1990's, brothers Chris and Curtis relocated to British Columbia's Lower Mainland to further pursue their musical careers. The duo joined forces to form the group "The Messytones," when they met various musicians like the late Dan Small to compose, record, and release a collection of original and trendy rock/pop music as a band. In 1998, The Messytones released a successful album titled "Clean It Up," which gave the band further recognition in the Greater Vancouver music scene. During that era, Vancouver's Georgia Strait labeled Messytone as "the Ashley MacIsaac of the accordion."
Throughout the 2000's, Chris Messytone traveled back and forth between British Columbia and Manitoba, while diversifying his career and alternating between performing solo and with his band. During that time, Chris created an extensive library of original works, primarily as a solo artist. As of late, Chris has composed over 100 original tunes covering all types of genres including rock, pop, synth, Celtic, and various facets of world music.
Chris Messytone is currently a solo artist who enjoys collaborating with other musicians. Chris performs at a variety of venues throughout Manitoba like seniors' residences, bars and social clubs, concert halls, folk festivals, and outdoor recreational events. Even after three decades of musical excellence and experience, his career is still blossoming and continuing to create excitement in the Manitoba music scene! Messytone is constantly expanding his repertoire, experimenting with stunning new musical styles, and flexibly evolving with the times. His newest album is slated to be released soon, and will showcase a multitude of his latest and greatest tunes!
His latest musical project is a collaboration with Manitoba Metis artist Suzanne Bird. The up-and-coming duo have called themselves 'Soulful Cats.'
Chris Messytone is definitely no stranger to the accordion, having played for over 30 years. While always taking the accordion to new dimensions, Chris is now very much enjoying the worldwide revival of contemporary accordion music.
From the heart of the Canadian prairies emerges master of the accordion Chris Messytone, also known locally in his hometown of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba as "Chris The Accordion Guy." On stage, Chris projects a strong, balanced sound, and in the studio, he conjures up a hot blazing musical stew of styles that is sure to captivate the audience.
From ethnopop to Celtic, Cajun, rock, world, modern international European folk, and zydeco, close your eyes and be transported around the world! Tap your toes or dance freely as Chris rocks the accordion, then let him draw you into a calmness through his more hypnotic tunes.
According to Vancouver’s Georgia Strait, Chris is the Ashley MacIsaac of the accordion. If that is not enough, let his varied skill set give you a brand new musical experience when he plays both the accordion and keyboard (or piano) simultaneously! This unique ability adds unforgettable, one-of-a-kind textures and incredible depth to his sound. To boot, Chris uses a complex sound system to infuse even more originality into his songs. Using this system, he combines multiple instrumental and percussion tracks, all of which he composes himself, both in the recording studio and then live on stage.
With dozens of original songs and instrumentals emanating mainly from ethnic and world influences, Chris Messytone has the ability to explore uncharted territory and elevate accordion playing to entirely new heights. His astounding versatility allows him to play either electronically or acoustically, as well as to tailor his performance to include all types of music - whether the tunes are familiar ones or his own creative innovations. From performing at high-energy dance parties to more laid-back shows at folk festivals, Chris can enamour virtually any audience, whether it be a rowdy crowd of college students or a hall of dancing seniors.
Chris Messytone - in a nutshell - is a gifted artist; a singer recognized by his characteristic, gravelly voice; a passionate songwriter that touches people’s lives; a talented musician who is part of the group The Messytones; and a brilliant composer who strives to creatively contribute to the eclecticism of the Manitoba Music scene.