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Cory Chisel: The Sacred And The Secular

Growing up in Appleton, Wis., folk-rock singer Cory Chisel first connected with music through the songs he heard in church. He learned about music and performance from his father, a Baptist minister. There was something about gospel's rich vernacular of loss and redemption that lit a creative spark in the young Chisel.

However, with his religious upbringing, Chisel was sheltered from much of the popular music of his time. Instead, he gained his fluency in music by playing it with his family. He also cites his uncle Roger, a blues musician, for much of his musical inspiration: Roger's record collection -- which included the likes of Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan and Otis Redding -- was a huge inspiration to the aspiring songwriter, and introduced him to secular music. His songwriting developed from there, and he put out two self-released albums and a live EP. His full-length major-label debut, Death Won't Send a Letter, came out earlier this fall.

Copyright 2009 XPN