The slow melodies and elegant simplicity of Chris Riffle’s folk music could take the most stressed New Yorker to a tranquil mindset. A current resident of Manhattan’s East Village, Riffle sees the city and its inhabitants “in a constant struggle to stand out or make it,” which is apparently very different from the one room log cabin in which he grew up in the Washington state countryside.

That’s right, a one room log cabin. While many New Yorkers will hear someone from New Jersey whine about how hard their move to the big city was, nothing of the sort will ever be heard from Riffle, who grew up in a cabin without electricity and only a wood stove for a heating source. “Growing up without a TV, music was about something else to me,” says Riffle, who cites his greatest musical influence as his father singing and playing guitar as he fell asleep. The big location change affected the singer-songwriter, who told CMJ that his upcoming I Am Not From Here EP is mostly about “living in New York City, but daydreaming about the countryside.”

Riffle just finished the mastering process for this forthcoming EP, which is set for a mid-February release. He is currently putting together a tour in support of it, and as of right now will be flying out to Hawaii with Jimi Zhivago, his producer and bass player, for a string of performances. Riffle’s shows are constantly changing. Some he plays solo, some feature him and a bass player, and some have full bands including organ and cello. From a log cabin to New York City, Riffle seems to like constant change. The singer-songwriter applies the same philosophy to his live performances. It “keeps it interesting,” he says.

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