BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – It hasn’t always looked like this for Cris Gunther.
Before becoming a musician, he spent the first 16 years of his life in Beckley, where his upbringing set the stage for his career path.
“I’m from a musical family and my father was a very well-known singer in the Beckley-Southern West Virginia area,” Gunther said.
That would be Terry Gunther, who opened for several country music stars in the Beckley area. With a dad specializing in country and pop, a brother mixing pop, rock, funk and soul and a mom who was a dancer, Cris always felt music and performing was what he wanted to do.
“Music was probably the thing that was the most positive, most inspiring and most connecting in my family,” Gunther said.
Cris started his career writing songs, before moving into performing. His career has taken him to New York, Brazil and now to Los Angeles, where he just released the lead single, “Compass Love,” for his upcoming conceptual album.
“‘Compass Love’ is a coming of age, growing up, self-love song, ultimately,” Gunther said.
Cris’s album has several influences: his nickname, C-Gun, the moment of finding your faith and the divide between Heaven and Hell. But, he says he wouldn’t be where he is today without those Southern West Virginia roots.
“The warmth, the graciousness, the hospitality,” Gunther said. “And the rich musical culture, actually.”