If part of the draw of live music is the camaraderie and banter between audience and musician, then we recommend checking out soloist Chris Yoder. Yoder, who has played with various bands and musicians over the course of his 20-plus year music career, has hit a home run on his “All Titanium Tour” with a lot of music and a keen sense of humor. Catch him at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Wonder Bar in Atlantic City.
“I try to make the crowd laugh,” says Yoder. “I’m not always successful, but I try.”
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He’s not a comedian, exactly. But his sense of humor is evident, even showing up in the name of his tour, “All Titanium.”
“I was playing gigs for the past two years on a cane or walker,” Yoder says.
Yoder had two hips replaced and titanium pins put in his back. His first “standing” show — without a walker — was in November.
“Now I’m all titanium … I’m a new man,” Yoder says, laughing. “I’m trying to get back out there. I feel like I’m free.”
Yoder enjoys a good laugh, but he’s also a committed musician with an eclectic mix of songs in his repertoire, including “Our House” by Madness, “The Man Who Sold the World” in the style of Nirvana, “Major Tom” by David Bowie, “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley, “Save a Prayer” by Duran Duran, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar. He also takes requests.
“If I can do it, I will,” says Yoder. “I try and go in the bar and have fun. If the crowd has fun, bonus for me.”
Yoder has previously played with such bands as Surrounded by Idiots, Moonlight Martha and Secret Agent Band but has been focusing on his solo career for the past two years. And though he’s played the guitar since 1994, he typically takes on a different role when performing with a band.
“I was always a singer,” Yoder says.
Now he’s a one-man show with a varied selection of cover songs and a deep dedication to what he does.
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“Last summer, I was playing two to three times a week on a walker,” Yoder says, adding, “This summer, I want to play a lot more … I’m hoping to do four to five days a week.”
It’s a lot of work, but Yoder isn’t complaining.
“Sometimes it’s a chore, but then they clap,” Yoder says, laughing. “Every so often, I’ll play a song … and … crickets. I tell them, ‘You don’t have to clap, but keep in mind, my mother didn’t hold me enough as a child’.”
Part talented musician, part funny guy. We can’t think of anything better.