Chris Sand: American Road Trip

Montana's rappin' cowboy mixes punky hip-hop and folky cowboy music

New Albums
Missoula musician releases American Road Trip
Missoula musician releases American Road Trip

Missoula musician Chris Sand, who formerly billed himself as “Sandman, The Rappin’ Cowboy,” has released his 13th album in 20 years of touring the country’s byways. Experiences from truck-driving and performing infuse 13 pieces, done in his eclectic mix of punky hip-hop and folky cowboy music.

Sand wrote most of the lyrics and music, but others contributed: his cousin Karel Hastings, Timezone LaFontaine, Lamberfast Weston, and Corwin Fox. Sand recites two poems by others as well. Sparse recording on some songs shares the bill with many instruments on the rest. They all layer miles of asphalt with acres of lyrics, most providing a chuckle.

Not the first one, though. “Road Kill” finds Sand considering how he will die when the time comes; he figures it will be on a highway somewhere, what with all the miles he’s traveled. He solos in his burly baritone, “… face down in the middle of the Interstate, my fate road kill, that’s why I’m on the road still …”

“Ronald McDonald 2.0” is a bluesy rap over piano and drums about Sand’s favorite clown’s fast-food connections. “ … he was a ground-beef quarter-pound mastermind.” This is Sand’s stab at political comedy; no argument there!

“Bull” is florid with visuals. Set to a spooky melody with “Ghost Riders” nuances, this one roasts a former truck-driving boss whom Sand equates with the biggest bull in the pen. He’s mean and pushy, and you gotta love a lyric like “he’s got a Kenworth body and a Freightliner face.”

And in a departure from his rap style, Sand recites a 1924 poem by Bruce Kiskaddon, “When They’ve Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall,” over jazzy, subdued accompaniment. Good oratory. There’s more if you check it out. Visit for details.

– Mariss McTucker