Chris Funk is a multi-instrumentalist and member of the Portland, Oregon indie rock band The Decemberists. He plays banjo, guitar, pedal steel, piano, violin, dobro, hurdy gurdy, mandolin, saxophone, the theremin and many other instruments. After the trailer with all their equipment and merchandise was stolen in 2005, Funk wrote "This Machine Kills Thieves" on his banjo, in reference to Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. He is also a member of the string band Black Prairie who released their first album, Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, in 2010. He plays in the country rock group Blue Giant and has also produced records for The Builders and The Butchers, Langhorne Slim, and Red Fang.
Attending the Black Prairie concert in March 2013 at the historical McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California, I had the pleasant opportunity to catch up with multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk. I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts about songwriting and playing music, advice to those starting out on the banjo and his adventure with the instrument.