Chris J. Norwood. Photography by Alyssa Leigh Cates.

The general consensus is that musicians are cool. But one Lakewood neighbor is proud of the claim that he isn’t.

“I’m just a dude who pours his heart and soul into his music and does his best to try and write great songs that hopefully resonate with people,” said musician Chris J. Norwood. “Even just saying the phrase ‘I am not cool’ seems like a bad move career-wise. But I’m not a gimmick. What you see is what you get. I don’t wear cool clothes or live the ‘rock and roll’ lifestyle. I’ll either make it or break it as uncool Chris J Norwood.”

Norwood is getting ready to release his sophomore full-length album, titled “I Am Not Cool.” He has already shared a few songs from his latest work with neighbors. “I Am Not Cool,”I Need You (To Quit Breaking My Heart)” and “Good Guy With A Gun,” which came out today, are all featured. Each of the singles are available digitally, like on Apple and Spotify, and Norwood has created a music video for a couple of them.

“I hope people will take away from my songs that I’m just an average guy who loves his wife and kids and writes real personal songs about life,” Norwood said. “And hopefully they resonate with people who may themselves feel like they are not cool.”

The artist said he reconsidered including “Good Guy With A Gun,” a song about his father’s suicide, since there were several songs about it on his last album. He ended up including it because it’s part of his story. He said he feels it’s beneficial for him emotionally, spiritually and personally to continue talking, writing and singing about his father’s death.

Norwood’s album will be released Aug. 20 on State Fair Records (preorder it here). On that day, he’ll be performing in a release show sponsored by The State Fair of Texas at The Kessler, located at 1230 W. Davis St. Tickets are available here.

Not only will attendees get to hear Norwood, but they’ll also get a performance from Billy Law, who’s spent a decade as a bassist for the country-rock band Ottoman Turks. Food will be available from the Fletcher’s Corny Dogs food truck.

Last year, Norwood released “The Final Girl.” The spooky music video for that song was filmed at the Lakewood Theater. The musician told the Advocate he was aiming for “a vintage, ’80s-horror-movie vibe.” The theater’s “old-school feeling” was amplified by a power outage caused by a semi-truck that had crashed into a transformer.

Chris and Carrie Norwood. Photography by Alyssa Leigh Cates.

But his musical journey started long before 2020. Norwood went to college to get a degree in music, and he’s been playing and writing songs for as long as he can remember. His interest is shared by his wife, Carrie, a private piano teacher who performs and sings with him. Their kids also like to get involved. Sometimes, their 3-year-old son joins Norwood on stage with his guitar.

“Good Guy With A Gun” happens to be one of the kids’ favorite songs on the new album. Though they don’t quite understand the nuance of the lyrics, there’s one part they love to sing: “Daddy was a good guy, and always did the best he could. He’d do anything to protect the one’s he loved.”


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