The Rialto Proudly Presents


Sun · December 2, 2018

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$25.00 - $28.00

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

All General Admission tickets for this event are seated. Notice, seats are not reserved so we recommend showing up early to get a good spot.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website if you have any questions prior to visiting the Rialto.

Storyhill is a folk duo that brings infectious melodies, smart story songs and heartbreaking harmonies together in one perfect package. Their beautiful music and passionate performances have won them much critical acclaim and devoted fans (“Hill Heads”) all over the country. Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson grew up and started performing together as teenagers, while living in Bozeman, Montana. Both were musical from the get-go, singing with choirs, playing in bands and mastering many musical instruments—piano, guitar, trumpet, violin, harmonica, bass and accordion. Although their 7th grade world geography class is what ostensibly brought them together, it was their musical passions that made them close friends and lifelong musical collaborators.

They recorded their first tape as Chris and Johnny in 1989, upon graduating from high school. Although they then temporarily parted ways—Chris going to Spain and John to Minnesota for college—they continued to play music. Chris, who had previously played piano with John, took up the guitar and focused on his songwriting, soaking up the Spanish culture. Meanwhile, John was making a name for himself on the campus of St. Olaf College, where he was pursuing a music degree for violin performance. He got regular gigs in town, performing his own original material. He encountered such success selling his and Chris’ first album that he encouraged Chris to come out and join him so they could play together. Chris did, and together they developed a strong fan following on campus and in the nearby Twin Cities as an acoustic songwriting duo.

After graduating in 1993, they toured the country, playing the college circuit. For five years they toured constantly and recorded several self-released albums, selling an impressive number at their shows. Exhausted from the travel and finding themselves pulled in different directions, Chris and John, or Storyhill as they were now known, embarked on a series of farewell concerts (much to fans’ dismay).
Chris moved west to Seattle for a year, then returned to settle back in Bozeman where he continued to play his own songs, fronted and recorded with a small acoustic band (Sixth Sense) and shared tours with Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter Justin Roth (resulting in a live recording—2 forms of ID). John, on the other hand, went east, moving to Norway for a year. There he wrote material that would result in his first solo album, recorded when he returned to Minneapolis. He began performing solo and with his band Alva Star.

Meanwhile, Storyhill fans continued to clamor for more so Chris and John played a few sold-out reunion shows in Minnesota and Montana. Discovering the old chemistry was still there along with some new creative energy, they reformed Storyhill and fully committed themselves to touring and recording as a duo.
They enlisted the help of rock/pop songwriter and Grammy winner Dan Wilson (Semisonic, Dixie Chicks, Trip Shakespeare) to produce Storyhill’s next album, their first to be released on independent roots label Red House Records. The album, simply named Storyhill, was a return to the basics that have made Storyhill so popular—strong melodic songs. While the album was largely acoustic, Wilson provided some piano, bass and guitar parts, and Eric Fawcett (N.E.R.D., Mike Doughty, Spymob) played drums and percussion. Released in 2007, it received rave reviews and was selected as the Best CD of the Year by the Indie Acoustic Project. It also led them to win the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest, which launched such acclaimed songwriters as John Gorka, Robert Earl Keen and James McMurtry. They have also performed on national radio shows like Mountain Stage.
Around that same time, Storyhill invited family and friends to their inaugural Storyhill Fest, held at Hyalite Youth Camp on the easterly shore of Hyalite Reservoir, just south of their hometown of Bozeman. Fans from near and far planned their summer vacations to make the annual pilgrimage to attend Storyhill Fest. In 2009, a second Storyhill Fest location was added in Deerwood, Minnesota at Presbyterian Clearwater Forest Camp. The festival would eventually only be produced in Deerwood. After many memorial performances from the stage and around the campfire, Storyhill Fest was hosted for the last time in 2014. Through Storyhill Fest, fans were introduced to some of Storyhill's favorite singer/songwriters, including Connor Garvey, Danny Schmidt, Carrie Elkin, Raina Rose, Anais Mitchell, Ellis and Jonathan Byrd.

Storyhill released their second album on Red House Records in 2010, titled Shade of the Trees. Mixing old-fashioned storytelling with hauntingly spare acoustic arrangements, they sing about love, war and the many sorrows that accompany them. This stripped down album was again produced by Dan Wilson and was recorded live in Dan's Ballroom Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

After touring the country for five more years, Storyhill, once again exhausted, made the decision to take a hiatus from recording and performing together. Their 'Hiatus Tour' in the spring of 2015 was an opportunity to thank loyal fans for over 25 years of support. As they closed their show in St. Paul, fans were reminded of the duo's mantra...Steady On.

In November of 2018, Storyhill will release a new live CD titled Stages. Stages captures 15 performances of songs between 2002 and 2015. Fan will have the opportunity to hear some of their newer favorite songs, as well as unreleased material, for the first time in a live setting. The team has culled the archives to find individual performances that capture Storyhill in their element. The duo will also be touring through Minnesota and Montana in support of their new album.

In addition to Storyhill, Chris and John continue their separate pursuits in Montana and Minnesota. Chris has built his own studio and accompanying guesthouse in Bozeman, where artists come from all over to record their music. John works as a producer and continues to play solo shows throughout the region.
Venue Information:
Rialto Bozeman
10 West Main St.
Bozeman, MT, 59715