Chip Sundstrom – blue ribbon musicianThe Lake County Fair tends to draw a crowd, whether that crowd is in it for the event in its entirety, the food, the people-watching, or the contests doesn't really matter. In general, a there's something for everyone. For Ricky “Chip” Sundstrom, this year's fair was all about the music.
By: Chaviely Dellinger, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake County Fair tends to draw a crowd, whether that crowd is in it for the event in its entirety, the food, the people-watching, or the contests doesn't really matter. In general, a there's something for everyone. For Ricky “Chip” Sundstrom, this year's fair was all about the music.
Sundstrom, a senior at Two Harbors High School, has been playing music since seventh grade. He said he plays saxophone, drums, bass guitar, and that he can “somewhat play the clarinet.” Interestingly, Sundstrom's beginnings as a musician were the result of unique influences not often associated with positive outcomes – peer pressure.
“Peer pressure is actually what inspired me to pursue music. After the sixth grade, I had a few friends telling me that I should join band next year, so I did,” he recalled.
As far as his musical stylings go, diversity is the key word.
“I play rock, I play heavy metal, punk, pop, rap-rock, jazz and alternative music. I'm also thinking of pursuing some country-style music,” he said. “My original song, Calling it Quits, is a song that I like to play at most gigs, if not all. It's just such a personal song to my life that I want everyone to hear.”
When it comes to writing his own music, Sundstrom said he’s heavily inspired by Blue October, Papa Roach, Skillet and Metallica.
Sundstrom has also played local events like Two Harbors City Band concerts and Heritage Days, where he sang about 30 songs during his allotted time.
“Playing at Heritage Days was fun. Especially performing on stage... as this little rocker kid.(It was) definitely a fun time,” he said.
Last week, Sundstrom decided to take his years of practice and talent to the stage for a chance at more than fun. He played in the Lake County Fair Talent Contest and received a very special recognition – a blue ribbon. He said that the performance was something of a departure for him and winning was an honor.
“I’d never competed musically solo before,” he said. “To win the blue ribbon was a feeling like none other.” As the blue ribbon winner, Sundstrom is now eligible to compete at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, but the date and time have not yet been determined.
Sundstrom plans to have a future in music; it’s something he is interested in pursuing as a career. He has recorded a CD, which he plans to release after it’s remastered, and he’s in the process of recording a new CD.
Read the Lake County News-Chronicle for an update on Sundstrom's performance at the state fair coming soon.