“Forest Sun's indomitable spirit shines in Stubborn Breathing Heart. This prolific artist once again creates a soulful and heartfelt album with a real and accessible understanding of the complexity of being human.” - Noteworthy Music
Forest Sun was born in upstate New York to folksinging back-to-the-land hippie parents. His dad used to chop wood with neighbor Garth Hudson of the Band and literally built the floor that Bob Dylan stood on at manager Albert Grossman’s Bearsville studios in Woodstock, NY. His mom heard Pete Seeger and Joan Baez play when they filmed a TV show in her uncles living room in Boston, and dated one of the Chambers Brothers before she met his dad. Weaned on a diet of Jackson Browne and Toots and the Maytals, some of Forest’s earliest memories are of his dad playing “Poncho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt and his mom singing Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”. Forest wrote songs with Rory Block when he was six years old, learned to juggle with WavyGravy when he was 9, and studied drumming with the late African master percussionist Babatunde Olatunji as a teenager. In college he played in a band with SNL star Maya Rudolph. They opened for No Doubt at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz before Forest left to study art in Spain.
A pioneer of the DIY movement he recorded his first record in his bedroom in San Francisco with bassist Seth Ford Young (Tom Waits, Edward Sharpe) and toured Europe for the first time, including playing at the Rally on Dam Square in Amsterdam for the Tibetan Freedom Concert where he first met Ben Harper, Alanis Morrisette and Thom Yorke.
With over 70 million plays on Pandora, troubadour and award-winning songwriter, Forest Sun, enlivens audiences around the globe with his wealth of songs and stories, all sung and told in a laid-back California style. Sun's soulful music draws on a deep well of Americana and is compared to everyone from Jack Johnson, John Mayer and The Avett Brothers to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. He’s played festivals from California (Strawberry Music Festival, American River Music Festival) to Europe (Belladrum in Scottland, Fiesta City in Belgium),opened for such luminaries as Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Rait, Steve Earle, Keb Mo, and toured with folks like Brett Dennen, Mason Jennings and the Beach Boys (Forest met famed Beach Boys producer Van Dyke Parks at a festival porch jam and later swapped songs on his piano at his house in LA). Musical collaborations on his records include members of Bob Dylans band, members of Calexico/Iron and Wine, Jolie Holland, JT Nero of Birds of Chicago, Sean Hayes, jam band ALO, and bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum.
Forest’s songs mine his deep folk roots and embrace his love of gospel, soul, reggae, Americana, blues and jazz.
Sun’s music has appeared on Showtime, NBC, PBS, MTV and in several film scores and soundtracks. He has also had several cameo roles as an actor in independent cinema including playing a fireman in “Who’s there?” directed by Cassie Jaye and premiering at Tallgrass Film Festival.
Forest is also a visual artist and his original paintings and prints have in exhibitions at the Sala Lola Anglada in Barcelona, Spain, The Sebastopol Center for The Arts, and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art.
Forest Sun’s music has been featured on MTV's Good Vibes, the Showtime Series The Big C, NBC’s Perfect Harmony, and three indie surf films: Land of Saints, A Common Thread and 5th Symphony Document. Forest also composed the original score for the feature documentary Free Trip to Egypt directed by Ingrid Serban.
Forest’s songs appear on the benefit compilations Burning Heart, Songs for the Gulf (to raise money for cleaning up the oil spills) and Songs for Laura Vol 1 and Vol. 2 (to raise awareness for people with cancer and their families). You can also hear Sun on San Francisco’s favorite radio KFOG’s Local Scene Vol. 1 & 3. Forest’s music has found it’s way to Japan with the CD Dancing Again released on Buffalo Records and songs featured on the Japanese compilations Surf Time 1 and Surf Time 2.
The new album Stubborn Breathing Heart swings gracefully from Gospel to Folk and Soul to Reggae and back again.
This latest album has been featured on Songpickr and Folk Alley playlists and delivers the introspective depth and playful, uplifting, soul-nourishing songwriting fans have come to expect.
Produced with Gawain Mathews (Mickey Hart Band, Ben Lee, Tony Furtado Band), Stubborn Breathing Heart features special guests Hannah Meyers from Nashville’s The Bittersweets singing harmonies on the the title track. Rob Hooper (toured with Seth Walker, Carolyn Wonderland, Hot Buttered Rum) plays drums. Long time collaborator saxophonist Alex Budman (you’ve heard him on albums by Mavis Staples, Elvis Costello, D’Angelo, and Susan Tedeschi) plays horns on the 60’s soul classic cover Something You Got.
Forest is putting out his music on Vinyl and is releasing a new song each month this year thanks to his supporters on Kickstarter & Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/forestsun).
Forest resides in the Redwoods of Mill Valley, Ca when he is at home.