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GreenChoby: Bio

GreenChoby Bio 2010

GreenChoby is a partnership of singer songwriter Carolyn Green and musician Mike Choby.  Their rootsy-style wonderfully combines the grit of the inner city with the sweetness of life based on hope. 

The duo joined forces back in 1995 when bassist Mike Choby saw singer-songwriter Carolyn Green perform at a coffeehouse in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.  That first meeting led to a rehearsal, many Persian dinners, many more gigs, five CD projects, and a friendship that has lasted over fifteen years.

Their latest project, “Carry Me Back Home” was released in June of 2009 and is a beautiful follow-up to their first self-recorded project, “Hold the Line” from 2004.

Carolyn’s songwriting is transparent, often starting with a story and leading to the heart of the matter.  “I try to risk something of myself in my writing.  It often leads to a confession I don’t anticipate.” From “Spring Comes to Ohio” on the “Carry Me Back Home” CD: “The days of snow, solid and clean, life flurry’s dervish spin. I thought you were cold, ungrateful and mean, and the thought buried me in.”

Compared with Joni Mitchell, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and Jonatha Brooke, her musical style offers the listener accessibility and color on a thin line between folk and pop.

To this, musician Mike Choby adds his mellifluous melodies on bass, acoustic guitar and vocals.  He crafts each interjection to be both passionate and present.  For this reason he has served excellently as the duo’s producer on five independent CDs.  And through all these he keeps Carolyn laughing.

The duo has performed together in coffeehouses, colleges, churches and house concerts throughout the Midwest and around the country.  Their audiences quickly sense the joy in their collaboration, the humor in their friendship, and the encouragement of people who live by faith.

It is that faith that has seen them through an interesting journey over the years.

Mike has spent the last four years involved with a band in Belarus and typically makes 3-4 tours a year with his Belarusian counterparts, flying from Chicago to Belarus, Russia, and parts of Europe, Asia and the U.S.  His involvement in their mission comes from his desire to see them reach their potential as a band and as a ministry.  In his off time he collaborates with other Chicago-area musicians and tries to piece together a living.

Carolyn is married to John Green, founder of Emmaus Ministries, a mission to men in prostitution in Chicago.  This two decade old ministry has been fodder for much growth and compassion in Carolyn, as evidenced by many of her songs about the guys she has met and the experience of living in Uptown.  In the midst of this, she is also now a mother of four young children and can’t help but include the impact of this role on her in some of her songs as well.  She, John and the kids live temporarily in Ohio where they help to care for John’s elderly mother.

But no matter where these challenges take them, GreenChoby always has a home in the music they create.  Time and distance melt when the two pick up their instruments to learn a new song or practice an old one.  And through all of it, what they offer to their listeners is a place of rest and hope.