Chemistry Set has been bringing its roots-inspired original music to neighborhood pubs, craft beer tap rooms, large outdoor stages, backyard parties, private parties and special events for more than a decade.
Anchored in Northeast Minneapolis, the band has been a mainstay at the annual Art-A-Whirl festival and has played at such popular Twin Cities watering holes and music venues as the 331 Club, Dusty’s, Palmer’s, the Aster Cafe, the Turf Club, Icehouse and more. The band has also performed at Music in Mears in St. Paul, the Loring Park Music Festival in Minneapolis, Thursdays on First in downtown Rochester and the Field of Dreams concert series at St. Mathias Farm in Brainerd.
CHRIS THOMPSON has been a singer-songwriter-guitarist in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years as a solo artist and founder of several bands.
Thompson was a founding member of Limited Warranty and contributed much of the early original material for the band, which started in the Minneapolis club scene in the 1980s and honed its chops in bars like Duffys, The Union and The Cabooze.
Thompson formed Signal To Noise in the late 1990s, fronting the band and taking on all the songwriting duties until its disbanding in 2001.
Thompson spent the next few years focusing on his solo work, paying venues in the Twin Cities area such as the 7th Street Entry, The Turf Club and Lee's Liquor Lounge. He hosted open mics and in 2006 started a monthly event, the Secret Songwriters Ball, at Lee's Liquor Lounge, which featured local singer songwriters, bands and Thompson himself.
Thompson formed Chemistry Set in 2008, taking the band's name from a tune by Minneapolis underground rockers, The Suburbs. He continues to be a prolific and poetic songwriter for Chemistry Set, where the band's songs range from jangly alt-country to distorted rock 'n' roll. This sweep gives the band the ability to play to different audiences and venues while still being true to their sound.
STEVE SMITH grew up in a musical family. His mom and dad sang in choirs and jazz bands and passed their love of music onto their kids. During his early childhood, his brother and sisters formed various neighborhood bands and performed in garages around the block.
Smith learned to play the drums when he was 12, and at 13 joined a rock band with some friends at school where he learned to play keyboards, sing lead and background vocals. He continued playing drums as a hobby throughout high school.
In 1981 Thompson persuaded Smith to join the band Limited Warranty as lead singer. He performed on the band's first EP release, "Elements," and fronted the band until his departure in 1984. Smith and Thompson joined forces again in 1996, forming the band, Sun Shot Halo, and the two have been bandmates in some fashion ever since.
Smith also writes his own songs and plays guitar as a solo artist or for Chemistry Set performances.
JACKIE CROSBY started learning to play electric bass when she was in her 30s, and fell in love with the low notes and the power of setting the groove.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., she grew up steeped in Southern rock and its blend of R&B and soul. She attended the University of Georgia in the early 1980s, a heady musical time when R.E.M. was getting its start, James Brown played at Bulldog football games, and when you could bop to a frat house dance band early in the night and finish it at the 40 Watt Club with the punk band Pylon.
After college, Crosby lived and worked for a spell in Macon, Ga., where the legacies of Little Richard, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band still loomed large.
Since moving to Minnesota, she has played bass in numerous original and cover bands, playing the blues, country swing, alternative rock and alt-country. She joined Chemistry Set in 2010.