Julie Christensen and Stone Cupid
- Josef Woodard Guitar, Songwriting
- Tom Lackner Drums, Producer
- Karen Hammack Keys, Songwriting, Vocals
- Steve Nelson Bass
- Jack Joshua Bass
- Julie Christensen Songwriting, Vocals
Sound description: Recorded in Tom Lackner’s mountainside studio, the album radiates in poignancy, yet shimmers in sublime beauty. From the heart-wrenching title track, which serves up an aching does of harsh reality, to the cascading piano that drives the plaintive “Something Pretty,” Where the Fireworks Are is a collection of songs spanning the emotional spectrum. It provides an evocative musical chariot for Christensen to weave her vocal magic. - Brett Leigh-Dicks, VC REPORTER
Julie Christensen has done something more than `make something pretty’ with this album. She has made something beautiful. Not the light beauty of surfaces and smiles and flowers and noon, but the dark beauty of depth, heart, grief, and longing. If her dreams about a world without war flash through her mind (as she confesses) like meteors, we should be glad that this one hit ground and made a sound for the rest of us. - Joseph Miller
RIYL: Neko Case, Martha Wainwright, Jane Siberry (ISSA), Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones
Web site: http://www.stonecupid.com
On three tours, Julie Christensen helped share Leonard Cohen’s music with the world. She’s also sung with Steve Wynn, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Lou Reed, and Van Dyke Parks. With Chris D., she headed up post-punk rockers Divine Horsemen. Others utilizing Julie’s talents have been as far-flung as Iggy Pop, PiL, Robben Ford, and k.d. lang.
Stone Cupid is a collective of fine Southern California musicians with whom Christensen has had deep connections over the past 10+ years.
L.A. journeywoman pianist Karen Hammack has been there the entire time, and has deepened her connection to Ventura County by virtue of her teaching and her work with Perla Batalla. Drummers have included Jim Christie, and James Cruce, as well as Santa Barbara’s Tom Lackner. Thanks to Julie’s long alliance with Headless Household, Joe Woodard is Stone Cupid’s standing guitar hero. Auxiliary musicians have been L.A.’s master pedal-steel/guitarist Greg Leisz, Ojai’s Robben Ford, Ventura’s Jeff Elliott on brass, and Tom Buckner on woodwinds. Other studio musicians have included Kenny Wollesen, Don Falzone, and Jeff Ballard.
The newest album is 2007’s folk-rock Where the Fireworks Are. The other recent one is Something Familiar, a collection of standards and blues. Stone Cupid’s earlier two acclaimed independent albums, Love is Driving and Soul Driver are a soulful hybrid of jazz and folk.
Julie was a featured member of the Cohen song projects produced by Hal Willner. The “Came So Far for Beauty” concerts (on which the documentary film I’m Your Man was partly based) had four installments over four years. In Dublin, Julie performed a fiery Joan of Arc with Lou Reed.
“Julie Christensen is one of the truer singers you’ll ever hear - straight up, no mannerisms, perfect taste… Listen to her takes on “But Beautiful,” “Stolen Moments,” and “Blame It on My Youth,” from her piercing new Something Familiar, and recognize how she could sing with both Leonard Cohen and Chris D.” - Greg Burk, L.A. Weekly
1997, Ojai, CA
Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin
Christensen and crew have been stepping up the local appearances, and are currently booking gigs in the San Luis Obispo area, as well as the mainstays of Zoey's and various Ventura/Santa Barbara venues (and also L.A.). A recent radio promotion for Where the Fireworks Are yielded respectable nationwide and European Americana radio airplay. Christensen has been a part of the International Folk Alliance, and is nurturing relationships among the great talent in that scene.