Jackie Bristow at the Mercury Lounge

Strumming Kiwi of the Week

Jackie Bristow

It seems that Southern California is something of a musical magnet for New Zealanders. So much so, in fact, that venues in Los Angeles are devoting entire evenings to contemporary musicians from the Land of the Long White Cloud. And with artists like Neil and Liam Finn, Bic Runga, and the gents behind Flight of the Conchords quickly making their way into the mainstream, it’s little wonder. Another name you can add to that list is Jackie Bristow. Like her aforementioned contemporaries, Bristow pens beautifully inflicting tunes, but she also has something over her country mates-a concert date in Santa Barbara.

After touring the United States in 2007, Bristow returned to her homeland. She released her album, Crazy Love, there in October and has been touring the continent extensively ever since. Shows with local luminaries like Renee Geyer and Christina Anu, and a special appearance with songwriting heavyweight Jimmy Webb, helped to further solidify her musical might. So, now that she’s conquered the southern hemisphere, Bristow has again turned her attention to the north.

“I opened for Phoebe Snow the other night in Washington,” said Bristow recently. “I listened to her back home when I was a teenager, and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I’d be playing with her in America. That’s the thing about this place-it’s full of possibilities, and, around the very next corner, that one break that could make a difference could be hiding. I have found that to be such a strong motivation to give every opportunity my all.”

Not that giving it her all has ever been a problem for Bristow. In a career that has taken her from New Zealand to Australia to America, her success is no doubt the byproduct of true talent and some damn hard work. With Crazy Love now available locally, Bristow is not only preparing to give the release all the live support it deserves, she’s also turning her thoughts to the future.

“I think what has happen so far has really opened my eyes,” she explained. “And my writing has just gotten stronger because of that. I have so much great new stuff, and I can’t wait to start recording again!”

Jackie Bristow plays Goleta’s Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) this Thursday, August 24, at 9 p.m. Call 967-0907 for details.


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