Julie Christensen – The Price We Pay For Love
Once again I find myself intrigued by this woman’s vocals. How she interprets other artists’ complicated work such as the opener Joni Mitchell’s classic “Hejira,” which is not an easy tune. It requires an attitude.
On this 10-cut not only does Julie Christensen capture the nuances of the vocals & lyrics but the accompanying guitar & other musicians — doesn’t deviate from the Mitchell original. The jazzy string tonality & acoustic bass of Terry Lee Burns (string arrangements) maintain the atmosphere. It’s a reinterpretation by the fragile emotionally suited voice of Ms. Christensen. Her gentleness on words, sincerity sprinkled throughout the lines, her enunciation – it’s 7 minutes of musical beauty.
Produced & arranged by Terry Lee Burns at SongSpeak Studios in Rio Rancho, New Mexico The Price We Pay For Love (Drops April 14–Wirebird Records) is a rich collection of covers & with “Goldbridge Road” similar at times to Patti Scialfa’s vocal tone though not as jazzy skillful as Julie. I’ve enjoyed Ms. Christensen’s music in the past & I’m not surprised at what I’ve found here. The song choices are excellent.
As a member of the L.A. twangy post-punk band The Divine Horsemen, Julie now carves out a respectful niche in an easy-listening, middle-of-the-road, jazzy environment where I believe she excels beyond expectations. Beyond. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUj3JutfKoc
Jimmy Webb’s classic “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” has a slow, soft Ella Fitzgerald quality. The lightly played John Funkhouser piano is perfect. Julie’s voice is always impeccable on high notes. There’s a little of Madeline Peyroux’s tonality. This, along with Stevie Winwood’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” are absolutely lovely.
Julie’s original “How He Lost Her,” written with the wonderful Wendy Waldman — is masterful. She caresses the lyrics & swims in the low-toned bass lines. Her voice is warm without losing its command. It’s authority.
She sings like she knows what it’s like to have stood with her feet in a cold puddle at midnight, toes squishy & wet. Still being able to feel the beauty of the street, its warm breeze & its dark silence.
“A Remark You Made,” with its French-inspired melodica is the finest example of that last description. The Joe Zawinul (Weather Report) melody with Julie’s lyric is jazzy in a Lambert-Hendricks & Ross tradition. Songs for closing your eyes to.
Musicians – Michael Moss (acoustic guitar) Sergio Webb (slide guitar), Steve Schweling (drums), Karen Hammack (piano), John Funkhouser (piano/melodica), Chris Trench (atmospheric lap steel guitar) & Greg Leisz (lap steel).
Highlights – “Hejira,” “Goldbridge Road,” “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” “How He Lost Her,” “A Remark You Made,” “All the River” “Hilltop” & “Can’t Find My Way Home.”
Julie’s photo courtesy of her Bandcamp site. The 49-minute CD @ https://stonecupid.com/ & https://juliechristensen.bandcamp.com/album/the-price-we-pay-for-love
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Julie Christensen “Goldbridge Road”