Julie Christensen

Julie Christensen

 
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandAmericanaRock

Formidable Leonard Cohen and Divine Horsemen singer, Julie sings smart, sexy stuff you'd want in your phones on an emotional rollercoaster. "Weeds Like Us" is the current Americana/Soul CD, 13 songs for the unlucky and the brave in tough times. "Luscious Americana Art-Pop" --Joe Woodard

 Share

Biography

Having recently made the move from California to Nashville, I'm immersed in this supportive community of writers and musicians, and excited by the creative prospects. I've already had some great gigs here, and have travelled back to SoCal, Austin, and New York to perform.
November 2012 saw the release of my newest album, "Weeds Like Us", produced by Jeff Turmes of Mavis Staples' band, and including an amazing and gifted cast of the world's greatest musicians, including Jeff, Greg Leisz, Don Heffington, Rick Holmstrom, Rick Shea, Debra Dobkin, Steve Mugalian, Donny Gerrard, and Josh Grange.
I was proud to have been selected again as an official Performance Alley Showcase artist at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis. I was awarded that opportunity in 2009, as well, and in 2008 at FarWest Regional Folk Alliance in Phoenix. I was accompanied at various times by the late, great Kenny Edwards, and by Paul Lacques, Bruce Victor, and Radoslav Lorkovic. And I sat in with StoneHoney and Dan Navarro singing "Son of a Preacher Man" and countless other songs into the dawn.

In 2008, "Where the Fireworks Are,*" our previous release, was being played on at least 45 stations across the country and in Canada, and on EuroAmericana stations in several other countries.

JULIE CHRISTENSEN-biography
Stylistically gymnastic songbird Julie Christensen has a resume that includes work with the post-punk SST band Divine Horsemen, with Leonard Cohen, and a ne'er released Polygram record produced by Todd Rundgren, for whom she opened up on two California tours.

The current album, "Weeds Like Us," is 13 songs for the unlucky, brave, and tough, including covers by unsung songwriters Jeff Turmes, Dan Montgomery, and Donna Lynn Caskey, plus a scorcher by Jim Lauderdale and Julie's own soul-baring originals. It boasts some of the best players in the business, including Don Heffington, Debra Dobkin, and Steve Mugalian on drums, Greg Leisz, Rick Shea, and Josh Grange on guitars, and of course producer Jeff Turmes on a myriad of instruments.
Christensen previously released two CDs in 2006 and 2008. One is called "Where the Fireworks Are"*-- the poetry of emotion and politics all stirred up on the rocks together. And the other, released fall of 2006, is called "Something Familiar", a collection of standards and Julie's ballads and blues.

Julie sang with Leonard Cohen on two world tours and records. Over the past several years she's been part of a great series of Cohen tribute concerts -- that was part of a DVD documentary on him called "Leonard Cohen-I'm Your Man" on Lion's Gate--with Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Jarvis Cocker, Linda Thompson, and others. Out on DVD, with a soundtrack on Verve Forecast.

In June 0f 2013, Julie will move from her home in rural Ventura County in California with her husband, actor John Diehl, to East Nashville to be closer to their midwestern roots and to continue pursuing more songwriting and singing.

Our fourth CD, recorded with Tom Lackner and Joe Woodard of Headless Household and a pack of damn fine musicians, including Karen Hammack, Steve Nelson, Greg Leisz, Kenny Edwards, Kenny Wollesen, Jim Christie, and Dave Palmer.
Where the Fireworks Are is available online:
at iTunes:http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playListId=270005109
at CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/jcstonecupid

Brett Leigh Dicks of VC Reporter writes:
"...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."


Lyrics

Something Pretty

Written By: Julie Christensen

Make something pretty
Before it all comes crashing down
I'm so sick of all the sadness
And so to keep from looking down

I think I'll make something pretty
Before my world comes tumblin' down
Find some beauty in this madness
And see if it can make a sound

Try and make something pretty
Make something pretty

'Cause there's nothing I can think of to do at this hour
There's just no way that I can speak truth to the power
Guess I'll go back home again
And let go of it soon
Then I'll cry and scream into the pillows in my room

Try to make something pretty
Try to make something pretty

Find some beauty in this madness
And see if it can make a sound
'Cause there's nothing I can think of to do at this hour
There's just no way that I can speak truth to the power
Guess I'll go back home again
And let go of it soon
Then I'll cry and scream into the pillows in my room

Try to make something pretty
Try to make something pretty
Something pretty.

Where the Fireworks Are

Written By: Julie Christensen and Joe Woodard

Between my thighs
Is all my country
And all I prize.
The tender land
And all the promise
In your eyes.
I'm asking you to go
Where the fireworks are
Just this one more time
Kiss me
Before you go
Between my thighs

Between their teeth
They lie and give no choice
They're just playing with
The girls and the boys.
They're so in love
With the sound of their own voice
They're just praying for
The oil and the toys.
They're asking death to go
Where the Fireworks Are
Just this One More Time
Kiss me
Before you go
Between my thighs.

I am the fruited plain
That holds the mother-love
I am the purple mountain
Smiling from above
Kiss me
Before you go
Between my Thighs -- Oh.

Between the lines
I see bloody water...
I want to cry.
There is no land
Of sons and daughters
In my sky.

Where is the fruited plain?
Where is the mother-love?
Between the purple mountain
And a molotov
Kiss me
Before you go
Between my thighs.

Love is Driving

Written By: Julie Christensen

Love is Driving...
In the bed of your old pickup

Smells like rain in the mountains
Draw the clouds on my eyes
(Kiss me quick)
And paint my face like the evening sky
Take me down and follow me up high
In the bed of your old pickup

Closer to the stars in the mountains
I'll hum the blues in your ears
(Kiss me quick)
We'll take the road slow till we're in the clear
We're gonna ride and love is gonna steer
In the bed of your old pickup

I'll be riding up the mountain with my hair flying
Hold my hand up in the air to feel the wind
Turn down your radio and sing to me of the road
And the road can be the rhythm
And the road'll be the rhythm
And the road'll be the rhythm
And the road'll be the rhythm
In the bed of your old pickup

It's late at night in the mountains
Oh, lay down with me
(Kiss me quick)
Take a moonbath and feel like falling
I do not hear the city calling
From the bed of your old pickup
Not from the bed of your old pickup

Love is Driving

Weeds Like Us

Written By: Jeff Turmes

Weeds Like Us Jeff Turmes

Today I passed a dreaming man
Dead asleep in a patch of grass


Empty bottle by his hand

I thought of you as I hurried past.

Well I thought of you and I'm thinkin' still

About that hole you just can't fill.

Every day's an act of will

But weeds like us are hard to kill

Weeds Like Us are hard to kill.

I lost touch with you one day

Watched you walk away from me.

B'lieve I failed you some way

I let you go too easily.

Well, I let you go Are you goin' still?

You pick up speed as you roll downhill.

Sometimes men don't leave a will

But weeds like us are hard to kill

Weeds Like Us are hard to kill.
(Solo over verse, repeat last bridge out)

Ten People

Written By: Julie Christensen

Ten People

copyright 2010
Julie Christensen

There were a hundred souls in the prairie town
When the company laid their money down.
Ninety of them went along
But Ten People
Said "Something's wrong."

For a hundred days while the factory
Was being built by the peasantry
The company men, they sang a song
And Ten People
Thought that was wrong.

Well I've got to feed my family
And the company store has all we need.
The school will teach my children free
Yeah, to come and work the factory.

Ten People met on Tuesday nights
At the house behind the tavern light.
And they asked their friends, "Are you getting along?"
And Ten People
Said "Something's wrong."

They said the store charged way too high
And we are barely getting by.
I don't see my kids; the hours are long.
And Ten People more
Thought that was wrong.

'Cause I've got to feed my family
And the company store has all we need.
The school will teach my children free
Just to learn to work the factory.

Now, the first Ten People in this fight
Were one-by-one attacked at night.
One went missing--he was gone.
And Ten People more
Thought that was wrong.

The company men showed up one night
To that house behind the tavern light.
But sixty people stood up strong
And they met the company with a song:
"You're ten people. Just ten peopleā€¦
And you are wrong.

'Cause I've got to feed my family
But the company store is made from greed.
The school will teach my children free
But you must make it fair for me
If I'm gonna come and work your factory.
if I'm gonna come and work your factory.
yeah I'm gonna come and work your factory.

No Sanctuary

Written By: Julie Christensen, Barry Reynolds

No Sanctuary

Met the devil in a desert motel
She showed me her key, and I showed her mine
She stood on the sidewalk, her eyes on my door
So I grabbed my belongings
And I slept out on the hallway floor

She said, "Broken bottle caps out in the cold--
I'm a fire burnin' to warm your soul
And crazy things that you left behind
No more scratchin' the walls,
No more livin' on the borderline

No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary--not even here
No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary on the prairie

On the devil's land there is no end
She found me and she said
My violent heart would die a violent death

No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary--not even here
No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary on the prairie

Hot midsummer, sleepin' dog days
I'm a weightless sagebrush blowin' away
Shiny cold brittle hard nights
Gonna try to catch a star between my teeth to bite.

No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary--not even here
No Sanctuary in the devil's country
No Sanctuary on the prairie-------
No Sanctuary
No Sanctuary
No Sanctuary

Discography

solo:
Note that many of the audio files in this EPK are produced with Jeff Turmes (of Mavis Staples' band), from our CD "Weeds Like Us", from "Where the Fireworks Are", and selections from each of my other 3 CDs.
2011-12 "Weeds Like Us" album, which made a few "10 Best" lists in late 2012.
2011 Malea McGuiness--background vocals with Neal Casal
2008 Where the Fireworks Are LP
Produced with Santa Barbara's Headless Household, it's anthemic powerhouse music!(now out at stonecupid.com, cdbaby.com, iTunes, and amazon.com.)
incl. Psycho Killer "single" prod. earlier by V. Mortensen)
2008 What Love Will Do--Janiva Magness
bg vox on a couple tunes.
2008 Lowen and Navarro
bg vox on "I Still Believe"
2006 Something Familiar LP (now out at stonecupid.com, cdbaby.com, iTunes, and amazon.com.)
2001
Christmas in my Soul, River (online only Julie Christensen & Karen Hammack)
2000 Soul Driver LP
got airplay on at least 30 college stations and internet radio.
1997 Love is Driving LP
got airplay on over 50 AAA stations nationwide.
1990
Whisper / Scream Polydor produced by Todd Rundgren. Unreleased.
Julie Christensen
1986
Don't Shoot Zippo ZONG009
Sang "Almost Persuaded" (w/ Greg Leisz on steel) under my own name, and "Tears Fall Away" w/ Divine Horsemen (recorded in 1983-4)
Various including Steve Wynn, John Doe, the Romans, Top Jimmy, Tony Gilkyson...
1981
The Austin Christmas CollectionFelicity Records 1st Edition
Sang "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (later editions incl. all yr Austin faves)
Various incl Eric Johnson, Gary P. Nunn, Marcia Ball...

Julie with Leonard Cohen:
2006 Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man DVD on Lion's Gate
2005 Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man Original Soundtrack Album Verve Forecast 602517024083
1997 More Best of Leonard Cohen --
on 8 of the songs...Columbia CK 68636
1994 Cohen Live Columbia CK 66327
backup on all tunes (w/ Perla Batalla) and duet vocal on "Joan of Arc"
Leonard Cohen
1992-3
The Future Columbia CK 53226
sang backup on "The Future", (+ unreleased video) "Closing Time" (+ video), "Democracy" (w/ Jennifer Warnes
Leonard Cohen
1993
Sang backup, duet on Leonard Cohen European & North American Tour
Leonard Cohen
1993
Columbia Radio Hour Columbia Special Products
performed live broadcast
Leonard Cohen
1988
World Tour w/ Leonard Cohen including Austin Cityy Limits, Prince's Trust Concert and so much more. In support of I'm Your Man
Leonard Cohen
1988
The Songs of Leonard Cohen BBC Video Documentary available through Columbia Special Products
Leonard Cohen

Julie with Divine Horsemen:
1987
Snakehandler SST CD(#?)New Rose (France) rose134CD + vinyl and cassettes
sang co-lead, co-wrote "Curse of the Crying Woman", "Blind Leading the Blind", and "Stone by Stone"
Divine Horsemen
1987
Handful of Sand EP SST176(Vinyl only)
toured twice that year even though our van full of gear had gotten stolen in New Orleans
Divine Horsemen
1986
Middle of the Night EP SST 090 (vinyl and Cassette)
sang and wrote some
Divine Horsemen
1986
Devil's River SST091 (CD, vinyl, cassette), New Rose ROSE102 (CD, vinyl)
Sang, wrote some incl. title song
Divine Horsemen
1985
Border Radio Soundtrack Enigma SJ73221
Sang on "Mother's Worry", Lilly White Hands" w/ Divine Horsemen, acted one scene in the movie w/ John Doe
Various incl. Los Lobos, Dave Alvin, Green on Red, the Lazy Cowgirls... film was directed by Allison Anders
1984
Time Stands StillEnigma E1130 (vinyl, cassette)
duet vocals w/ Chris D. on 6 songs
Chris D./ Divine Horseman
1984
Enigma Variations
Enigma Compilation
Sang w/ Chris D.
Various
Other:
2008: Janiva Magness' "What Love Will Do" CD on Alligator Records out this June 10th
2005: Leonard Cohen "I'm Your Man" film soundtrack
2004
Bird on the Wire-The Songs of Leonard Cohen
sang backup on two songs
Perla Batalla Mechuda Music special issue http://www.perla.com
1999
Heaven and Earth sang backup on several tunes
Perla Batalla / Mestiza Voyage
1999
Supernatural Blue Thumb BTD 7596
sang backup on 3 tunes
Robben Ford
1997
love is driving stone cupid 001
wrote / collaborated on all but "Oriole", sang, produced, bought Thai food...
Julie Christensen
1996-7
It takes One to Know One Fathead 1001
sang backup on 3 tunes
Janiva Magness and Jeff Turmes
1995-6
Waitin' for George American Recordings 9 43007-2
backup vocals (and arrangements) with Janiva on all but 2 songs
The Freewheelers
1994
Perla Batalla Discovery 77001
sang backup on "I've Been Gone Too Long"
Perla Batalla
1993-4
Well... Virgin 7243 8 39543-22
wrote lead-off tune "Thunderhead (I Just Wanted a Little Rain)"
Katey Sagal
1992-3
Start the Car Reprise Video for VH-1 and MTV
performed backup singer part on camera
Jude Cole
1993
Emerald Blue Riverhorse 7752-4
sang backup w/ Perla
Jan Stevens
1992
World Song GM Pavillion at Seville Expo '92/ AmericaFlora '92
sang on choral work
film score c

Set List

varies with the venue...

Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, then Silk Blues
(Mingus, lyrics me--vox and piano)
Have a Pretty Dream "vox and piano
Meteor (orig--full band or duo if touring duo)
Where the Fireworks Are (")
Boy in Pain (")
Blues on My Street (")
Thunderhead (")
Fifty-Fifty (")
Traveling Companion (")
Woodstock (Mitchell--full band or duo)
Rapture Index = 0 (original-full band or duo)
Stone Cupid or Oriole(original--vox and piano)
You Haven't Done Nothin' (cover if full band)
OR Today I Sing the Blues ( cover if duo)
OR Billie's Bounce ( cover if duo)