Awen

Awen

 New York City, New York, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

James Gilchrist & Julie Sherwood play Celtic-influenced original acoustic rock in NYC, with haunting vocal harmonies and passionate lyrics. Throw in some Broadway tunes, brilliant guitar & piano playing, plus two classically trained voices and stir briskly!

Biography

"There isn't one performer that James Gilchrist sounds like - but there are many artists whose influence can be heard in his songwriting. He is a thoughtful lyricist with a positive outlook, an impression he manages to convey even in songs that speak to life's pain. Looking within to find answers, Gilchrist sometimes doesn't know what questions to ask - but he keeps asking, searching and learning. Emotionally-charged-yet-soothing vocals, stirring melodies that stay with the listener, haunting harmonies, and a writing style that stays fresh song after song invite audiences to step inside Gilchrist's music and wonder for the duration."

INFLUENCES

Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Michael Franks, Gordon Lightfoot, Jethro Tull, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, The Police, Rush, Yes, Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, The Corrs, David Gray (pre - "A New Day..."), Loreena McKennitt, Joe Satriani, Steeley Dan, John Coltrane, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Al Jarreau, Matchbox 20, Miles Davis, Ludwig van Beethoven, Stravinsky, and others...

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

James and Julie met in the fall of 2004 and were immediately convinced they should make music together. At the time, James was looking to fill some vocal "shoes" left empty by the departure of vocalist Carol Crittenden from his band Blue Knight. He placed an ad on the NY area Craig's List to which Julie responded.

"I knew right away that Julie was a serious talent, someone I could count on to sing beautifully and to really dive in and learn lots of material. We clicked, too, on both an artistic and spiritual level - that was very important to me," said James when asked about meeting Julie for the first time. "We had a gig scheduled for the first week of the new year (2005) and with very short notice, she was prepared to perform several songs incorporating 3 part harmony. At the rehearsal studio, she and then Blue Knight singer Bethany Burgess-Smith sat on the floor comparing notes and getting to know each other. Her easygoing-yet-professional attitude impressed me - and her voice! To die for..."

After that first gig with James in January of 2005, Julie had to return to her home state of Colorado to perform in a theatrical production in which she'd been cast. "I was bummed that so soon after finding Julie, she had to leave on what would wind up a rather extended hiatus. But I understood - that we both had theater backgrounds was yet another reason I wanted to work with her. So I said I hoped she'd come back and work with us again and the show went on, as it were."

Happily for James, Julie did return in the fall of 2005 and expressed her interest in rejoining the band. "From September of 2005 until July of 2006, Julie was an intregal part of Blue Knight's music. She performed in many venues, learned a ton of music and folks remarked on her style and professionally trained voice. She and Debbi Adelman (who began singing with the band shortly after Julie left) became a great team with whom I loved working."

In July of 2006, James decided that the Blue Knight band had run its course. James asked Julie to continue to sing with him as he launched a new plan that would see the two of them performing as a duet and bringing new elements into the music. They would perform songs from musical theatre, explore ways to showcase Julie's talents as a lead singer and pianist, and record and write new music together as 2006 came to a close.

"We've recorded some Christmas music and are beginning work on a two new albums...one of songs we sing together and one of songs written for her to sing solo. She'll be recording piano, I'll be playing guitar and we'll both be taking advantage of the flexibility our home studio has to offer. As long as I keep getting to make music with Julie, I know I'll be happy. I'm so lucky she found me!"

(For more information about James and Julie, see the artist bios below.)

JAMES GILCHRIST

James studied music and voice at Susquehanna University (PA), acting at the National Shakespeare Conservatory (NYC), and performed dozens of musicals, comedies, and dramas during the 10 years before he moved to New York City in January, 1998. There he worked steadily as an actor until September of 2001. Following 9/11 he decided that his songwriting muse could no longer be denied and he began performing his songs in bars, clubs and coffee houses in and around New York's Greenwich Village.

James first got the idea to create a company called "Share the Light Productions" in 1993 while performing a Civil War musical in Gettysburg, PA. He had just begun writing songs and hoped that someday such a company would help him to promote his unique style of folk/rock music. Ten years later that dream came to fruition and STLP also became "a center of spiritual operations" for all his artistic endeavors. He released his first CD "New Beginnings" in February, 2002. An all original soundtrack to a stage play of the same name, the CD marked the firs

Lyrics

Always

Written By: James Gilchrist & Amy Hamilton

I keep seeing ghosts in every doorway
At every turn – always since I met you
This is the place you fully inhabit and inhibit
Like my own soul, my own body

Are you there
Are you here
Always

Late September leaves are falling
Feel the wind as it’s blowing through me
Behind me I can hear your footsteps follow after
I feel your presence in the air

Are you here
Won’t you be
Always

Are those your arms you’re putting around me
They make me feel so cold inside
I know I may never be free
But this is where you still reside

I see a ghost in every doorway
In each reflection I keep looking back at you
This is the place you fully inhabit and inhibit
Like my own soul, my own body

Are you there
Are you here
Always

Are you here
Won’t you be
Always

Share The Light

Written By: James Gilchrist

The stars see her tears as they stream to the stones
She quickly dries her eyes when she sees that she’s not alone
Whatever could be wrong with such a fine looking lass
To start her crying to herself as she runs away across the grass

She knows he wouldn’t understand he does not know the truth
That she loves him with a fever only his hands can soothe
But she knows he should sail away so he might search for his dreams
Following his heart and flying wherever it leads

So she said share the light wherever you go
And love will always find you and it will remind you to
Share the light burning in your soul
And like you’ve always shown to me
Others will come to see
Your shining heart of gold

Far across the sea and time a storm showers the deck of his ship
He’s facing the weather and the wind through his hair whips
But he does not see the sky or the rain for he’s lost in recollection
Of the woman he’s longed for and who saw his life’s direction

She said share the light wherever you go
And love will always find you and it will remind you to
Share the light burning in your soul
And like you’ve always shown to me
Others will come to see
Your shining heart of gold

Seasons pass along the shore where she stands not knowing why
When suddenly she sees his ship out where the sea meets the sky
He sees her standing on the pier and rushes to her to embrace
I’ve come back to stay he says, wiping the tears from her face

You said share the light wherever I go
And love would always find me but I left love behind me
So I’ll share my light with you, burning in my soul
And like you’ve always shown to me
Mine will always be
Your shining heart of gold

The House Of My Heart

Written By: James Gilchrist

No one’s asked me to change –
I put the pressure on myself that makes me feel defensive
It’s time I recognized and rearranged
The house of my heart

I’m looking hard at my past
To try and make sense of the patterns I see represented
And time is flying by so very fast
The house of my heart

Now I’m wonderin’
If I can simply be true to myself
And when my dreams begin
It takes me by surprise
To finally realize
That I can find my own way
Out of this…the house of my heart

I’ve spent some long nights alone
With headlights chasing shadows of my thoughts around the darkness
But I’m inside – no matter where I go -
The house of my heart

I’m giving myself some time
To listen to the voice inside me I hear getting stronger
But is what’s showing me the uphill climb
The house of my heart

Why do I feel the need to try
When it’d be easier to lie
But what’s to believe if not what’s so hard

Now I’m wonderin’
How to simply be true to myself
And when my dreams begin
It takes me by surprise
To finally realize
That I can find my own way
Out of this…the house of my heart

Fishing Town (On The North Coast Of Clare)

Written By: James Gilchrist

I saw her last Thursday, I was drunk in the bar
I asked her the question, but didn’t get very far
We were all sitting around, wondering when the boats would come home
So I lit up her cigarette, yeah it’s better than smoking alone

Mick was a lineman on Miss Vernon’s Veil
Now he watches the harbor empty of sail
His hands are in square knots that he can’t untie
And he says he don’t miss the life, but you and I know that’s a lie

Death’s not far and time ain’t fair
In this little fishing town on the north coast of Clare
Death’s not far but the wind is fair
In my little fishing town on the north coast of Clare

I’ve wandered the quaysides since I was a boy
Since my daddy done give me a boat as a toy
I still keep that ship on a shelf where it’s gathering dust
Yeah my father once told me “Son we all do what we must”

Death’s not far and time ain’t fair
In this little fishing town on the north coast of Clare
Death’s not far but the wind’s still fair
In his little fishing town on the north coast of Clare

Andrew the bosun was my best man
He trusted his skipper to get back to land
But an unmarked reef in a storm tore out our keel
And there ain’t no bottle ‘can numb how I feel

Death’s not far and time ain’t fair
In this little fishing town on the north coast of Clare
Death’s not far but my heart still cares
For my little fishing town on the north coast of Clare

My Rowan Tree

Written By: James Gilchrist

One more night I’ve come home alone;
You’d think I was looking for a rowan
Tree in a forest of birch
Me I think, she’s still my church
One more night after another day
I’ve spent thinking about the way
Dreams don’t tell it like it is
‘Taste of beer without the fizz

I walk the sun down in the west
Another day is gone, ‘no time to rest
I’ll lay me down on some boughs of gree’
To dream about my rowan tree (rowan tree)

Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me
Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me

One more trip out to the bars
You’d think I was strolling around on Mars
For all the sights and sounds that I see
Seem otherworldly to me
After shows I pass her picture ‘round
“Drink up boy, she’s nowhere she’ll be found
Don’t you worry; you’ll be all right -
Stick around for last call tonight…”

I’ll walk the sun down in the west
Another day gone, ‘no time to rest
I’ll lay me down on some boughs of gree’
To dream about my rowan tree (rowan tree)

Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me
Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me
Its times like these that I remember she was never home for me

Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me
Its times like these that I’m wishin’ she’d come home to me
Its times like these that I remember she was never home to me

Think Of Me

Written By: James Gilchrist

If you want someone to hold you
Or to make you smile
Think of me
Think of me

If you need someone to talk to
Or be with for awhile
Think of me
Think of me

I may not have the answers or a cure for what is wrong
But I’ll always be here to take you in my arms

If you’re ever feeling lonely
Or in need of a friend
Think of me
Think of me

If you just have to let things out
Or cry you know you can
Think of me
Think of me

If you think of me, there I’ll be
And I’ll take you home

If no one’s tried to understand
Life’s latest curve to you
Think of me
Think of me

If it’s been too long since someone’s
Simply listened to you
Think of me
Think of me

It’s sometimes hard to find someone who seems to care at all
Much less be there for you when you take a fall

So if you’re ever craving comfort
Or feel sad and alone
Think of me
Think of me

If you’re desperate for an anchor
To keep you on the ground
Think of me
Think of me

‘Cause if you think of me, there I’ll be
And I’ll take you home…

La Belle Dame

Written By: James Gilchrist

You were walking by a stream with not a soul around to see
When as if from a dream she appeared beneath the trees
Like a spirit in disguise, she had angels in her eyes
Now that you’ve seen her dancing like Demeter
When you lose your heart don’t be surprised

How can you explain all the joy she brings to you
That her sweet refrain follows you like a perfume
When no one else knows that she’s there, or feels the softness of her hair
Only you see her dancing in the mirror
Of la belle dame you’d best beware

Now she’s revealing what you've longed to hold
Do you imagine that you’re in control
Eyes of wild, she’s a faery’s child
A femme fatale she will steal your soul

You’re shaken from a dream, a warning echoes in your head
She’s not what she seems – feel the chill upon your bed
She will find you in your sleep, while you pray the Lord your soul to keep
You try to flee her but everywhere you see her
Gazing on you, sighing deep

When she finds you you’re all alone
Her icy breath surrounds and stops your moan
Your fate’s revealed at last within her eyes
She’s enthralled you with her beauty’s guise

The tale is true my friend so to this lesson listen well
The next time you’re alone when a woman casts her spell
Mind the flowers in her hair and the perfume of the sweet night air
Forget you see her dancing like Demeter
And tell yourself she isn’t there

Discography

"Out Of The Blue" - James Gilchrist & Julie Sherwood (2008 - Forthcoming)
"Songs Of Christmas" - James Gilchrist & Julie Sherwood (2006)
"Live at Esoterica, 6/25/05" - Blue Knight with James Gilchrist (2005)
"A Special Compilation" - Blue Knight with James Gilchrist (2004)
"New Beginnings" - James Gilchrist (2003)

Set List

Original songs, plus Irish Traditional and covers by the Indigo Girls or The Corrs; musical theater selections from Phantom of the Opera, others.

Song List:

A Maid In Ninian's Day
Always
Awen
Beautiful
Castles
Celebrating You
Clear Water
December Ends
Don't Think About It
Elizabeth Mary
Faint Heart
Find a Way to Forgive
Fishing Town (on the north coast of Clare)
Get Past Complexity
He Says, She Says
Here's the Score
“I Can't Get Up” Disease
Inside
Into My Life
Kiss Me
La Belle Dame
LCL (Love, Cats, & Lunch)
Lullaby For Sarah
Meant To Be
My Rowan Tree
Next Life
Priest of Nothing
See Yourself
Share the Light
The Bridge
The Fair Lady
The Fish Tank Song
The House of My Heart
The Sun, The Moon, & The Stars
There Ought To Be A Way
Think of Me
Three Rivers
Triangle Wins
Wendy Wants To Know
What Can You Say
What Will Be
You Should Know
(others)