Dave Christensen
Gig Seeker Pro

Dave Christensen

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Dave Christensen-"The Bosom and The Pool" review"

Dave Christensen - The Bosom and the Pool
Of grand projects, it is sometimes said “ Rome was not built in a day” - a truism to explain that many things worth doing are worth doing right and that takes time. If ever there was a posterboy for taking your time and doing it right, it would be Dave Christensen. With the release of his solo album, The Bosom and the Pool this month, Christensen completes a journey of creativity and discovery that began over two years ago.
Dave explained in a recent interview how the conception of the project was the result of a different birth. “The impetus for the album was that (my son) Terrapin was born and so no music was possible,” he explained. Being a busy live musician, a child just did not fit into a lifestyle that required late nights in smokey bar rooms.
He needed a goal, an outlet for the music that was in him. He had songs. He had ideas for a concept record. “I thought if I can take the time to get this down on tape I could be happy,” he relates, “If I could get one good record then I could be happy with being a teacher and a father and not be a professional musician.” The funny thing is that babies rather quickly become toddlers and then actual little people, and when you’re as good a player as Christensen, good gigs come along too. Two years after “giving up” being a professional musician, he’s busier than ever. “Two years later it’s all I do!” he jokes.
The concept for the album actually started five years ago when Christensen found himself at a time in life when many were pairing up and starting families. “I wanted to chronicle a sort of self-help record, tongue in cheek, for people when they find themselves as parents. I wanted to show them that it is not as grim as it seems.” The resulting CD does have the story arc of a greater journey, not only the autobiographical journey of the writer but also the long road of the recording project itself.
“Some of the songs are ten years old,” Christensen notes explaining how some of the first tracks are new recordings of songs he wrote in another place at a completely different time in his life. The album progresses in a path parallel to Chistensen’s changing life with all its challenges and discoveries. “It follows the search for success, meaning, love, finding love and contentment and finally a kind of spiritual peace through self reflection.” he explains.
Conceptual concerns aside, The Bosom and the Pool, “an album so big it has two title tracks,” jokes Christensen, is a great collection of songs in a variety styles suiting Christensen’s funky keyboard and organ chops. Blues, jazz, funk, reggae, and New Orleans second line share space and sometimes slow dance together or at least share a drink at the bar in the funky club in Dave’s head where you get to hear all these styles from the house band.
And what a house band! That’s kind of joke considering that in addition to Christensen’s vocals, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Honer clavinet, acoustic piano, accordion, trombone, and percussion, the album features 37 guest players. “It also ended up being a portrait of the local music scene,” notes Christensen. Which is pretty cool. The only place you are ever gonna hear this band is on this record.
Without taking time to list everyone who contributed, Tim Knautz provided the basses and Joe Caploe covered a lot of the drums and percussion duties. Guitars were contributed by Andy Steil, Rob Bochnik, Shawn Healy, Joe Moss and Nate Jenkins. Extra percussion was added by Mike Steckling, Elkin Garcia and Tim Connelly. Christensen’s string arrangements were played by Dubuque Symphony Orchestra players and the list of horn players is longer than your arm. The long list of backing singers and guest vocalists include the legendary Jim Post, not to mention Dave’s wife Rachel and his son Terrapin.
Over the two years of recording, tracks were laid in eight different locations, from Christensen and Steil’s home studios to the Galena Bible Church. Most of the final tracks, including most of the keyboards and vocals, and the mixing was done at Galena’s new M-Studios.
A project of this magnitude was not inexpensive. Rome was not built on the cheap either. Over the two-year span of the project, Christensen spent more money on musicians and recording than most people do on a really good used car. But in the end, it’s not about the money. It’s about the music, the journey, working with great musicians who happen to be good friends as well. Christensen, who just moved with his wife and son to Burbank, California, to start a new chapter also looks at it as a document of his time in the the Galena/Dubuque area and the soundtrack of his now five-year-old son Terrapin’s early life. He says when Terrapin sometimes asks, “Why don’t I have any brothers or sisters?” he answers thinking of the the long, slow birth of the family of songs collected on The Bosom and the Pool - “You do.”
The Bosom and the Pool is available at ww - 365ink

"Chasing a dream"

Chasing a dream
GALENA- "It won't hit me until we get out there," he said with a sigh.

Local musician and teacher Dave Christensen announced last week that he and his family will be leaving after ten years in Galena.
He and his wife Rachel decided last February that it is time to follow the next phase of their dream, so in a few weeks, after they finish the sale of their house, the couple will begin a drive to Burbank, California with their five-year-old son, Terrapin, which means "little turtle."
Some people have wondered about their decision, warning them about the hardships of the traffic, the cost of living, making it in "the business", the less than upstanding people they may run into in California, and moving to a different state without knowing anyone.
A few people have been really positive about their move, he said, but most have been apprehensive.
Dave said they've got to try.
He doesn't want to be sitting back on his front porch thinking "what if."
"I'm not worried. Rachel's not worried. And Terrapin can't wait," he said.
"This is Rachel's dream," Dave explained. She always wanted to get into voice-overs and work toward obtaining a Screen Actor's Guild card to get in front of the camera. He explained that they talked about it for a while and decided that it was time to go for it.
About a year ago, Rachel met with an acting coach who encouraged her to travel to California to study. When she came back in February their house went on the market.
"She is really tenacious," he said with a proud smile. "She is really good at what she does. She has always wanted to live in a big city on the West Coast. I think she'll do really well. She is really driven."
Jim Post was probably the most excited supporter of the family's decision to move west, according to Dave.
He told them "It was about time" Dave said. "Jim has always been supportive and always there with good realistic advice," for them.
The sound

Dave has been working on his dream-a solo record, for the past two years.
He'll be able to market the record in California and try to "get his foot in the door" with film composers in an entry level position.
Post also helped Dave find his own voice over the past few months by steering him in the right direction.
Most recently, Galena may remember Dave as a part of the Creole sound of "We're Late and Smell Like Beer." Of which he said, "What they are trying to do in this area is incredible. The fact that they (tour extensively throughout the region) for the pure enjoyment of it.
The band that really stands out for Dave as being the most influential in his life in Galena is Neptune Blue with Andy Steil, Tim Knautz, Mike Steckling and Tim Connelly, he said. Each of the members contributed their talents to the album. Steil co-produced, engineered, mixed it and played guitar on about one quarter of the tracks.
"(Neptune Blue musicians) has always kind of been my family," he said.
"The Bosom and the Pool" is an autobiographical concept about the balance of the world as a whole with the individual self. It begins with the college days and periods of excess, turning to spirituality, into falling in love and getting married then having a son."(Terrapin) actually co-wrote one of the songs with me," the dad grins. "When he was three I took a notebook and followed him around. I wrote down all the things that came out of a three year-old's mouth and crafted that into a song called 'Random Happenings.' So Terrapin starts off that song singing some of the words."
"(Galena) was a very open place to experiment with my music and try different things until I found what worked," Dave said. "The amazing thing about the album is that all but two of the players, they are local musicians. And there are over 37 people on the album."
Musicians on the album: Andy Steil, Tim Knautz, Joe Caploe, Tim Connelly, Teri Lawson, Mike Steckling, Shawn Healy, Jen Wiater, Gary Kirst, Elkin Garcia (of OchoSol), Nate Jenkins, Robert Gillenwater, Kim Monk, Jim Post, Maureen Kilgore, Ann Duchow, Gregg Marolf, Bryan Sulzer, Kelly Berger, Bill Reichle, Karl Busch and Boyd Dean-recorded at the new M-Studios in Galena on the Nextagem label.
"Not only is (the number of musicians on the album) a snapshot of my life in Galena, it is a snapshot of the whole Galena music scene," he said.
The album will be available on Thursday, Nov. 16. For a preview of the tunes check out myspace.com/christensongs. It is also available on iTunes.com.
The teacher
Dave studied music at DePaul University for four years and then switched to poetry and English to get "the other side of song writing-the lyrics."
He arrived on the Galena music scene in 1995. He asked Peg Cornils for piano student referrals and just by word of mouth, Dave stayed busy-teaching the art.
He plans to continue coaching music students in Burbank and dreams of getting a position at the School of Rock.
He hopes to continue with photography too, which he attributes much of h - Galena Gazette


"The Bosom and The Pool" 2006 (LP)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dave Christensen is the musical equivalent of Tom Waits and Theloniuos Monk’s bastard child. Embodying the personalities of an accomplished songwriter, a prolific improviser and a mad-cap arranger, Dave’s music is deep and rich in texture, yet accessible to the listener without being overbearing or self-indulgent. And his voice puts the “gritty” in “integrity” while his lyrics navigate the space between the physical and emotional universes and investigate what pulls us apart and what holds us together. He arranges the traditional instruments, such as organ, horns, guitar, strings, accordion, woodwinds and percussion (among others), to create unique sounds that juxtapose different musical neighborhoods. Dave’s shows not only entertain, but take the audience on a journey through the world of rhythm and style. From New Orleans 2nd-line and African beats to Rock and Funk fueled Rhythm and Blues, Dave has open ears that can assimilate many genres into a cohesive sound, making him a musical visionary akin to Prince or Beck.
Dave has studied music since age 6 and started song-writing at age 12. In college he studied improvisational music and poetry, developing an understanding between the music of the spoken word and the communicative power of music. Dave spent the next ten years living in Galena, a small town in Illinois, developing his style through playing live shows and as a studio musician, playing on over 100 tracks. Over the past 2 years, Dave wrote, arranged, produced and recorded his debut album, “The Bosom and The Pool”, using over 35 musicians to create varied textures and rhythms.
Having recently relocated to Burbank, CA, Dave is working on new songs, promoting his album and becoming established in the L.A. music scene.