CRIS WILLIAMSON in SAINT LOUIS
CRIS WILLIAMSON: MOTHERLAND - THE NEW RELEASE
A couple years ago, I began flirting with the idea of recording the music of my peers, my contemporaries, climbing into other peoples material as if it were my own. Like most musicians, this was how I started in the first place, by choosing songs that really spoke to me, that I could therefore inhabit quite easily. That original method is again at play on this new work, Motherland, 10 songs with women somehow in the blood and sinew of each song. There is something freeing about wearing the musical clothes of another and finding that it is not so much a disguise, but rather a perfectly fitting garment. And so, I hunted and chose songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Patty Griffin, Eliza Gilkyson, Jackson Browne, Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes, John Lennon, and one of my own, the title song, Motherland. Recorded at Fantasy Recording Studio in Berkeley CA, and produced by Julie Wolf, Motherland features an all-star band of sisters and brothers including Vicki Randle, Barbara Higbie, Shelley Doty, Scott Amendola and Zach Ostroff.
Please do join me on Sunday, April 29, when I swing through St Louis, to celebrate the release of this new CD of strong and beautiful cover songs - plus a couple new ones of my own. (And, I'll include some old favorites as well.) So pull these covers up around your ears, and join me at MCC of Greater St Louis to celebrate! See you there.
Decades before indie labels were the norm, and years before women had any real access to the industry, Cris Williamson was busy changing the face of popular music. In 1975, the twenty-something former schoolteacher recorded The Changer and the Changed, for her brainchild, Olivia Records, the first woman-owned woman-focused record company. Her music and voice quickly became an essential part of the soundtrack of a movement, and was the cornerstone of what would become known as Women's Music, music created, performed, and marketed specifically for and by women. Today, that recording, The Changer and the Changed, remains one of the best-selling independent releases of all time.
For Cris, the music became the vehicle for something larger. Her lyrics appear on a regular basis in books and thesis papers. Her albums are part of the curriculum for women's studies courses, and thousands of people who may not even know her name join their voices in "Song of the Soul" around campfires and places of worship. She is embraced by women. She is sampled in hip-hop. Her music is used by midwives welcoming life into the world, while hospice choirs sing her songs in tender sacred escort. "She is often considered a treasure, passed hand-to-hand, person-to-person," says the Boston Phoenix, "Williamson is a heroic character whose tireless activism continues."
Today, with 31 full albums to her credit, Cris continues to tour the acoustic circuit adding new material at each juncture. Her performance career includes three sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall and the headlining of many of the great folk festivals, including Newport, Kerrville, Moab and Vancouver.
Cris's new album, Motherland, was released late 2017. Cris is currently touring the new material, teaching songwriting, working with choruses, enjoying collaboration with fellow artists, and of course, continuing her activism at every opportunity.
More info: www.CrisWilliamson.com
Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Saint Louis (View)
1920 South 7th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104
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