Born: January 21 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Versatility has never been a problem or a pose for singer Julie Christensen, whose voice found a home in the L.A. post-punk band Divine Horsemen and, for years, as a spotlighted singer with Leonard Cohen. With Something Familiar, her third CD, she adds another genre feather to the cap: jazz. Singing standards, and in her own signature style, is actually nothing new for the vocalist. In her sundry travels, geographically and musically, she has dipped into the Great American Songbook for years, from her native Iowa to years spent in Austin and Los Angeles, and onto her current life, based in Ojai, California. Something Familiar is more than a standards festival. The album title itself is taken from a fascinating Jimmy Webb-penned rarity, “Just Like Marilyn,” There is also the original “Hard to Love,” and a gritty-bluesy workout, “Today I Sing the Blues.” With her keyboardist and longtime creative cohort Karen Hammack, Christensen tracked in Brooklyn with noted jazz drummers Jeff Ballard and Kenny Wollesen, alongside bassists Mary Ann McSweeney and Don Falzone. Back on the west coast, trumpeter Jeff Elliott and pedal steel guitarist-of- note Greg Liesz added their spices to the mix. The end result is a fresh twist on old musical values, something familiar yet also otherwise.
Christensen’s first solo album should have been released in 1990, after she worked on it with producer Todd Rundgren at his Bearsville studio. Alas, the album got caught up in record company snafus and it has remained on the shelves all these years. Meanwhile, Christensen took the DIY route and made two fine albums, Love is Driving (1997) and Soul Driver (2001), on her own Stone Cupid label.
Among Christensen’s present musical activities, her connection to Leonard Cohen’s world continues, as a featured member of the Cohen tribute projects produced by Hal Willner. The tribute’s Sydney Opera House concerts became the core of the acclaimed documentary, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, featuring Christensen and her longtime ally (and fellow Ojai- an) Perla Batalla on the classic Cohen song “Anthem.” The Came So Far for Beauty concert series in fact just held two performances in Dublin, Ireland on October 4th and 5th, and Julie again participated, along with Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Jarvis Cocker and many others.
Christensen’s re-entry into her solo career is coming on strong. Where the Fireworks Are, a companion album worked on simultaneously with Something Familiar, is in the finishing stages.
“... from angelic, folky charm to truly badass bluesy wails; ...one of the loveliest voices in contemporary music”--LA WEEKLY
Where the Fireworks Are LP
2008 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)
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 Collection Felicity 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:
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
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
Middle of the Night EP SST 090 (vinyl and Cassette) sang and wrote some Divine Horsemen
Devil's River SST091 (CD, vinyl, cassette), New Rose ROSE102 (CD, vinyl) Sang, wrote some incl. title song Divine Horsemen
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
Time Stands StillEnigma E1130 (vinyl, cassette) duet vocals w/ Chris D. on 6 songs Chris D./ Divine Horseman
Enigma Variations Enigma Compilation Sang w/ Chris D. Various
As A Side Musician
2008 What Love Will Do--Janiva Magness bg vox on a couple tunes.
2008 Lowen and Navarro bg vox on "I Still Believe"
2008: Janiva Magness' "What Love Will Do" CD on Alligator Records2005: 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 composed by Jim Lang
1992 That What Is Not Virgin 2-91815 sang backup (uncredited?) on "Luck's Up", "Covered", "Emperor", "Good Things" (+ Bonnie Bramlett Sheridan) PiL( Public Image Ltd.)
1991 What Fresh Hell is This? Barclay 847773-2 duet vocals on "Lucy Bel Lee" and "Burn the Flag" Passion Fodder
1991 The Rapture Soundtrack A&M Records wrote (with Scott Wilk) and sang "Well Enough" Various 1990
Meet John Doe DGC(Geffen) 24291 sang "duet" vocal on "Let's Be Mad"(the single), backup on "Matter of Degrees" and "Real One" John Doe
1990 Let's Be Mad promo single DGC procd-4115 and Video John Doe
1990 3 Live Shows singing backup John Doe
1990 Running Sacred RNA R2-70757(Rhino) sang backup on "It Fell", "Slave Labor", "Just Another Perfect Day", and "Same Denomination" Exene Cervenka
1990 Straight to the Swapmeet (vinyl) Legendary Authorized Bootleg RNA pro1-90052 sang backup and duet Steve Wynn
1990 Black Rain Soundtrack A&M sang backup with Perla Iggy Pop
1989 Old Wives' Tales Rhino R170913 sang backup on "White Trash Wife" and"Cocktail Trees" Exene Cervenka
1989 Woke Up This Morning RCA Barclay 99494H sang on 2 songs Passion Fodder
1989 Tokyo Rose Warner Bros. sang choral, backup (w/Syd Straw) Van Dyke Parks
Kerosene Man Rhino sang backup Steve Wynn
1986 Music from Echo Park Soundtrack A&M SP 5119 (vinyl, cassette) sang duet on the movie's end title theme "Give And Take" Various incl. Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, David Baerwald of David & David, Jimmie Wood...
1986 Brutus Rides Again (cassette only) sang duet w/ Phil Perry on "One of a Kind" Larry Steelman
1984 Kiss My Blues Away Rocco 001 Sang 1920's cover tunes Ritzo Rhythm Kings
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Private instruction of all types of vocal students. Available weekdays and some evenings. Copy and paste this link to sign up: http://stonecupid.com/bio.html I teach online via Skype (a free download) as well as at home in Southern California. Julie has been teaching for a long time, and has worked with all types of voices and styles. Now, with free video conferencing, she can teach YOU. Here is what a couple happy singers have to say: "Julie is dynamic, engaging, and very encouraging as a vocal coach. I was able to feel relaxed and happy in lessons, even though I started lessons well into my forties and with no background. She is holistic in her approach: the feelings, the physiology, the musicality, the technique of singing is all addressed. And, she is a stupendous singer and performer in her own right." --Elizabeth Bowman " Thanks again for all the voice lessons a few years back. I still use the exercises you gave me." --Gina Loring "I so enjoyed our time together and really look forward to doing it again."--Kathleen D. "I found some extra power when I go high. And I have more stamina." -- Eli Behar of Hindu Kush Credentials: (see also bio and discography) Education University of Texas at Austin (20 credits) Majoring in Music GPA 3.5 coursework includes: Arranging, Theory, Sight Singing, Piano Study University of Iowa Majoring in Asian Studies and Drama ( 32 credits) GPA: 3.78 was awarded a place on the Dean's List coursework includes: Chinese Language, Rhetoric, Scene Study, Linguistics, Theater Affiliations Member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), and North American Folk and Dance Alliance. Past Positions: The Thacher School Ojai, CA Position: private vocal instructor Oct 2002-June 2008 Working with Ivy-League Prep School high-powered students on vocal and performance technique Management of study materials, recitals, and audition preparation Ojai Valley School Ojai CA Position: elementary and middle-school vocal and piano instructor September 1999- June 2001 Management of their quarterly recitals and preparation