wears the trousers magazine

christina courtin makes her UK debut tonight
May 26, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

260509_christinacourtinNew Nonesuch signing plays intimate preview gig in London

A gifted, Juilliard-trained violinist, Christina Courtin could have been a new modern classical star with her energetic, intuitive playing style and striking appearance, but the Buffalo, NY musician fell in love with singing somewhere along the way and there began her double life, one day playing an elaborately decorated music hall and the next a grungy rock club. Her eponymous major-label debut, out on June 23rd through Nonesuch Records, brings the two scenes together in an inspired, intimate twist on the folk-rock formula. Co-producing the album herself with Antony & The Johnsons collaborator Greg Cohen and singer/guitarist Ryan Scott, Christina first enlisted the help of some of LA’s finest musicians, including Fiona Apple/Aimee Mann producer Jon Brion, keyboardist Benmont Tench, pedal steel player Greg Leisz, and drummer Jim Keltner.

With those sessions in the bag, she later decamped to New York City where she recruited guitarist Marc Ribot and Tin Hat Trio pianist Rob Burger to finish off the album under the watchful eye of engineer David Boucher (Randy Newman, Andrew Bird). Amazingly, Christina doesn’t play any violin on the album, though she does chip in with a bit of viola on one song. For the most part the chamber pop strings that grace the album come courtesy of the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, though the arrangements are mostly Christina’s. Describing the album, Christina says: “The records that I love the most are the ones that are full of life and energy — and that doesn’t in any way mean perfection. They have real feeling to them. One of the things I wanted to achieve with the record was for it to be a real world of its own, with songs and sounds that take you somewhere else.”

That somewhere could be the Betsey Trotwood in London’s Clerkenwell, but if you wanted to hear Christina you should get there tonight. She’ll be making her UK debut there for one night only before heading back to the US for her album launch next month. She comes highly recommended.

26.05.09 Betsey Trotwood, London



Christina Courtin
01 Green Jay
02 Bundah
03 Foreign Country
04 Hedonistic Paradise
05 Mulberries
06 February
07 Laconia
08 One Man Down
09 Rainy
10 Unzipped

Alan Pedder


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