julie christensen & stone cupid

About

Julie Christensen - bandleader, singer, songwriter

Julie Christensen co-fronted L.A. post-punk rockers Divine Horsemen in the eighties, and is a veteran of the great Leonard Cohen's bands (and the documentary "Leonard Cohen-I'm Your Man,” and the concerts making up the music therein.)  She's made 6 of her own CDs, performing regularly with top musicians in the country. Julie's also been a voice-slinger for hire live and in the studio with the likes of  John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Steve Wynn, Lou Reed, Alejandro Escovedo, and Van Dyke Parks.

Julie has been accompanying herself on guitar lately, surrounded by her many musical friends and allies, and is looking to book concerts, house concerts, festivals and listening room situations throughout the U.S. and Europe. She and her husband, actor and artist John Diehl, currently reside in East Nashville, where she has also assembled a band of all-star players and released a top 100 roots-rock album, "The Cardinal," in 2016.

 

   Walkaway

 

"--one of the truer singers you’ll ever hear — straight up, no mannerisms, perfect taste; listen to.. her piercing new Something Familiar, and recognize how she could sing with both Leonard Cohen and Chris D. “--Greg Burk L.A. WEEKLY

“Simply put, this gal’s voice can raise every single hair on my body— and all at the same time! Be it R&B, pop, rock, she can sing it all, and with style, too.” -- LA Weekly

"From the heart-wrenching title track, which serves up an aching dose of harsh reality, to the cascading piano that drives the plaintive “Something Pretty,” Where the Fireworks Are is a collection of songs spanning the emotional spectrum. It provides an evocative musical chariot for Christensen to weave her vocal magic." (Brett Leigh-Dicks) VC REPORTER

 

LONGER BIO FOR JULIE:

Singer-Songwriter Julie Christensen co-fronted LA punk-roots pioneers Divine Horsemen, Sang with Leonard Cohen for Many Years

. Co-founded and co-fronted legendary LA punk-roots band Divine Horsemen.

. Sang and toured extensively with Leonard Cohen over a six-year period.

. Todd Rundgren produced her major label debut.

. New cut Saint on a Chain won a place alongside Patty Griffin and Mary Gauthier on UK compilation Rough Guide to Americana

Julie Christensen, born and raised in Iowa, left school to tour with her first band, which played country rock, landing for a time in Austin, Texas before heading to LA in the early 80s for the pioneering punk-roots rock band Divine Horsemen. She shared concert bills and close friendships with some of the greats who still populate Americana/Roots Rock today, like Exene Cervenka and John Doe of X and Dave Alvin of the Blasters. 

From there, the versatile singer-songwriter took yet another musical turn - this time into a musical partnership with Leonard Cohen. Julie sang with Cohen from 1988-1993, traveling around the globe, including The Vienna Opera House, stadiums in Madrid and Athens, major rock festivals, and a three-night stand at The Royal Albert Hall. When Hal Willner put together his now-legendary concert of Leonard Cohen songs, "Came So Far For Beauty," he chose Julie as a lead and backing vocalist. where she sang alongside Nick Cave, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Linda Thompson, and Antony Hegarty. At a 2006 show Julie and Lou Reed, duetted on Cohen's song  "Joan of Arc". —Sylvie Simmons 

“But the album that marked the year from me, is Julie Christensen’s new project Stone Cupid. She sang better than ever, on a record that is rocking, grungy and rootsy at the same time. A killer span of genres that can only be brought by one of the Divine Horsemen. Best of 2016” – The Little Lighthouse 

(Roots Music Report 2016 Roots Rock Album chart #70:

The Cardinal by Julie Christensen and Stone Cupid)

2012 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival "Emerging Artist Showcase" performer.

2009 & 2012 Official Performance Alley Showcase Artist at International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis 

2008 Premiere Showcase Artist at Far-West Conference in Phoenix

  

 

Stone Cupid - band

Stone Cupid Hit the Heart, Headed for the Studio                      

Julie Christensen’s new band Stone Cupid, a kindred spirit to her post-punk powerhouse Divine Horsemen, was invited to be one of the final acts at East Nashville landmark The Family Wash, before its relocation, in February. The honor was eagerly accepted, since it was at the Wash that the band first played together less than a year before, and felt something truly special.

“This lineup fell together almost fatefully, and the songs seemed to play themselves,” says Christensen. “It was so natural, so simpatico, like some concurrent extra-spiritual thing.” Stone Cupid headed to the studio with producer Jeff Turmes in mid-March along with engineer Joe Costa (RCA Studio A/Ben Folds) to capture that vibe in an album that was mixed and mastered in late spring of 2015 and was released January 22, 2016.

Christensen, who’s authored five independent albums and sung with everyone from Leonard Cohen to Lou Reed, has surrounded herself with a team of team players. Guitarists Sergio Webb and Chris Tench flank Christensen at the front, and the “absence of ego” she lauds is on full display. As Tench creates the ideal sonic landscape, Webb populates it with one stunning surprise after another. Propelling the enterprise are drummer Steve Latanation and bassist Bones Hillman, who combine taste and telepathy into something so unified they seem a single entity.

The crew’s résumés feature stage or studio credits for a wide swath of top-shelf acts, including Midnight Oil, Sheryl Crow, Agent Orange, Americana stalwarts Matthew Ryan, Amelia White and David Olney, and country mavericks Gail Davies and Pinto Bennett.

Christensen’s own musical odyssey is as varied as the kinds of songs she can deliver. Born and raised in Iowa, she headed to Austin in the late 70s, then L.A. in 1981. There she met and married Chris Desjardins and together they formed Divine Horsemen, a band whose sound she likens to “Beggars Banquet-era Stones.” Three whirlwind years later, they had amassed two full albums, two EPs, three cross-country tours, three songs on the Border Radio soundtrack, and one blown-apart band, marriage included.

From 1988-1993 Christensen toured the world with Leonard Cohen as one of two featured backup singers. In 1990, she was signed by Polygram, but the Todd Rundgren-produced album fell victim to label politics and went unreleased. 2005 saw her paying tribute to Cohen in the Came So Far for Beauty concert series, and spotlighted in the feature documentary I’m Your Man.

An East Nashville resident since 2013, Christensen is beguiled by its concentration of musicians and their camaraderie. The move from California, meant to nurture opportunities in the acoustic/roots community, now finds her in the studio with a rock band, envisioning big-stage concert and festival gigs, and she couldn’t be happier. “I really come alive with a band,” she says, “I’m very theatrical, and people respond to it.”

Producer Turmes, who’s worked with such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Tom Waits and Richard Thompson, was again at the helm, as he was for Christensen’s previous album, 2012’s “Weeds Like Us,” a project that garnered some Top Ten attention in end-of-year honors.

The new album will include artful tunes from Kevin Gordon, Chuck Prophet and others, and a healthy helping of Christensen originals, plus a bonus hidden track of a soul cover of Cohen’s “Anthem.” “I’m so fired up with what we’re doing,” she says, noting similarities to her 80s roots with the Horsemen. “There was all this grand stuff then -- the Reagan Era, DynastyMiami Vice -- and bubbling under was all this heartbreak and dysfunction and despair. It bred a lot of wonderful art.”

She’s also optimistic that albums are not the dinosaurs some predict. “An album is an arc. It unfolds, piece by piece. I see young people buying albums. They’re listening. They’re getting it. I love that.”A new Stone Cupid album will be well worth the listen. “We’ve all done the big stages,” says Christensen. “This won’t be our first rodeo.”   --Tony Laiolo Spring 2015