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C h r i s t i n e... L a v i n

sometimes mother knows best

Christine Lavin



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track listing

1. Armageddon itunesbuy
2. Happiness Runs itunesbuy
3. The Bends itunesbuy
4. Winter in Manhattan itunesbuy
5. Moken Spoken Here itunesbuy
6. Chicken Soup itunesbuy
7. Bad Girl Dreams itunesbuy
8. All My Lovin' itunesbuy
9. One of the Boys itunesbuy
10. The Peter Principle at Work itunesbuy
11. (I'm a) Card-Carrying Bleeding Heart Liberal itunesbuy
12. Surprise itunesbuy
13. Winter in Manhattan (song by the Accidentals) itunesbuy


Christine Lavin’s new CD, folkZinger, her 17th solo release, continues her lyrical focus on the foibles of contemporary life. Far more than a comedienne with a guitar, Christine creates theatrical vignettes in many of her songs by utilizing hilarious spoken-word anecdotes and mini-skits, occasional sound effects, and an ever-broadening palette of arrangements.

Everyday absurdities and indignities remain the backbone (and funnybone) of Christine’s repertoire. Whether it’s the latest approach to safe sex (“Bad Girl Dreams”), the nightmare of uncancelable e-mail subscriptions (“Chicken Soup”), or a yearning for an imaginary-sounding but real island paradise free of telemarketers, ring-tones, and even the words for “want” or “hurry” (“Moken Spoken Here”), Christine presents these scenarios for our amusement. For contrast, there’s also a quiet, thoughtful take on 21st Century midlife crises (“The Bends”), a charming reminiscence of her staid grandfather’s moment of athletic glory (“One of the Boys”), a torchy “makeout” version of The Beatles’ “All My Lovin’” and a cover of Donovan’s cheery “Happiness Runs” that includes Chris’s account of her airborne encounter with her future Appleseed label-mate. 

FolkZinger displays several new influences in Christine’s creative life. Since August 2004, she has been a regular performer at the weekly “Cast Party” show at the Birdland jazz club in New York, meeting and singing with vocalists and musicians from outside the folk world, some of whom appear on this CD. Her friendship with iconic songwriter Ervin Drake (“Good Morning Heartache,” “I Believe,” “It Was a Very Good Year”) has led to folkZinger’s most overtly political songs – the co-written “The Peter Principle At Work,” about “a leader who never had a clue,” and Drake’s humorously defiant “(I’m a) Card-Carrying Bleeding Heart Liberal,” recorded “live” by Christine and the members of her songwriting class at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. The award-winning New York a cappella octet The Accidentals, several of whom appeared on Christine’s 2003 holiday CD, The Runaway Christmas Tree (as did Drake, who appears in cameo on folkZinger), provide a bonus-track version of Lavin’s “Winter in Manhattan,” a witty tribute to the Big Apple that is also presented here in a Christine-fronted arrangement. 

Coinciding with her new friendships was a new recording process: starting in February 2004, Christine and producer Brian Bauers, the 20-something leader of the New York rock group The WMDs, met on a monthly basis in a basement recording studio just to capture her latest songs on tape. Prior to this, Brian had never heard Christine’s music, nor Christine his, but a year into the project they realized that a CD was emerging from these workshop sessions.

Despite the spontaneity of the recording, the outcome is a beautifully crafted fusion of Lavin’s alternately wise and frazzled vocals, folkish acoustic guitar, and the fresh musical input of multi-instrumentalist Bauers, “Cast Party” friends, longtime folk performer Robin Batteau (violin), The Accidentals, and even Christine’s young nephews (heard on Ervin Drake’s brief opening poem, “Armageddon”). 



other releases:
One Meat Ball

Sometimes Mother Really Knows Best
You Can't Relive the Past
The Runaway Christmas Tree