Performing Songwriter Magazine: Anna Christie: Elixir For The Human Heart
*******NAMED IN TOP 12 INDEPENDENT ALBUMS OF 2005
"The sound on Elixir for the Human Heart is sophisticated; alto sax joins sparse acoustic guitar and gentle percussion. Over it all come Anna Christie’s vocals, as delicate and ethereal as the wind she sings about in “Come In.” Her melodies are jazzy and feel almost improvisational. Lyrics are introspective and cerebral, while maintaining a sense of lightness.
Stellar tracks include “Half Hidden,” in which Christie sings about overcoming fear. “Whiskey grows smaller with every sip, I get smaller by the taste of it / dreamer get up, you keep walking.” A frolicking violin line plays a loose game of call and response with the lyrics. The sassy “Damsels” is another highlight. A high-energy Cajun drumbeat lays the foundation for lyrics condemning the typical portrayal of women in fairy tales as “damsels in distress.” Christie is fresh and different, and Elixir may just be the cure for what ails you."
Montgomery Newspapers, Philadelphia area, PA
Anna Christie brings ‘Elixir for the Human Heart’ to Sellersville’s ‘Singer-Songwriter Conspiracy’
By Nikki Stella, Correspondent
“Elixir for the Human Heart,” Anna Christie’s debut CD, is a soulful and melodic path towards restoration through song. In a recent telephone interview from her home, Christie explained, “The title is how I feel about music and its power to heal. I want to ease people and it is a way for me to share what is going on in my life.” Selling out her first show at XPN’s World Café Live and playing venues like the Tin Angel and New York City’s the Living Room, it appears she has built a solid following and is accomplishing her goal.
Citing influences like Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder and Ani DiFranco, Christie clearly has bits and pieces of each of these legendary music makers in her songs. Regardless of influence, her individual vocal stylings pour out of the speakers like a smooth red wine that has aged and matured to perfection. Amazingly enough, this voice is that of a youthful 20-year-old.
Christie began writing songs when she was 15. She and her siblings were home schooled and it is this experience that she believes gave her a solid songwriting foundation. “It taught me to think for myself,” she explained, “We learned Shakespeare plays and poetry, which I loved. I started to write my own poetry and then that turned into songwriting.”
Her first song, she admits, “was a one-chord piece that simply moved up and down the neck of the guitar.” But today, Christie noted that she works to hone her craft. “I write every day. Sometimes a song is pure inspiration and will seem to move through me, but it is very rare. Typically I will find a melody and over a period of time it comes together.”
It is time and diligence that has given Christie an “Elixir” that is filled with rich lyrics and instrumental layers. In recording this album she has surrounded herself with world-class musicians such as Travis Wetzel (“The “Mad Fiddler”) on violin and jazz artist Richie Cole on alto sax. Both musicians add different ingredients to the mix and gently wrap around Christie’s already lush vocals.
The first track, “Angel Wings,” opens with a distinct bluesy film-noir flavor, with Christie’s vocals and Cole’s sax both “singing” together a soulful duet that cries out to God for release and redemption. The tracks that follow are equally filled with mystery and longing as well as vocal and instrumental interplay.
On Friday, Jan. 27, Christie will be playing as a part of the Singer-Songwriter Conspiracy at Sellersville Theater 1894. The evening will showcase some of the area’s best in local talent. Also in the lineup are the Travis Wetzel Trio, John Francis, Hoots & Hellmouth, Sharon Little and Sisters Three, which features Christie and her two sisters, Beatrice and Cassandra. According to Christie, “The show will cover a wide variety of music. Each and every one of these performers puts on an incredible live show.”
Paramount to the organization and promotion of the Singer-Songwriter Conspiracy is Christie’s father, Dennis Sadler. Sadler, a fine art and antique dealer by trade, has also taken on an important role in Christie’s musical career as her manager. As Christie explained, “When you are creative, it is important to have someone take on this role [i.e., booking shows and promoting the music] and it is especially nice for me to have someone I trust taking it on.” In the liner notes of the CD she thanks him for his “utter faith in me and my music and for simply being the unique person that he is.”
Currently, they are in the process of planning a tour and an album that will include her sisters, both of whom sing harmonies on “Elixir for the Human Heart.”
Singer&Musician (Formerly Singer Magazine): Anna Christie: Elixir For The Human Heart
Imagine—having a legendary saxman like Richie Cole volunteering to appear on your first CD. You could call it luck, but Anna Christie has the style and talent that attracts such serendipity. Her voice has a natural and genuine ‘60s singer/songwriter quality that floats wonderfully along with Cole’s rich, sweet alto. Anna has been writing poetry, singing and acting in stage plays from as far back as she remembers. In her mid-teens, she began penning songs and playing guitar, performing live with friends, honing her skills in preparation for this, her first CD. After hearing a sampling of the tracks for the CD, Cole volunteered to join the project. Other great musicians followed, including Bob Harris (personal accompianist for Vassar Clemmons), Drummer Steve Hollaway (River Dance), the great mad violinist Travis Wetzel, and pedal steel guitarist Joe Dye. Adding vocal harmonies are Anna’s sisters Cassandra and Beatrice Sadler. Anna has a powerful voice with an edge that could shatter a wine glass, or be as soft as silk blowing in a breeze. Her style tosses Jazz, Folk and acoustic rock with a bluesy touch of soul. Her songs have evolved from the poetry she has written throughout her life and reflect her hope that lyrical beauty can unite people. Fresh, full of life and most enjoyable. -RL
she was young, AnnaChristie has been a singer, a writer,
and a performer. She sang in musicals, wrote poetry, acted
in stage plays. Around age 16, she began writing songs
and playing guitar, performing live with friends and family.
Since then, she has worked hard to hone her skills, to
craft songs to release on a full length album.
booking, Anna worked in the studio with her friend, Joshua
Komorowski of Love Syndicate, to record her first demo.
Not only did she begin to get gigs, but she saw the demand
for her CDs. From there, work began on the full length
album. In preparation for the Philadelphia Folk Fest, AnnaChristie
took some basic tracks from the album and had them mixed
as a demo.
hearing a demo recording, Ritchie Cole (legendary Jazz
alto -sax player), volunteered to appear on her first recording. Soon
after other great musicians followed...Bob Harris (President
of Ampersand Records, and personal accompianist for legendary
Vassar Clements)...Steve Hollaway (drummer on the Irish
Dance Musical "River Dance"),...and the great
mad violinist Travis Wetzel, among others such as pedal
steel guitarist Joe Dye who joined the project. She
is also aided by her talented sisters Cassandra and Beatrice
Sadler with the vocal harmonies on some tunes.
of this writing, her first recording is almost finished,
and promises to be quite exciting...rough unfinished cuts
can be heard on this web site. Her songs are new
as well as classical in composition. No one sounds
quite like her. She has an extraordinary voice that
at one second could break glass, and in the next moment
becomes soft as a flower petal. Her style is a mix
somewhere between Jazz and Folk with a bluesy touch of
Soul. Her songs have evolved from the poetry
she has written throughout her life and reflect her hope
that lyrical beauty can unite people.
those interested in booking her, she is available alone
or with Travis Wetzel or Ritchie Cole. Currently, she is
attending West Chester University.
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