EPK

An optimistic blend of smooth jazz, light pop and easy soul.

— Tom Harrison, The Vancouver Sun

Press Release

Title: Golden Thread
Release Date: September 14th, 2016

Veteran singer-songwriter, Christie Grace, announces the release of her third studio album, Golden Thread. Produced by Juno award-winning producer/composer/performer Chris Gestrin, Golden Thread was inspired during a three-week journey to Big Sur, California.

“I came here to face myself, now there’s nowhere left to run.” The following months of catharsis and eventual resolution were the catalyst for the songs that became this album of self-healing.

On her most personal album yet, Christie shares a confessional collection of songs that finds light in the darkness. Blending modern jazz styles with pop, folk and R&B influences, producer Gestrin creates a mood of dreams and shadows as Christie’s signature honey voice weaves true tales of loss, love and redemption.

“This is a healing album,” says Christie, “it’s about revisiting life’s greatest and darkest moments to achieve an inner peace as we move through this beautiful and surprising world.”

Highlights include the jubilant “Let Your Happy Free” with a spoken cameo by Jim Byrnes, the haunting “Golden Thread” which speaks to her struggle to find answers from her deceased mother and the catchy debut single “Unconditional Love” which celebrates a profound honoring of enduring love.

Christie Grace has a sound that washes over you like sweet honey and fine wine. She has it all.
– Paul Shaffer, Canadian Music Icon and former Musical Director for Late Night with David Letterman

Read Christie’s Bio here.

Press Links

1) Listen to Christie’s interview on CBC’s Hot Air with Margaret Gallagher here:
http://www.cbc.ca/1.3767529

2) Read Christie’s interview in the North Shore News with Christine Lyon here:
http://www.nsnews.com/entertainment/music/christie-grace-spins-a-golden-thread-1.2345301

3) Christie sings at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, NYC:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/cabaret/article/Photo-Flash-Justin-Squigs-Robertson-Draws-the-Stars-at-Jim-Carusos-Cast-Party-20161116

Praise / Liner Notes / Musician Credits

America is about to discover what Canada has already known.– Barry Rosen, WHCJ 90.3 FM The Voice of Savannah State University

Brilliant and stellar…. a masterpiece!– Jeff Moses, WJMX Smooth Jazz Boston

With a mix of deep soul, easy swing and global vibes, veteran Canadian jazz sensation Christie Grace’s intimate and infectious new album “Golden Thread” is a masterful self-healing project inspired by a three week journey to Big Sur, California. Grace lends her gorgeous, emotional voice on “Golden Thread” producing pure vocal gold. – Jonathan Widran, Smooth Jazz Radio

The chops of Patti Austin, the depth of Joni Mitchell and the sensitivity of Karen Carpenter. Christie Grace sings effortlessly with a pure tone reminiscent of Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell & Sarah McLachlan. – John Proulx (Grammy Award-winning Composer)

The beautiful and memorable songs on “Golden Thread” glow with the unmistakable positivity and soulfulness that defines Christie Grace. – Jeremy Siskind

An optimistic blend of smooth jazz, light pop and easy soul. – Tom Harrison, The Vancouver Sun

Christie Grace has a sound that washes over you like sweet honey and fine wine. She has it all.” – Paul Shaffer, Canadian Music Icon and former Musical Director for Late Night with David Letterman

“I think Christie Grace has learned to walk away from the gaudy neon-encrusted stairway to heaven, and spend time with the thread, that single golden thread, from which we might just weave a heaven right here—however imperfectly, as long as we give it our best.” – Spider Robinson, Hugo Award and Nebula Award-winning science fiction author

I am honored that Christie Grace asked me to write liner notes for her latest album, Golden Thread. I had the privilege of meeting Christie while she was on scholarship at the Interplay Jazz and Arts Camp in Woodstock, Vermont. I was one of the vocal teachers there, and knew the instant I heard her sing that she was a very special and sensitive artist. Her range in vocal ability from the pure and intimate to the bluesy and powerful blew me away! I later learned how her unique sound had deep musical roots, influenced by her talented father’s and brother’s professional musical prominence in Thunder Bay, Ontario, (Christie’s home town). This natural foundation blossomed into a successful professional music career among Vancouver’s West Coast jazz scene. Naturally, when she sent me the tracks for her new project, I was filled with eager anticipation. What I heard did not disappoint!

Upon my first listen to the album, comprising 13 original songs co-written with Juno award-winning producer, pianist and long-time collaborator Chris Gestrin, I was amazed by how great everything sounded, from the lush recording itself to the brilliance of the musicians, the well-crafted originals (both melodically and lyrically) and the seamless melding of both acoustic and electronic instruments. It’s the kind of record that you need to listen to from start to finish in that each song unfolds into the next with a specific arc (like a good book you can’t put down). It is the kind of album that you will be drawn to listen to repeatedly, each time discovering something fresh and new.

Golden Thread was crafted over a period of five-and-half years of an intensely reflective journey punctuated by unexpected health, financial, and family challenges along the way. Choosing not to abandon her vision, Christie overcame these roadblocks to further her collaborative commitment with Chris to make this album a musical and engineering work of art. The project was recorded in Chris Gestrin’s state-of-the-art home studio to great effect. Equipped with a huge repertoire of carefully collected electric pianos, old organs, and tons of electronic gear, Chris creates compelling sounds, nuances and colors. Also worth mentioning is that Christie’s vocals were recorded on the Neumann KM-86 microphone also used by Stevie Wonder on many of his recordings. The Yamaha grand piano played by Chris also holds special significance for the local jazz community because it was purchased from Vancouver’s most beloved jazz club, “The Jazz Cellar.” Owned by the internationally renowned saxophonist Cory Weeds, the club was home to many musicians and Cory recorded numerous award-winning live recordings there. In the studio, Chris’s masterful, relaxed and encouraging direction created an optimal recording environment that brought out the best in Christie and all the musicians involved. The entire vibe was “free of ego and tons of fun” resulting in joyous co-creation where Christie felt entirely at home.

Representing Vancouver’s exceptionally talented music community, the main musicians on the album are those with whom Christie has performed live for many years. These include Chris Gestrin, James Danderfer, Daryl Jahnke, Joel Fountain, and André Lachance, along with many accomplished musicians mentioned in the track listing. Being based in the U.S., I was not personally familiar with most of the musicians on this record, except for Jodi Proznick whom I had the pleasure of playing with in Arizona several years back.

Since all of the songs on the album are compelling it’s hard to pick a favorite. There are, however, a few songs that really spoke to me. “Let Your Happy Free,” with a great arrangement by Chris Gestrin, is a fun and swinging tune that starts out with a spoken word intro by Jim Byrnes. It then goes into a medium-up swing feel with well-arranged horn hits, followed by an impressive bebop trumpet solo by Brad Turner. Also noteworthy is Christie’s vocalise (think Jon Hendricks) that she executes with great precision. Another song that stood out to me was “Speak to Me,” reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Its bluesy melody and Tower of Power-like horn hits really make this a fun tune to listen to. The Hammond B-3 by Chris Gestrin and electric guitar by Russell Marsland harken back to the sound of the Motown era. Switching gears to a more “straight-ahead” jazz ballad style, I particularly liked the tune, “Hopeful Romantic.” It opens with a beautiful rubato verse with just voice and piano, like a Great American Songbook tune you think you’ve heard before. Christie’s intimate vocals, and Chris’s sensitive piano accompaniment are especially poignant. It then goes into a “2-Feel” walking ballad tempo with the addition of ukulele and bass, and the sound of a record player as the backdrop. This song reminds me of something that would have been written in the 1930’s – classic, sweet, and swingin’.

These beautiful songs demonstrate Christie’s growth as a singer and songwriter. Her vocal performances are informed by her confidence and artistic maturity. “I’ve come into my own and thoroughly enjoy using my instrument in whatever way best serves the song, with the control and skill I’ve honed. It’s time to strut my stuff.” She easily maneuvers through a variety of styles on this new record, from jazz and folk to funk and R&B. Her vocals can be clear and intimate as demonstrated on “Luminescence” and ”Hopeful Romantic,” but they also deliver the strong and powerful (mezzo-alto) side of her too, as shown on “Speak to Me” and “Let Your Happy Free.”

Throughout her recording cycle, Christie had the rare opportunity to work with two skilled masters and influential mentors via Skype: Sheila Jordan, the 2012 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and Madeleine Kole, Christie’s personal voice coach from New York. Sheila said, “Christie Grace is a wonderful heartfelt singer. When I hear Christie sing I believe every word that comes out of her heart and her soul. She’s beautiful and then some.” And Madeleine described Christie as having, “ the chops of Patti Austin, the depth of Joni Mitchell and the sensitivity of Karen Carpenter.” I would add that Christie sings effortlessly with a pure tone reminiscent of Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell & Sarah McLachlan.

All of the songs on the album were written during a life-enhancing solo road trip along the California/Oregon Coast all the way to Christie’s ocean-front home on British Columbia’s West Coast. The rain, streams and Pacific Ocean sounds you hear on the album were all from her backyard. The genesis for Golden Thread took root in 2010 when Christie retraced her mother’s travels of self-discovery to Esalen (an internationally renowned retreat center on the cliffs of Big Sur, California) in the early 70’s. While there, Christie quickly found herself in a kind of intense déjà vu of ‘unspeakable shadows’ that she had gone there to confront.“ I came here to face myself, now there’s nowhere left to run.” The following months of catharsis and eventual resolution were the catalyst for the songs that became this album of self-healing. Through conversation with Christie, she described how “Golden Thread lyrically portrays the chiaroscuro of a life journey where threads of light are woven into the shadows until the tapestry is illuminated.”

As a child, Christie found solace in the interplay of music and nature, which serves as the touchstone to move her beyond the fears that gripped her. On “Luminescence” and “His Secret,” she reconciles the haunting confusion surrounding family secrets, her father’s suicide and her brother’s tragic death. On “Free the Child,” she sets free and gives voice to the silenced child traumatized by an act of violation. She shares personal relationship experiences on “Hopeful Romantic,” “Speak To Me,” and “He.” Christie also expresses a profound honoring of enduring love with “Unconditional Love,” and “He Lays Me Down.” She celebrates mother, daughter and sisterly love on “I Believe in You,” and “One of A Kind.” These songs are all united by “Golden Thread,” the needle that she once lost, and reclaims at the journey’s end with “Out of the Ether of the Periphery.” Although this is Christie’s personal story, the themes of loss, pain, reconciliation, healing, and joy are universal and something everyone can relate to. Congratulations to Christie and Chris, and to all those involved in this wonderful project. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

John Proulx
Recording Artist, Pianist, Vocalist and Grammy-winning Composer
Orange County, Los Angeles, CA

1. One of a Kind
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Rebecca Shoichet – Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Fender Rhodes, MicroMoog, Prophet 5, samples
Michael Blake – Soprano Sax
Liam MacDonald – Congas, Tambourine, Caxixi, Shaker

2. He Lays Me Down
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Fender Rhodes, MicroMoog, samples and loops
James Danderfer – Tenor Sax
André Lachance – Acoustic Bass
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

3. Luminescence
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals, Bell
Chris Gestrin – Piano, samples and loops
Daryl Jahnke – Nylon String Guitar
James Danderfer – Clarinets
Brad Turner – Trumpet and Flugel Horn
Jodi Proznick – Acoustic Bass
Liam MacDonald – Congas, Shakers, Caxixi, Wood Block, Shells, Bass Drum, Bells and Wood Chimes
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

4. Free the Child
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Suzuki TO-37R, Piano, Fender Rhodes, MiniMoog, Korg ,Wavestation, samples and loops
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic Guitar
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

5. Let Your Happy Free
Christie Grace – Vocals
Jim Byrnes – Spoken word introduction
Chris Gestrin – Fender Rhodes
Bill Coon – Electric Guitar
James Danderfer – Alto and Tenor Saxophones
Brad Turner – Trumpets
Rod Murray – Trombone
Liam MacDonald – Congas
Jodi Proznick – Acoustic Bass
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

6. Unconditional Love
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Prophet 5, Roland MKS80 and EP30, Glockenspiel, MicroMoog, Bells, Samples and Loops
Daryl Jahnke – Nylon String Guitar
James Danderfer – Clarinets
Tom Keenlyside – Flute and Alto Flute
Brad Turner – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Jodi Proznick – Acoustic Bass
Liam MacDonald – Bongos, Broom Drum, Triangle, Shaker,
Tambourine, Shells, Pandero
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

7. His Secret
Christie Grace – Vocals
Chris Gestrin – MiniMoog, Samples and Loops
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
James Danderfer – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Alto Flute
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

8. Speak to Me
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Rebecca Shoichet – Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ, MicroMoog
Russell Marsland – Electric Guitar
James Danderfer – Tenor Sax
Brad Turner – Trumpet
Rod Murray – Trombone
Liam MacDonald – Congas, Tambourine, Shaker, Bells
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

9. Hopeful Romantic
Christie Grace – Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Piano, Glockenspiel
Bill Coon – Nylon string Guitar
Ralph Shaw – Ukulele
James Danderfer – Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Brad Turner – Trumpet
Rod Murray – Trombone
Jodi Proznick – Acoustic Bass
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

10. I Believe in You
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Rebecca Shoichet – Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Piano
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
James Danderfer – Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones
Brad Turner – Trumpets
Rod Murray – Trombones
André Lachance – Electric Bass
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

11. Golden Thread
Christie Grace – Vocals
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Jodi Proznick – Acoustic Bass
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

12. He
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Fender Rhodes, MicroMoog, Prophet 5, Korg Wavestation, Shaker, Caxixi, Bells, Samples and Loops
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
James Danderfer – Clarinet
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

13. Out of the Ether of the Periphery
Christie Grace – Lead and Background Vocals
Chris Gestrin – Piano, Roland MKS80, MiniMoog, Prophet 5, Shaker, samples and loops
Daryl Jahnke – Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Elisa Thorn – Harp
Jon Bentley – Soprano Sax
Meredith Bates – Violin
Liam MacDonald – Congas
Joel Fountain – Drums and Cymbals

Listen

Tracklisting:
1. One of a Kind 3:10
2. He Lays Me Down 4:03
3. Luminescence 4:56
4. Free the Child 4:44
5. Let Your Happy Free 3:24
6. Unconditional Love 3:55
7. His Secret 3:30
8. Speak to Me 4:41
9. Hopeful Romantic 5:05
10. I Believe in You 4:39
11. Golden Thread 4:28
12. He 4:36
13. Out of the Ether of the Periphery 7:30

Lyrics available here.

High Resolution Images

Inquiries

For interviews, guest list, or promotional copies of Golden Thread, please get in touch with Christie Grace by emailing info@christiegracemusic.com or calling 778-888-1478.

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