Nashville - Tennessee - United States
About the Band
Julie Christensen’s new band Stone Cupid, a kindred spirit to her post-punk powerhouse Divine Horsemen, headed to the studio with producer Jeff Turmes last spring to capture a debut album released January 22nd, 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. 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.” 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. 2003-2006 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 with a rock band, envisioning big-stage concert and festival gigs, and she couldn’t be happier.
Producer Turmes, who’s worked with such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Tom Waits and Richard Thompson, was again with Julie 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 includes artful tunes from Kevin Gordon, Chuck Prophet and others, including a bonus track of Stone Cupid's version of "Anthem," by Leonard Cohen, and a healthy helping of Christensen originals. “I’m so fired up with what we’re doing,” she says, 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 2015
"You may not have heard of Stone Cupid, but you certainly have heard its founder, Julie Christensen, whose sublime vocals graced many recordings and live dates with Leonard Cohen. She formed this band in Nashville to explore her rock side and wrote its songs solo or with some folks you might know -- Chuck Prophet, David Olney, Kevin Gordon, and Cohen himself. Her return should not come as a complete surprise, since she co-fronted the LA punk-roots band Divine Horsemen in the early 1980s. To quote Skip Anderson in his ND review last year, "Her swagger is true to her rebellious punk-rock roots, and refined through working with the likes of Cohen, Iggy Pop, Public Image Limited, and Todd Rundgren [who produced an unreleased solo album]." Christensen has worn coats of many different colors, and this one's red. The Cardinal took flight on January 22." —Amos Perrine, No Depression
“The Cardinal professes faith in Roots music with percussive patters (“Saint on a Chain”), Blue twang (“Would You Love Me”), and Country Rock (“Broken Wing”). With its roots deep, Stone Cupid gives the tracks freedom to wander in rock bombast without the need for studio glitz and polish. The characters that walk through Julie Christensen’s stories are supported in their decisions and missteps with the richness of her vocals, aged in fronting her band Divine Horsemen, and providing background harmony for Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen. As the rhythms of “No Mercy” become a whirling froth, they are stirred with snarling guitars as the six string x2 continues to take leads, creating a current for “Girl in the Sky” to float on a river of sparse riffs and airy chord swells. The double guitars on The Cardinal subtly give the album a structured border as they chop chords, nipping at the beat with snaking licks in “Live and Not Die Trying”, gently cradling “Anthem” as it searches for signs, lightly touching “Broken as I Am” with textured guitar tones, cutting deep rows through “Riverside”, and pulling their six strings tighter to give wings to the title track.” —Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root
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The Cardinal - Details
Label: Stone Cupid Music
Genres: Rock, Pop
Styles: Roots Rock, AAA
Songs on the Album