Here's the scene: It's late at night. Just after a sold out show at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC. Christine Kane is out front signing CD's and talking to people hanging out in the lobby. Two high school girls find their way through a crowd mostly older than them. They approach Christine shyly and ask her to sign their CD's and then after chatting briefly, there's a long pause and one of them says "You ROCK." And then the other one agrees. "Yea, you ROCK." They walk away. Christine laughs out loud. "I love it when people say that! It's the ultimate compliment. I almost never feel like someone who ROCKS."
But she does. Okay, so maybe not in the usual way. She doesn't play with a band in a smoky barroom and bark out throaty blues numbers cursing the lover who left last week. Christine plays solo. She plays acoustic. She can crank out some cool riffs on the guitar and rip her way through a modern-girl-woes song like "If I Were Me," and then have the audience laughing hysterically at some story about a turtle she just tried to rescue on the highway during rush hour traffic. Then, without blinking an eye, she can softly shift gears into "You Don't Have to Say Goodnight" a song that leaves the room dead silent, save for the sound of dusty crumpled up tissues being pulled out of purses.
Here's how Christine rocks: She lives wide open. She performs wide open. She's not afraid to be vulnerable, outrageous, accessible, and hopeful. There's no walls between her and her audience. She's all about what's real and what's fun and all the wild junk of life. One reviewer put it this way: "Christine's songs and her delivery are sexy. I say this with utmost respect, because in her music she manages to walk a delicate line between mature woman and little kid, and this tension remains present and, happily,
Christine started out like lots of musicians start out. In bars. For her it was the bar and club scene across the Southeast. The kind of places that either kill you or send you screaming into the limelight. And Christine quickly moved on to some pretty high visibility stuff. Like opening for Nanci Griffith at the Summer Olympics, or joining Rosanne Cash on stage to sing a duet to Rosanne's "Seven Year Ache." Last summer she opened for Los Lobos in front of their hometown Los Angeles audience. And it wasn't just that typical thing where the opening act plays and then silently and forgettably leaves the venue. Christine sold almost 250 CD's. And she turned an audience into a fan-base. Most recently, she performed with the Beach Boys during their annual summer rounds across the country.
Christine's first CD, This Time Last Year, was recorded in a friend's basement. It is sparse, understated, and filled with touching moments of brilliant writing. Shortly after its release Putumayo Records included Christine's song "Off the Ground" on the hip release Women's Work, a compilation featuring greats like Ani DiFranco, Janice Ian, and Vonda Shepherd.
Christine's second CD, A Thousand Girls, was a testimony to her growth as both songwriter and producer. Taking almost a year to record, A Thousand Girls was filled with textures and rhythms as well as the poetic lyrical style that Christine's fans had come to expect. Apple Computers chose A Thousand Girls as the CD that would demonstrate their highly regarded QuickTime software at their national expositions and on their website.
The growing popularity of Christine's live shows prompted the recent release of her third album, Live. Recorded at a well-known club in the Southeast (The Down Home), Live is a mix of old and new songs, including the highly-requested "Southern Girl," which has been covered by a number of artists and has received a movie soundtrack offer. Christine begins work on a new studio album this winter.
Christine has played everywhere from coffeehouses to college campuses to major festivals. She was named one of the top three college performers of 1998 by Campus Activities Today magazine. She has headlined at Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival, Asheville's Bele Chere Festival, and the Madison Folk Festival; and she's been a showcase performer at the legendary Philadelphia Folk Festival. This fall Christine will be headlining at three festivals benefiting "Girls on the Move" a National Outward Bound sponsored program for high school girls.