TAKE ME AS I AM
The new album from Christopher Cross is available now at these online retailers:
"Take Me As I Am" is a unique offering from Christopher Cross, a hybrid of sorts – the songs are instrumentals with choruses to create the lyrical landscape. This is not quite a “guitar” album, but it leaves the listener with no question about his expertise on the subject. Two very special songs are “Roberta," dedicated to Christopher’s mentor, Joni Mitchell, and “Truth” with a lyric by Rob Meurer, one of the last songs Rob wrote before his tragic passing. This song is sung as a duet with Gigi Worth, a name that will be familiar to Christopher’s fans. Gigi and Rob were also very close, which makes her performance on this track all the more meaningful. The album closes with a song in memory of Rob called "Alvah," (Rob’s middle name), which features beautiful string arrangements by Chris Walden. In Christopher’s words, “It was a blessing to work with all these talented folks in the making of this album which holds so many bittersweet emotions for me. I didn't expect to make another one, but, as Rob reminded me once, it's what we do.” Enjoy!
Drums – Keith Carlock
Bass – Will Lee
Sax – Andy Suzuki
Keyboards – Eddy Hobizal
Vocals on “Down to The Wire” – Erin Ivey
Vocals on “Baby It’s All You” – Kim Parent,
Marcia Ramirez, and Britt Savage
Vocals on “Truth” – Gigi Worth
I hope you are well. I wanted to check in and let you know what's up with me. I have had a very full tour calendar for 2017. I want to thank everyone at UTA, my booking agency, and 21st Century Artists, my management team.
I have also been busy working to complete my new album, “Take Me As I Am.” It is quite a different concept from my past albums. Lots of fans have asked me to make a “guitar album.” I have too much respect for my brilliant compadres Eric Johnson, Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather to attempt that. This is my humble offering, a hybrid of sorts – the songs are instrumentals with choruses to create the lyrical landscape. It's rather unique and, I’m happy to say, it is getting a great reception from those who have heard it.
The album features some very gifted players. Reprising their incredible contributions to "Secret Ladder" are Keith Carlock on drums, and Will Lee on bass. They are joined by Eddy Hobizal on piano and Andy Suzuki on sax from my live band. One song, “Down To The Wire," features a wonderful singer from Austin, Erin Ivey. Providing harmonies on “Baby It’s All You” are Marcia Ramirez and Kim Parent (also from my live band), and a wonderful Nashville vocalist, Britt Savage.
Bernie Grundman in LA mastered it. Bernie has done most of my recent albums. Linda Callaway who heads Christopher Cross Records has done a wonderful job getting the album ready for release on December 1st. It will be available for download on iTunes and Amazon, streaming on Apple Music and CDs will be sold on Amazon. This will be a US only release for now sorry.
Two very special songs are “Roberta," dedicated to my mentor, Joni Mitchell, and one very dear to my heart, “Truth” with a lyric by Rob Meurer, one of the last things Rob did before his tragic passing. The track is a duet with Gigi Worth, a name you all know well. Gigi and Rob were also very close, which makes her performance on this track all the more meaningful.
The album closes with a song in memory of Rob called "Alvah" (Rob’s middle name) which, along with “Take Me As I Am,” features beautiful string arrangements by Chris Walden.
It was a blessing to work with all these talented folks in the making of this album which holds so many bittersweet emotions for me. I didn't expect to make another one but, as Rob reminded me once, it's what we do.
I wish you all a healthy, happy holiday season, and hope you see you in 2018.
My love and gratitude.
"We all lost a wonderful artist, and a good friend Monday. I toured with the Eagles in the early 80's, then Glenn and I did a tour together in Japan. I will always treasure those good times."
By John T. Davis
Special to the American-Statesman
According to one sensibility, certain voices are immutably welded to their moment in time, never to transcend it. By that yardstick, the Beach Boys will be forever married to the sunny 1960s; the Doobie Brothers (with golden-toned vocalist Michael McDonald) evoke the tumult of Watergate and the bitter denouement of Vietnam. And Christopher Cross embodies the pinnacle of adult contemporary radio’s perfect pop production line, as much a product of the early 1980s as an episode of “Miami Vice.”
Alternatively, you could make the argument that some voices — through repetition, transgenerational affection and sheer prowess — become, in effect, timeless.
On Wednesday night at ACL Live, Cross, McDonald and the Beach Boys’ Mike Love (along with guitarist Eric Johnson) made a compelling case for the latter point of view.
The occasion was “Christopher Cross and Friends,” a special PBS taping produced by KLRU, which will yield a musical special and a DVD.
Hometown boy Cross has always retained a big reservoir of affection in Austin, though he seldom plays locally. So his appearance in front of a sold-out house, along with the chance to showcase his friends and mentors Love, McDonald and Johnson, had a special resonance to his fans.
Opening with a decades-spanning pair of tracks (“Got to Be a Better Way” from 2014’s “Secret Ladder” and “Never Be the Same” from his chart-topping 1979 debut), Cross combined deft guitar work with a crackerjack band. Throughout the evening he was abetted at various times by the “Barton Strings,” members of the Austin Symphony conducted by Peter Bay, and the Conspirare Youth Choir. (“Their grandparents are all big fans of mine,” Cross noted wryly.)
But it was the voices, echoes of a million radio hits and 45 singles past, that carried the evening. Whereas Love’s weathered voice (he turns 75 in March) tempered the Endless Summer vibe of “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo,” and McDonald’s regal tone on “What A Fool Believes” and “Takin’ It to the Streets” has darkened and mellowed like port wine, Cross’ airy, high-tenor vocals seem almost eerily unaffected by the passage of time.
Cross never came close to repeating the massive success of his first album and the Oscar that came his way for co-writing and singing the theme to the movie “Arthur.” “Radio and tastes change and a lot of my records slipped under the water,” he noted without rancor.
But he’s never stopped making music, and his love for his craft was evident at every turn. And although the encore number, John Lennon’s “Imagine” with all hands on deck, might have been the emotional climax of the evening, it was the effervescent Wall of Sound blitz — strings cranking, choir piping, sax and guitars wailing — of Cross’ breakout hit “Ride Like the Wind” that was the musical high point for this Reviewer Of A Certain Age. You could maybe call it dated. But from my seat, it sounded timeless.
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