I just got back from a month touring South America, New Zealand and Australia. The shows went really well, and while I was far away, my heart was with my fellow Texans in Houston.
As many of you know I have been working with The Gary Sinise Foundation on veterans causes, and Gary has jumped in and is helping raise funds for the victims.
He is also planning a concert in Houston in Nov. I will join hm for that.
Please go to this link and give what you can. The work to help the folks will be long and challenging, but every little bit helps.
I have had a rough time since losing Rob September 24th. We had 2 wonderful memorials in LA and Austin that were very healing for me and provided a nice opportunity for many to meet Rob’s wife Beth, and daughter Anne.
However, not a day goes by without him in my heart and mind...sometimes fate is a mysterious beast.
I wanted to bring you up to date with what else is going on in my life. As most of you know I have a grandson, Sailor, who is 18 months, the child of my oldest son, Justin, and his lovely wife, Kelly. Sailor is a joy and I’m having a ball with him. We were just in Orlando playing at Disney World, so the family came down and we had a wonderful time. It’s so much fun to relive those experiences I had with my kids when they were young.
I’ve also been hard at work on a new, as yet untitled, album. Many fans have been asking for a guitar-centric album, and this is my answer.
The first song I wrote and recorded as tribute to my mentor Joni Mitchell, called “Roberta.” (You may have heard it on my site, or on Joni’s webpage.) The remaining tracks are in much the same "pseudo instrumental” style.
The album will have 12 tracks and will feature me on guitar, Andy Suzuki on sax, and Eddy Hobizal on keys. Will Lee and Keith Carlock will reprise their amazing bass and drum roles that you heard on Secret Ladder. The motif of the tracks is solos by me and the players, with a repeating chorus which is sung. The lyrics give you the essence of the theme, but leave the rest to your own imagination. I think it's quite unique and I'm really happy with the results.
There is one lyric written by Rob for the song, “Truth,” which I am deeply grateful to have. He competed it just before his passing. I recorded it as a duet which features a dear friend of Rob’s and mine, someone you all know, Gigi Worth. I hope to have the CD out this spring. It also will have a very cool cover which I will tell you more about later.
The other thing on my radar is my alter ego project which was called “1% Wally" but is now called “Boris & Natasha." I started with the tracks from the 1% Wally album but replaced 2 tracks and revamped the remaining tracks with a vintage Wurlitzer piano instead of the steel guitar and added a 2nd guitar. Sadly, I don't think you will see this band anywhere other than Austin, Texas where we are planning a residency gig one night a week for the month of February at Strange Brew. But don’t fret...I will post the album as a free download here soon. It’s been a fun project I have been trying to get off the ground for a while. I tried in Nashville and hope to have better luck in Austin. It’s very simple music but fun to play. I think it sounds like Nora Jones meets Steely Dan, but who knows?
We have a new booking agency, UTA, and they are doing a great job. We hope to be out for longer runs on a tour bus like the old days. 2017 is looking good!
Thank you as always for your love and support.
"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.
Purchase at the following: