Cris Williamson

Photo © Irene Young

The first time I heard Cris’ music, it was like hearing honey dripped on a cello… Cris has been a whole lot of women’s heroes — including mine. —Bonnie Raitt

I cannot count the number of times I have had the pleasure of photographing Cris Williamson, but suffice it to say, it is not possible to pick up her file with one hand. In certain circles, this infallible singer could follow suit with Bono, Beyonce, or Cher, and just stop using her last name. She has an uncommon voice that sets her apart from every singer I know, and although it is flawless, that is not the primary reason she is in a league of her own. To me, it is the texture of her voice—the feel of her sound—as it enters the ear and heads for the heart. There is a healing power to how her voice simultaneously vibrates in our bodies and warms up an entire room. As within, so without. Then, there are the words, and the stories, and the wisdom. Many of Cris’ songs have, over time, become anthems, or theme songs for “the nature of love” or “the love of nature.” To me, her talent is so great that gratitude can only humbly trump modesty. Her talent is undeniable, and I know she treasures it and takes seriously the guardianship of her rare gift. —Irene Young

Cris’ valuable words & music on this CD: Don’t Lose Heart

Photo © Irene Young

From Cris’ Website:

Decades before indie labels were the norm, and years before women had any real access to the industry, Cris Williamson was busy changing the face of popular music. In 1975, the twenty-something former schoolteacher recorded The Changer And The Changed, for her brainchild, Olivia Records. the first woman-owned woman-focused record company. Her music and voice quickly became the soundtrack of a movement, and was the cornerstone of what would become known as “women’s music,” music created, performed, and marketed specifically to women. Today, that recording, The Changer and the Changed, remains one of the best-selling independent releases of all time.

For Cris, the music became the vehicle for something larger. Her lyrics appear on a regular basis in books and thesis papers. Her albums are part of the curriculum for women’s studies courses, and thousands of people who may not even know her name join their voices in “Song of the Soul” around campfires and places of worship. She is embraced by women. She is sampled in hip-hop Her music is used by midwives welcoming life into the world, while hospice choirs sing her songs in tender sacred escort.

Today, with 30+ full albums to her credit, Cris continues to tour the acoustic circuit adding new material at each juncture. Her performance career includes three sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall and the headlining of many of the great folk festivals, including Newport, Kerrville, Moab and Vancouver.

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Laura Nyro, Suzanne Vega, Patti Larkin, Jennifer Berezan, Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, and 15 other women musicians.