Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Review from The Oklahoma Gazette

Christophe's outlaw country not "miserable"

By Stephen Carradini  
August 3rd, 2010

Some artists cast such a long shadow over their genre that that it's hard for other artists to escape comparison. For outlaw country singers, it's just hard to shake Johnny Cash. Christophe is a local outlaw country singer who is not exempt.

His latest EP, "Crossroads," released last month, features four songs written with very old-school country instrumentation (think Kenny Rogers) and outlaw country lyrics about hard living, wrong choices and the like. The songs are very sparse, featuring Christophe's low voice and gently strummed acoustic guitar.

None of the four tunes are very fast, which lets Christophe put emphasis on his baritone vocals and lyrics. This works well on "Misery Road," where he sounds confident in his drawling, speak/sung delivery. His vocal performance meshes with the band perfectly, and the tune becomes a highlight.

The other tunes succeed on lesser levels; the band sounds particularly tight on "The Life of an Outlaw," although the vocal performance doesn't mesh as well as it does in "Misery Road." "You're Gonna Drive Me to Drinkin'" doesn't sound all that country, which makes Christophe's vocals stick out in a strange way. But the ode to an impending breakup has a very pretty arrangement, which saves it.

Inevitably, Christophe will remind you of Johnny Cash. You may be put off because, well, Christophe's songs aren't as indelible as Cash's. But no one can top Cash but the Man in Black himself, so put your preconceived notions of outlaw country aside and check out Christophe. Start with "Misery Road" and head on from there.


Reviews From the Midnight Calling E-zine Aug. '10

Christophe's Crossroads & Fear The Dead given a review in the Midnight Calling e-zine. http://www.MidnightCalling.com


 The multi-talented Christophe, formerly of Mockingbird Lane has, has launched a solo career, and “Crossroads” (2009) is his latest release.  Christophe takes  a large dose of Country, add some Cowpunk, and leaven it with Rock n Roll, and has come up with..well…Christophe!

 “Red Dirt”  is a Leonard Cohen-esque, biographical ballad set somewhere on that “fine line between heaven and hell”.  The guitar reminds me a little bit of Chris Isaak. “You’re Gonna Drive me to Drinkin’ “  is in bit of a heavier country tone,  with prominent percussion as Christophe relates a relationship gone bad.  “Misery Road” reminds me of something that should have been on the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers.  Deft guitar rides along with steady percussion to that “fork in the road” that can mean a journey down “Misery Road”.  “The Life of an Outlaw” is a cowboy epic in the vein of Marty Robbins with a bit of Waylon.  The sharp guitar gives a very updated, edgy touch.

 For the vinyl junkies out there, Christophe has produced a fine single with “Fear the Dead” backed with “If the Don’t Shine”.   Paying homage to “Night of the Living Dead”, this rollicking song will please the Horrorpunk in us all.  The guitar is just awesome, and backing vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Social Distortion. Superbly packaged, this single is zombie-defying dynamite!

Check Christophe out at: