Decades before indie labels were the norm, and years before women had any
real access in the industry, in her own way, Cris Williamson was busy
changing the face of popular music. She hasn't looked back since.
Williamson's stellar vocals and compelling persona are regarded as legendary
for good reason. Despite being like a well-kept secret, and dwelling almost
completely in the independent music world, she nonetheless had an impact
During an interview in Washington, D.C., she conceived of a national
all-women's record company, which came to be known as Olivia Records. This
label subsequently issued her now-legendary classic, The Changer and the
Changed -- one of the best-selling independent releases of all time -- as
well as her next 14 titles. It is also the label that would eventually
spearhead the formation of an entirely new genre of music.
Women's Music was embraced and so-called by audiences hungry for fresh, bold
sound able to match the uncharted waters of the mid-seventies. It took
close to a decade for the genre to earn a critical reception, and by that
time Williamson's astounding vocals were earning reviews sounding as though
they were penned by close relatives. Finally, the stage had been set for
women, and particularly for lesbians, to write, produce, record, and issue
their own material -- on their own terms.
Heralded by The Boston Globe as, "a brilliant lyricist and composer",
Williamson's music has always defied categorization. Whether it's the
vibrant clarity of Blue Rider, or the live concert recording celebrating the
(then) fifteenth anniversary of the anthemic Changer, Williamson continues
to traverse the musical and lyrical map. A dynamic performer, she
electrifies, empowers, and enlightens audiences across the generational and
For nearly 30 years, Williamson has toured incessantly, performing in
Russia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. One of the most sought-after
performers on the acoustic circuit, she continues to criss-cross America,
selling out Carnegie Hall three times, and headlining among others, the
Newport and Kerrville Folk Festivals.
For Williamson, the music has always been 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 often considered a
treasure, passed hand-to-hand, person-to-person.
Says the Boston Phoenix, "Williamson is an heroic character whose tireless
activism continues." Indeed. She has appeared on a multitude of benefit
records including On A Winter's Night and Legacy, the late Michael Callen's
final project. On behalf of Native American issues, she has helped the
weavers of Big Mountain, and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown,
Floyd Westerman and John Trudell on the Water for Life Tour.
Williamson has shared her talents with an incredibly diverse array of
artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Holly Near, Vicki Randle, and Laurie Lewis.
She also played a part in Kate Wolf's tribute CD.
Considered by many to be her finest work to date, Ashes, her latest CD on
her own label, Wolf Moon Records, is a powerhouse collection of 12
artfully-crafted songs which read like a map of the heart's own landscape.
SEARCH YRM CATALOG FOR:
Music by Cris Williamson
Email Cris Williamson
YRM PUBLISHED WORKS:
>> LISTEN NOW