The last song Phil Christie wrote for his new CD became it's title and is the one that most defined it. Rearview Mirror with it's images of "looking back and reflecting on love lost, love won, dreams unfulfilled and those dreams that may still yet come true" are a unifying thread throughout the recording's ten tracks. The songs' rich tones and storylines are enhanced by Doug Lancio's (Patty Griffin, Gretchen Peters) atmospheric guitar style, Barry Walsh's (Gretchen Peters) piano work and Bryn Davies on cello giving it touches of folk, Americana, country and rock. Produced by Christie at Nashville's County Q Studios, where he recorded his 2002 Summerstown CD, he was also joined by Steve Sheehan on acoustic guitar, Paul Scholten on drums and percussion, Mike Joyce on bass and Perry Coleman on background vocals. A native of Canada, Christie's "Montreal" appropriately follows the CD's title track. He was influenced by one of the country's most respected singer/songwriters Gordon Lightfoot as well as such notable artists as Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and John Denver, and scored his own radio success in the '80s before making his way to Los Angeles in 1995. An Indian remembrance ceremony for Christie's wife's late Grandmother Bettymae Swan led to the song "Echo" about the imprint someone leaves behind and tells the love story of Jesse Rudolph and Swan. Christie comments, "The ceremony stayed with me for a long time as I had never attended something so moving, so bound to the earth in it's allusions to the spirit and nature." "Broken Angel" was written for Wendy Soderman who, with her husband Kris, built the highly successful Ideal School in Florida for their twin boys, one who has cerebral palsy. Wanting them to live normal lives and not finding a school that greeted them both with open arms the song expresses Wendy's story and the day to day life of what a caregiver has to face "while trying to find hope against all odds." "One World" and "Random Acts of Kindness" are the songwriter's heartfelt statements about the state of the world. "Me and My Guitar" brings the CD full circle about how "three chords and a simple melody opened up my heart and set me free." Phil Christie's Summerstown CD received airplay on over 200 country and folk stations worldwide including, Japan, Spain, Australia, and France and earned such critical praise as: "Exceptional...it's one I wished I'd produced" - Milt Okun; "Cream rises to the top and so has Christie." - Acoustic Scene Magazine. The track "Skeleton," written for the Jacks or Better soundtrack has also been a semi-regular feature of KLOS FM radio personality Jim Ladd's Headsets and the song "Mother's Day" was a 2005 Billboard World Song Contest finalist. Prior to recording Summerstown Christie played a tribute show to the late John Denver where he met producer Milt Okun, who later referred him to the music supervisor for the CBS TV movie biopic about Denver's life. Christie auditioned and was selected with Jim Curry to recreate and record the Chad Mitchell Trio tracks featured in the film. Since the release of Summerstown Christie has also performed at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, Kerrville Folk Festival where he was a New Folk Finalist in 2002 and received the same honor at the 2004 South West Florida Folk Festival. Rearview Mirror will be released to radio nationally and internationally in June 2008 followed by appearances at folk venues and festivals around the country.
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