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From George Jones and Tammy Wynette
to Richard and Linda Thompson, male-female duets are one of popular music's most
delightful permutations. And the Austin-based duo of Christine Albert & Chris Gage
easily slot right in with the best. Their vocals intertwine like two passionate lovers
- the two are a couple offstage as well - and their performances are an
upbeat celebration of songs and the art of singing them. Albert's
honey-drenched voice is one of the best in Austin, gracing everything from a
CD-length salute to her Swiss-French roots to Bluebell Ice Cream ads. The
South Dakota-bred Gage is a multi-instrumental wizard who has played with
Roy Clark and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and his rich tenor complements Albert's
voice like a graceful bow. Their two CDs and stage shows include everything
from memorable originals to choice cover material. An evening with the two
is a fun and heartwarming experience in which music truly is the food of
Patterson / Houston Press by
Albert and Gage Artist
In Austin, Texas—a town overflowing with gifted singer/songwriters and
guitar players—Christine Albert & Chris Gage have a long track record of
making beautiful music together, although both musicians' individual
pedigrees are far more extensive. Over the course of six duet albums, the
duo has demonstrated that disparate backgrounds do not preclude musical soul
mates from finding one another.
The Houston Press noted, “From George Jones and Tammy Wynette to Richard and
Linda Thompson, male-female duets are one of popular music's most delightful
permutations. And the Austin-based duo of Christine Albert and Chris Gage
easily slot right in with the best.”
Onstage, Albert's slender, dark beauty contrasts strikingly with Gage's
craggy good looks and how gracefully they complement each other is easily
apparent. In 2003 Albert and Gage released their first live recording,
Albert and Gage at Anderson Fair. Dirty Linen commented that the set,
which is reflective of their typical live performances, had “energy, humor,
really fine duet singing, strong leads, original harmonies, a strong sense
of partnership, personality, and musicality” and Sing Out! called it “a
cohesive and exciting exploration of the roots of popular, mostly American,
Gage is a journeyman musician and South Dakota native who literally began
touring in a station wagon at age 15. In the mid-Seventies and early
Eighties he led the popular Midwestern country-swing Red Willow Band, whose
reunion shows still draw thousands of devoted fans. From there he graduated
to an eight-year tenure on piano with guitar virtuoso and country star Roy
Clark, which included appearances on Hee Haw, The Tonight Show and The Grand
Ole Opry. After moving to Austin in 1991, Gage began commuting to San
Antonio to take the reins as musical director for the Fiesta Texas theme
But it was during (and following) his next incarnation, as bandleader for
West Texas alt.-country singer/songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, that he began
to carve out his own place in the Austin scene as an in-demand session
player, accompanist and producer. It was with Gilmore that Christine first
heard Chris play and in 1997 Albert & Gage was formed. The duo later toured
as an opening act for Gilmore and as members of his ensemble.
cut her musical teeth in northern New Mexico after moving west from her
childhood home in upstate New York. Along with old friend and fellow New
Mexico chanteuse Eliza Gilkyson (whom she also cites as an early influence
and inspiration), Albert relocated to Austin in 1982 and began to
distinguish herself as a singer-songwriter in a town where the bar for such
artists is set very high indeed.
Christine Albert's French grandmother lived in Paris and her mother was born
in Switzerland, so perhaps it's inevitable that the occasional Edith Piaf
song migrates into her sets of original material and carefully chosen
covers. She has recorded a series of acclaimed albums of lovely Franco-Lone
Star fusion - Texafrance (1992), Texafrance-Encore (2003) and
Paris, Texafrance (2008).
Christine's latest release, "Everything's Beautiful Now" is an exploration into the richness of loss, and
has been well received by critics and fans alike. Everything's
Beautiful Now were the last words spoken to Christine by her
mother-in-law Darleen as she was making the final move towards the other
side. Originals mix lovingly with soulful covers of Zevon, Browne and Texas
faves Shake Russell and Dana Cooper.
Christine released several other solo albums during the years before she met
Chris, and had established a solid name on the Texas scene. She was voted
Female Vocalist of the Year in the Kerrville Music Awards poll and has
appeared on Austin City Limits. A longtime community activist, Albert is
also cofounder/president of “Swan Songs”, a non-profit that fulfills musical
last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal
illness. Ms. Albert currently serves as Chair of the National Board of
Trustees of The Recording Academy.
With the exception of 1997’s Jumpin’ Tracks, Albert and Gage’s albums
have been recorded at their own MoonHouse Studio (a commercial facility in
south Austin) and released on the artist owned MoonHouse Records. Chris
maintains a busy studio schedule and over the years they have expanded
MoonHouse Records with Gage productions by Cowboy Johnson, Michael Austin
and Abi Tapia. Gage also plays lead guitar in Texas legend Jerry Jeff
Walker’s band and is prominently featured on Walker’s latest CD, Moon
Child; Christine also makes an appearance and sings a duet with Jerry
Jeff of “San Antone Rose” by Susanna Clark.
The duo’s most recent CD, Dakota Lullaby (2009), features twelve
songs by an unheralded songwriter from South Dakota – Tom Peterson. The CD
landed in the top 40 on the Americana Music chart and the Top 20 on the
EuroAmericana and US Folk-DJ charts. FAME described it as “a pure,
unadulterated labor of love…Albert & Gage, obviously on the same page at all
times, blend voices effortlessly, fluctuating between smooth country and
western swing like they were born to it. Beneath those voices Gage placed a
bang-up group of sidemen most musicians would kill for and handled
production like the pro he has become.”
Christine Albert and Chris Gage are well respected, seasoned music business
veterans, but the joy they experience making music together is fresh and
infectious. “They can rock, boogie, swing, trot down country roads and
stride down sophisticated boulevards and make it all sound as it should:
like parts of a unified whole rather than a mishmash of different styles.
Albert and Gage have global class, musicality and charm.” (Houston Press)
You can’t ask for more than that.
Christine Albert..."has it all: charm,
authenticity, good material, true humility, beauty, talent, sex appeal, intelligence and
on and on. A real class act."
Austin Chronicle / Austin, Texas
Chris Gage is a "...songwriter, singer, dobro player,
ace guitarist, keyboard player, mandolin picker, and a generally electric powerhouse with
inspiration to spare." Sweet Potato / Minneapolis, Minnesota
has released five independent
albums including the "TEXAFRANCE" trilogy,
bilingual tributes to her European heritage and love of the French chanson.
Her 1995 CD,
"Underneath The Lone Star Sky" on Antone's/dos Records, climbed into the top
twenty on the national Americana radio chart. She has appeared on Austin City Limits and
The Texas Connection, written and performed her own "Don't Mess With Texas" ad
and was featured in the popular Bluebell Ice Cream television commercial.
Christine was voted female vocalist of the year at the Kerrville Music Awards. Originally
from upstate New York and later Santa Fe, New Mexico, Christine moved to Austin, Texas in
1982. A committed community activist, she was Co-founder of the Austin Songwriters Group
and has served on the board of The Texas Chapter of The Recording Academy and The Austin Rape Crisis Center.
Through her work on behalf of fellow
sexual assault survivors, she has been a spokesperson
for SafePlace and produced three successful fundraising concerts for the
Christine is Co-founder/President of “Swan Songs”, a non-profit
that fulfills musical last wishes by organizing private concerts
for individuals with a terminal illness. Ms. Albert also
currently serves as Chair of the National Board of Trustees
of The Recording Academy.
Christine hosts the wildly
popular weekly Austin event "Mystery Monday" at El Mercado, where guests
like Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Bill Kirchen are the norm.
is a consummate musician, singing with
strength and conviction while masterfully sparking the duo with hot guitar, piano and
accordion. Originally from South Dakota, Chris was the founding member of the still
beloved 1970s Midwest country swing band, Red Willow Band.
After releasing two
albums with Red Willow Band, he embarked on a lengthy stint as a sideman, moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma to
play piano with Roy Clark for eight years, appearing on The Grand Ole Opry, The Tonight Show (Johnny Carson)
and Hee Haw, as well as accompanying Clark on a 1988 tour of the Soviet Union.
Gage moved to Austin in the early 90s, and
after a brief theme park stint as musical director became
band leader for Jimmie Dale Gilmore (playing guitar and piano) for three years, with
performances on The Tonight Show (Jay Leno), Conan OBrien, and at such esteemed
venues as Carnegie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.
In 2011, the Texas Musician
Association proclaimed Mr. Gage "Musician of the Year".
An in-demand studio musician and
producer, Gage produces the recordings of Albert and Gage as well as other artists,
plays lead guitar with Texas legend Jerry Jeff Walker and hosts a popular
Monday night hang at Donn's Depot in Austin, Texas as well as a weekly
concert at Strange Brew Lounge Side Wednesdays at 6 pm.
Click here for more
(The Songs of Tom Peterson):
joyous side of love and the blue side, the thoughtful side, and
the funny one, the crazy bits of friendship and the thought
provoking ones, the quiet of a northern prairie night and the
voices of those who made history there --- you meet all these
ideas in Dakota Lullaby, the latest album from Christine Albert
and Chris Gage. There are a dozen songs on the disc, varying in
melody from swing to folk to country to blues, in tone from
raucous to funny to reflective....."
Dexter, Music Road 2009
"A labor of love, that is what this is. Pure,
unadulterated labor of love. Prairie and plains might have something to
do with the music, but Dakota Lullaby is all
about the love: Tom Peterson's love of the Dakotas as well as Christine
Albert and Chris Gage's love of song. Remember the phrase "love conquers
all?" Well, if it didn't, Dakota Lullaby
wouldn't exist. Does the fact that it does give credence to the phrase?
For those who would like to think so, here is the story, Cliff's
Frank Gutch, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange 2009
is an inevitable and welcome sweetness to the music of Christine
Albert and Chris Gage, even when they choose to do a downer
song. The sweetness is in their beautiful harmonies and
the obvious onstage chemistry. Cry Love, their fifth duet
CD in nine years, is a sort of gospel of love, looking at both
fulfillment, loss, and yearning. The duo wrote most of the dozen songs
together, and do their own interpretations of John Hiatt’s “Cry
Love”, Mickey Newbury’s “I Still Love You”, and Michael Austin’s
“Before I Go”..."
Geddie, Buddy Magazine
"Christine Albert and Chris Gage demonstrate
the art of good album making so effortlessly on Burnin' Moonlight, it's a lesson to
Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle ****
"Here's a couple unashamedly in love with their material, and the
enthusiasm can't help but rub off on listeners."
Michael Corcoran, Austin American Statesman ***
"When I sat down to listen to
Burnin Moonlight the first thing that came to my mind was that Albert
and Gage sing their songs from the heart. Pure and simple, straight from the
heart of Texas."
J.D. Rose, Program Director KFAN Radio, Fredericksburg, TX
harmonies, inventive musicianship, and thoughtful writing, sparked with a dash of fun,
make this one worth investigation for acoustic music and singer/songwriter fans."
Dirty Linen (December 2001)
"Jumpin' Tracks... is one the best local
releases of the year"
Michael Corcoran, Austin American Statesman
"Albert and Gage comprise one of the smartest local
pairings on record"
Christopher Hess.....Austin Chronicle
"Together, they're electrifying."
John Conquest...Third Coast Music
"It's no coincidence this
album came out around Valentine's Day, because its beauty is not just in
the music, but in its sheer romantic atmosphere, the kind you need no
partner to enjoy."
February 21, 2003 by Margaret Moser
"A sequel to Albert’s 1992 release,
TexaFrance-Encore! is a musical and romantic tribute to Christine
Albert’s and Chris Gage’s sizeable and truly enjoyable talent."
New Texas Magazine, February 2003
by Lynne Thompson
"What a fantastic time everyone had at
our recent house concert with Albert and Gage. Christine's exquisite voice,
coupled with Chris' masterful guitar playing, left everyone breathless. Their
harmonies made the rafters in our home ring like never before. On top of it all,
their song selection, a mixture of originals and well-chosen covers, included something
for everyone. A night that we, and our guests, will never forget!"
Arlene and Mark Klemow
/ Split Level House Concerts Scotch
Plains, NJ July, 2001
"Albert and Gage drew a record crowd
to our acoustic concert series, and proceeded to put on a high-voltage, crowd-pleasing
performance. Country, rock, blues, folk, French torch - it didn't matter. They nailed 'em
all. Christine Albert alone is a singer-songwriter of no small talent - just look at the
awards she's earned. Put her together with Chris Gage - a powerhouse in his own right -
and you have a duo that's just about unstoppable! I can't speak for Chris - I didn't know
him beforehand - but I've been watching Christine's musical evolution over the past five
years, and teaming up with Chris has highlighted her already-considerable talent. You
can't go wrong with a pair of aces like these."
/ Belton Texas Acoustic Concert
"Albert and Gage are individually
very talented singer songwriters and together they are a power house of folk rock. Our
audience was amazed at the talent. Christine Albert and Chris Gage are not to be
missed. The house rocked...and the piano is still smoking. They'll rock you, soothe
you and make you want for more."
/ "Flowers in the
Desert" - House Concerts, Brenham, Texas.
A blend of voices equals one soulful show.
"This folk/country duo have created a harmonic sound
with original and compelling performances that are hard to match.
Chris Gage and Christine Albert are an electrifying pair who offer a range
of music from country and folk to rock and the blues. Employing a
bouquet of instruments - from pianos to acoustic guitars - the duo leave show goers
rocking one minute, then sitting back and taking it easy the next. The Austin-based
singer-songwriters (who are a couple both on and off the stage) are often compared
to other primo country pairs such as George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
Albert and Gage have a portfolio of awards and a resume filled with media
appearances and tours."