Love of the Land
Singer and bodhrán player Christa Burch's supple, expressive voice is fresh, powerful, and instantly recognizable. In the tradition of great singers such as Kate Rusby, June Tabor, and Susan McKeown, Christa marries an extraordinary gift for storytelling to intuitive musicianship, bringing vividly to life the moods and nuances of songs from the Celtic tradition. Part of a vibrant new generation of American folk singers, Christa has lent her distinctive voice to many West Coast projects, working with keepers of the tradition such as master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, as well as updating the tradition with red-hot contra band The Syncopaths. She works with experimental projects like the a capella duet Lintie and nouveau-Celtic band Blackwaterside, and makes guest appearances with many other fine artists. THE STORY Christa first fell in love with Celtic music in the summer of 1990, when a friend handed her a home-made tape which featured Scottish band Silly Wizard down one side and Irish duo Skylark down the other. As they say in fiction: 'there was no looking back.' This love led her to extensive travel through Scotland and Ireland in the late '90s. In pubs and homes, festivals and folk clubs, Christa found a community of like-minded singers and musicians, and discovered that Celtic music truly defines the 'small world' ethos: nearly everyone she met knew someone she knew back home! In her travels, Christa collected a wide repertoire of songs, and gradually developed her own sound. After the turn of the milennium, hungry for challenge, she began performing with various local musicians and her extended musical family: Alasidar Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers; a capella folk duet Lintie; Scottish-influenced Blackwaterside; and red-hot contra band The Syncopaths. THE CD The culmination of that journey can be heard in 'Love of the Land,' Christa's long-awaited debut as a solo artist. The album brings together songs from the Irish, Scottish, Australian and American folk traditions, accompanied by some of the Celtic world's foremost musicians. Produced by renowned guitarist Dennis Cahill, Love of the Land features Christa's singular voice -- warm, supple, expressive, intimate -- paired with accompaniment from Dennis Cahill, John Doyle, Richard Mandel and Olivier Longuet. Love of the Land also features appearances by John Williams, Liz Knowles, Kieran O'Hare, Larry Grey and Kat Eggleston. From the haunting Highland clearance song 'Hush,' to the rollicking 'Road to Clady,' the songs tell stories of love and loss, emigration and homecoming, the turning of the seasons and love for the land.