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Paint a Lady

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iTunes Review

The “acid folk” on Susan Christie’s 1970 debut album, Paint a Lady, remained in obscurity until championed by 21st-century record obsessives. And Christie’s is a fine voice that deserves to be heard. Here, dramatic string arrangements and Spanish-flavored acoustic guitar accompany reverberated vocals. She gives Bill Soden’s “Rainy Day” a watercolor melancholy, while the title track ushers in a rock ensemble with psychedelic guitar leads played through '60s fuzz pedals. “For the Love of a Soldier” sounds like a long-lost song from the Billy Jack soundtrack, with Melanie-inspired singing, Vietnam War protest lyrics, marching drums, funky distorted guitar leads, French horns, and an amazing chorus wherein Christie croons through the spinning Leslie speaker of an old Hammond B3 organ. She also covers the classic cowboy tune “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, adding to the tune’s haunting theme with an eerie approach to singing the narrative. The final track, the Bacharach-esque “No One Can Hear You Cry”, highlights her vocal versatility. 


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Susan Christie was a Philadelphia-based folksinger and a one-time member of the Highlanders, that city's top "big-band" folk ensemble of the early '60s. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and took easily to the new requirements of the booming folk-rock field in the mid-'60s. She was cheerful and sufficiently accessible as a singer to lend her voice to the song "I Love Onions" (popularized on the Captain Kangaroo show) in 1966. That was enough to get her a chance to cut a brace of...
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Paint a Lady, Susan Christie
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