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christine lavin
Christine Lavin

Singer, songwriter, performer, humorist, storyteller, journalist, author, teacher, activist, disc jockey, record producer, baton twirler, knitter, nude calendar model . . . Christine Lavin may exhaust the list of available creative avenues before she runs out of interests and energy. 

It’s hard to believe that someone with so many skills and interests has already been entertaining us for the last quarter century with no sign of exhaustion, only the continuous unfolding of her many talents and cultural obsessions (which range from Dame Edna to the decline of Pluto’s planetary status). But you can’t argue with a vertical career trajectory that has earned her praise from the New York Times as a “comic observer of contemporary manners,” “an enchanting stage performer” (Cosmopolitan), and the laughter and affection of the audiences she faces almost 52 weeks yearly.

One of the funniest songwriters and performers in contemporary music, Christine writes hilariously clear-eyed commentaries on personal and societal foibles that have established her musical reputation. “Sensitive New Age Guys,” “What Was I Thinking,” and other Lavin originals have been featured in Off-Broadway musicals (including Joan Micklin Silver’s “A . . . My Name is Still Alice”) and are the basis for a new musical currently in preparation in Los Angeles. Her music sometimes recalls that of Tom Lehrer, the erudite Harvard professor whose recordings and shows in the late ’50s and early ’60s addressed topics ranging from the periodic table to pigeon-poisoning. They share an incisive and irreverent sense of humor, a broad spectrum of frequently unlikely lyrical subjects, and a sensational rapport with their adoring audiences. One crucial difference is that Christine has also written songs of great poignancy (listen to “The Bends” on folkZinger).

An upstate New York native, Christine moved to New York City in 1976 to join the folk scene there and released her first album in 1981. Sixteen additional solo albums have followed, as has Chris’s production of eight multi-artist singer-songwriter compilations, her co-production of the late Dave Van Ronk’s Grammy-nominated concert album,  . . . and the tin pan bended and the story ended . . . , her founding member role in the Four Bitchin’ Babes collective of funny female songwriters (with whom she performed and recorded from 1990 to 1997), and a tour schedule that regularly crisscrosses America, Canada and countries abroad. Among the many honors her work has garnered are two New York Music Awards, four ASCAP performer awards, the Kate Wolf Memorial Award and the 2001 Backstage Bistro Award for Outstanding New York Singer/Songwriter of the Year. In 1998, she was the wonderfully surprised subject of Big League Babe, a 2-CD tribute containing versions of her songs secretly recorded by dozens of her fellow singer-songwriters. In recent years, Christine was commissioned by Lincoln Center to premiere a song (folkZinger’s “One of the Boys”) and served as emcee for the Center’s special “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” event. She also joined over 100 musical celebrities for a “Wall to Wall Joni Mitchell” tribute concert produced by Symphony Space in New York that drew an audience of more than 5000 people.

Insatiably curious and inclusively open-hearted, Christine’s sphere of musical friendships encompasses not only folk and cabaret artists but also classic songsmiths like Ervin (“It Was a Very Good Year”) Drake (who appeared on her 2005 CD, folkZinger) and Ray Jessel, the last lyricist to work with Broadway legend Richard Rodgers. She is a frequent guest and occasional host for “Cast Party,” an eclectic weekly open-mic show for the Broadway, off-Broadway, jazz, cabaret, pop, opera, and folk communities held at the legendary Birdland club in New York City.

Christine’s live performances have become multi-faceted family-fun extravaganzas over the years. Her concerts are frequently preceded by a knitting circle, with Chris and like-minded ticket holders trading tips and stitches. And in the shows themselves, Chris literally shines, strapping on a miner’s helmet to search for each city’s perfect man in the audience and climaxing her sets with an incongruously impressive display of glowing baton-twirling. Along with the visuals, Chris delights her fans with her acute original songs, comic monologues, quizzes, contests, and the frequent use of a Boomerang sampling device that multiplies and delays her voice into harmonies and swirling rounds.

Christine’s first CD for family audiences, The Runaway Christmas Tree, was an a cappella recording released 2003 to such raves as “A highly original CD . . . [that] stands far above the stockingsful of tripe released every season” (The New York Times) and “Great, goofy fun” (New York Daily News).
With her unique songs and presentation, it’s no wonder that Christine has been featured on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” NBC-TV’s “The Today Show,” and, on the radio, on NPR, “CBS Sunday Morning,” CNN, and NPR. Chris also periodically presents folk music shows on “Channel 15, The Village” on XM Satellite Radio.

Politically and socially aware and outspoken, Christine frequently writes, records and posts topical songs for free download on her website,, when there’s no time to wait for her next CD.

In other creative areas, Christine’s prose career includes the 2004 publication of Knit Lit (Too) (Random House), a compilation of writings about knitting that includes her account on knitting on the road (and sometimes onstage). Her 2003 collaboration with illustrator Betsy Franco Feeney on the children’s book The Amoeba Hop (Puddle Jump Press), based on Christine’s song of the same title, won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual Science Book & Film’s “Best Books for Children” Award and led to a guest performance for the International Society of Protozoologists. Chris also contributed to Remember Me When I’m Gone (Adler Press), in which she and other notables such as Larry King and Oprah Winfrey wrote their own obituaries (the coffee table book the Addams Family has been longing for). Her essays and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Delta Sky Magazine, Inside Arts, Performing Songwriter and other periodicals. And, yes, she did pose (discreetly) nude as Miss January in Jayne Toohey’s “Nude Folk 2005” calendar, a project designed to promote folk music in North America, with a portion of the profits going to the North American Folk and Dance Alliance.

One Meat Ball


Sometimes Mother Really Knows Best
You Can't Relive the Past
The Runaway Christmas Tree