Featured Artist: Christine Ohlman

This queen of blue-eyed rock n' soul grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples. Teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She's the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, who sang at SNL's 25th Anniversary telecast, Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary bash at The Garden (with George Harrison, Chrissie Hynde, and others), the 2009 Obama Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C., The Lincoln Center "American Songbook" series with Sting, Lou Reed and Van Dyke Parks and the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin (fronting both Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band); appears on Grammy nominees A Tribute To Howlin' Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite's One Night In America (with Marty Stuart); sings the theme song for NBC's 30 Rock; worked on a musical with the late Cy Coleman (who compared her sense of timing to Peggy Lee's); duets live whenever possible with blues giants Eddie Kirkland and Hubert Sumlin as well as with the aforementioned Miss Spector, Americana stalwart Paul Thorn and New Orleans legends The Subdudes (she joins The 'Dudes, BB King, Irma Thomas, Richard Thompson and others on Get You A Healin' to benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic and guested during the 2010 Jazz & Heritage Fest's "Down On The Bayou II" with Widespread Panic's JoJo Hermann, again to benefit The Clinic); collaborated on critically-acclaimed tracks with Marshall Crenshaw (Labour Of Love: The Music of Nick Lowe), Big Al Anderson (Pawn Shop Guitars), and Ian Hunter (Shrunken Heads); edited legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham's autobiography 2Stoned and is a cover-story-writing contributor to

Ohlman's 2010 album, The Deep End was chosen Top 10 by Nick Cristiano at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
#2 CD of 2010 by Bill Holmes at PopMatters.com, and
a staff top pick for 2010 at The Alternate Root Magazine

Click the cover to download a free mp4
of this title track:

The Deep End Cover

Listen to three more tracks from THE DEEP END here: http://www.last.fm/music/Christine+Ohlman

Elmore Magazine; and worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder & others on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards--all the while continuing to torch clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard in support of her recordings (Strip, The Hard Way, Radio Queen, Wicked Time, 2008 career retrospective Re-Hive, and 2010's The Deep End, her first CD of original material in five years, featuring special guests/duet partners Ian Hunter, Dion DiMucci, and Marshall Crenshaw, plus Levon Helm, GE Smith, Andy York, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Catherine Russell, Big Al Anderson, and others) with her band Rebel Montez (Michael Colbath-bass; Cliff Goodwin-guitar; Larry Donahue-drums). "I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire," she'll tell an audience. And she will.

Listen in as Luna's Creative Director, Yvonne de Villiers interviews Christine Ohlman.

Yvonne: You've been a Rhythm and Blues singer all your life, who drew you to that most?
Christine Ohlman: I truly have no idea; there has always been a fascination. As a little girl, I'd beg and beg until my Dad would come home with the desired 45 in hand. The earliest one I remember was something by Jackie Wilson. It was already an "oldie" by the time I asked for it, and where he found it, I don't know, but I was in heaven. It might have been "Baby Workout." All I ever wanted to listen to was old-school soul music. I've come to the conclusion I must have known about if from an earlier life, you know?

Christine Ohlman on Saturday Night Live
Christine Ohlman in concert -photo by Carl Vernlund

Y: We heard you had an early working relationship with Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham What was that like ?
CO: Andrew continues to be a close friend; in fact, we were just yesterday e-mailing and comparing notes on the Keith Richard autobiography. I met Andrew when some musician friends from Western Connecticut brought him to the studio where my longtime mate, Doc Cavalier, and I worked together. Doc and Andrew became fast friends, and the three of us hung out in Connecticut perpetually. (Andrew lived there for a while.) We have continued to remain close since Doc's passing. I edited the second volume of Andrew's autobiography, which was called 2Stoned.

Y: How did you become associated with Saturday Night Live?
CO: GE Smith had joined a band I was in in Connecticut called The Scratch Band. We made two records together, and we always stayed in touch. Years later he had become the musical director of SNL and he called me one summer to ask if I could do a gig with the SNL Band out on Long Island. We rehearsed and learned several dozen soul songs, some of them obscure gems from my record collection. It turned out that the gig was a huge outdoor party celebrating Lorne Michael's recent wedding. The next week was the first show of that new season of SNL. Lorne asked GE to have me come and sing the following week with the band on the show. I did, and I am there, to this day.
Christine Ohlman
photo by Ric Kallaher        
Y: How were you able to to draw in Ian Hunter, Dion Minucci, Marshall Cranshaw, Al Anderson, and GE Smith to all appear on The Deep End?
CO: They are all friends. Al and GE I've known forever, Marshall for about 18 years and Ian and Dion for perhaps five. I had songs in mind for each of them, and they were all gracious enough to say yes.

Y: Tell us a bit about Rebel Montez.
CO: Rebel Montez is our band--Larry Donahue on drums, Michael Colbath on bass, and Cliff Goodwin on guitar. Cliff is the newest member; he joined when founding member Eric Fletcher died suddenly in his sleep in 2006. The rest of us have been together going on 16 years. The Deep End is dedicated to Eric's memory. Cliff joined on several days' notice because we were headlining a benefit for a friend whose vintage musical instrument store had burned to the ground. I called Cliff in a panic--he and I had worked together in several other bands--and he stepped up to the plate, where he remains today. Michael and Larry are one of the most solid rhythm sections anyone could ask for. They are so very solid, true, and consistent. I dearly love them all.

Y: When this album goes huge,and the world views Christine Ohlman as an overnight success, what would you tell the world?
CO: I'd say that lots can happen overnight. There is overnight delivery of packages and there are overnight trains.. The world turns around overnight-- facing away from the sun and toward the moon. The end result of overnight is the dawn...that's what I love most about overnight. The notion of overnight success, however, is highly overrated, in the opinion of The Beehive Queen!

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