Albert and Gage - Burnin' Moonlight

Tom Geddie

Buddy Magazine      March 2006

     Marvelous harmonies and a variety of musical styles make Burnin' Moonlight a most unusual and rewarding undertaking. Think creatively for a moment of the concept: just how, exactly, do we go about burning moonlight? Christine Albert and Chris Gage give us their first new album in four years. Since their debut Jumpin' Tracks (first released as Boxcars), they've played all over Europe and the United States, winning audiences show by show with upbeat, satisfying performances. On this consistently good, self-produced and self-released new CD, the Austin duo, backed by a dozen or so studio musicians, share eight of their own songs along with interpretations of Bob Dylan, Iris Dement, Dan Hicks, and the trio of Steve Carter, Ron Hicks and Erik Moll.
    At least four songs stand out. I hear Albert's interpretation of Dement's "My Life" as if it were a woman sitting in a small church's sanctuary, thinking out loud about what her life has meant to other people. I hear "Hey Jimmy" as a sort of country lament for a lost, dear friend, who they hope didn't see it coming. I hear "I Used to be Lonesome" as an old-timey, upbeat gospel truth about two people finding life in each other. Their take on Dylan's "Forever Young" is one of the handful of songs, like Julie Miller's "The Last Song" and Tish Hinojosa's "Song for the Journey", that are inspiring enough to end shows. Albert was voted female vocalist of the year in the 1996 Kerrville Music Awards. Her 1995 CD Underneath the Lone Star Sky, climbed into the top 20 of the Americana charts, and she's performed on Austin City Limits, in a Blue Bell ice cream commercial, and in the "Don't Mess With Texas" public service campaign. Gage released two albums with the Red Willow Band, toured with Roy Clark for eight years and Jimmie Dale Gilmore for three years, and is amassing his own producing credits. 
    Together, they're as intimate as the feel of air conditioning in the sweaty Texas summer.

Tom Geddie