Arts Paper (Arts Council of Greater New Haven)
Review of Concert
“…evocative and her voice was pure and unadorned”
“…a magical moment of silence between the last note dying out and the thundering applause of the crowd. "
by Leah Andelsmith
March 25th, 2019
New Haven, CT
…..First they were college students who just wanted to try something out. Then they were twenty somethings in their first jobs, scattered around the country with a dream of reuniting. Then players in the park, so convincing in their roles the neighborhood kids thought they lived there all year round.
Ten years in, that’s the evolving story for A Broken Umbrella Theatre, the New Haven-based company that devises, produces, and performs original plays inspired by New Haven history. Thursday, the group will celebrate its first decade in existence with a concert and birthday party at The State House, featuring musician and founding member Chrissy Gardner.
New Haven, CT
Preview of Middletown (acting role)
“…it’s a joy to have her on stage; (Gardner) is one of the most natural actresses I have ever worked with.”
Review of album, Alabaster Room
Chrissy Gardner possesses the independent music scene triple threat – singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. This Chi-town native’s debut album Alabaster Room showcases her immense talent in each of these distinguished qualities. Gardner’s lyrics and arrangements are intelligent and she surrounds herself with distinguished musicians that add texture to her well-produced debut. The most colorful guest artist on Alabaster Room is pianist Professor John who adds his whimsical playing to the title track. Gardner’s voice is breathy as she croons the quirky jazz-like melody like a tipsy Norah Jones as Professor John duets with the dirty muted growling trombone and then adds his own flair on mouth trumpet. The next song the two join forces on is “Whiskey Wednesday” that has Professor John dancing up and down the keys and Gardner exhibiting a much stronger vocal projection as she pushes her chest voice to a cute hiccup then purrs into the ending vocal flourish in the coda. “Church Stones” features a cello that adds long pedal tones under Gardner’s playing and singing. The bass instrument helps build the crescendo into the bridge where Gardner sustains a dramatic long clear vocal line. Gardner has a lovely voice and exquisite tonality no matter what style she is singing. She can delicately accompany herself on piano in “Mother Come Quickly” and confidently sing over a grooving backbeat in “Come Closer.” All ten original songs on Alabaster Room are a pleasure to listen to and hopefully the future has much in store for the talented Chrissy Gardner. --- Kelly O’Neill, ReviewYou.com
Cabaret Scenes, Chicago IL
Chrissy Gardner brings versatile and excellent musicality as singer, pianist, and guitarist to her solo show, which has a format more rock concert-like than traditional cabaret. Gardner has a strong voice with an expansive range and lets it travel smoothly from top to bottom. She moves like a rock star, often reminiscent of Tina Turner. This buff young woman looked beyond attractive in the stilettos and the black mini dress with the shimmy tabs. In a show mainly of original compositions, musical numbers reflect rock, jazz, folk, Dixieland, and more. While most of her songs are in quick rock/jazz tempi, her lyrics are reflective. “Where She Goes” is a particularly good journey about desire and pain that comes with an attraction to someone the admirer can’t have. “Citrine,” written about Gardner’s daughter, incorporates images from nature to explain the intense connection between mother and child. Guest Clara Reaves, becoming a better focused artist with each appearance, added clean harmonics to several of Gardner’s numbers. Accompanist and opening guest, Professor John, brought his unique jazz/blues sensibilities to the funny “Just an Average Guy” who is “overworked, underpaid, and overlaid.” He also joined excellent sidemen on guitar and trombone offering a musically rich experience.
August 1, 2009