Musician Tiffany Christopher stops through Summit County on six-week Colorado tour (video)
IF YOU GO
What: Tiffany Christopher
When & Where: Friday, Sept. 2 at the Dillon Farmers Market at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday, Sept. 3 opening for Dead Horses at the Dillon Amphitheatre at 6 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Motherloaded Tavern in Breckenridge at 4 p.m.
On first glance, it’s a musical setup like any other. With a guitar, kick drum, high hat, piano and even a ukulele lining the stage, the tone is set for a traditional show. But, when the tall, energetic woman takes the helm of each and every one of the instruments throughout the evening — using a live looping technique to give her music a variety of sound — it brings a whole new level to what is expected out of a solo singer-songwriter.
Musician Tiffany Christopher has been bringing her one-woman act through Colorado for winter and summer tours for over a decade. The powerful vocals and boundless energy the petite woman brings to the stage is matched with an ability to create her own brand of eclectic folk-pop music through the use of multiple instruments and a looping station.
Christopher has a stack of shows lined up along her summer tour schedule to promote her upcoming album, “Tremendous Heart,” with plenty of stops throughout Colorado. The musician began adding shows throughout the state to her tour map after discovering years ago that it was a good way to combine two of her passions — music and snowboarding — and the mountains draw her back year after year.
In Summit County alone, she will be playing on Friday, Sept. 2 at the Dillon Farmers Market at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 opening for Dead Horses at the Dillon Amphitheatre at 6 p.m. and then Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Motherloaded Tavern in Breckenridge at 4 p.m.
“Tremendous Heart” is an album Christopher has been working on for the last two and a half years. She touts her third full-length album as one of her biggest career accomplishments, as she had a hand in every aspect of its production. While several studio musicians sit in on parts throughout, she found herself picking up instruments for roles she wasn’t as familiar with and running with them.
“I ended up taking a lot of the leads on the record and produced it myself,” she said.
Fiddle player Bridget Law from Colorado band Elephant Revival makes a guest appearance on a track. Although the full album will be released on Sept. 30, Christopher will have download cards with access to the new music available at the shows.
Colorado natives Kalin Capra, who plays upright bass and banjo, and Briony K. Hunn on the keyboards, guitar and backup vocals, will join Christopher on select shows. A project the trio is calling The Hui — a Hawaiian word referring to a group of close friends — Capra and Hunn are a piece to Christopher’s recent decision to move from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Denver, along with the draws of a thriving music scene and lifestyle change.
“I love it up here, there’s so much to do,” Christopher said. “It really fits with my lifestyle. … I’m trying to take care of myself, and sometimes you have to relocate to really be true to your heart.”
Summit Daily News: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Tiffany Christopher: Folk rock, Americana, folk-rock pop, if I had to categorize it into some kind of genre. It’s original music — and the lyrics are thoughtful. … For the live show, most people can’t really believe it’s one person making all that sound.
SDN: Do you feel you have an agenda with your songwriting?
TC: No, I don’t sit down and say, ‘Alright, I’m going to write a tune’ and then write it. It’s more like I have a life experience and, then I almost need an outlet for my thoughts about that experience or feelings. I go to music, and then it just kind of comes out depending on what I’m coping with or dealing with at the moment. … It’s more like a reaction to life experience.
SDN: What would you like the audience to walk away with after one of your shows?
TC: One of the new T-shirts (laughs). A smile on their face, excitement in their bones. Maybe feel a little bit better for seeing someone sing about life experiences, they can relate a bit. Mainly about me having fun on-stage and letting go and being really raw. I think that inspires other people. They’re like, ‘Oh wow, she’s just totally cutting lose and letting go and being herself.’ I hope that inspires other people to be more true in their careers and free time. Showing up and being vulnerable is a tough thing for all of us, and when you witness someone doing that either in their art or during the day, it inspires us to shine bright and be vulnerable because someone else is right next to us.
SDN: What keeps you coming back to Colorado?
TC: The snow was initially the reason. I came out, I think, 14 years ago now to go snowboarding because I snowboarded in the Midwest as much as I could. I came out and went snowboarding … and I ended up picking up an acoustic gig of some sort, and I was like, ‘Wow, that paid for half the gas out here and back.’ … Then I just kept coming out every winter, and I’d come up for a couple weeks, and then it’d be three weeks, and then it would be four weeks, and now I’m on a six-week tour through northern New Mexico and Colorado every summer and winter. Initially, it was snowboarding … now it’s flip-flopped, and I can barely get two days of riding in when I’m up here because we’re gigging so much.
SDN: Was there a particular moment you realized you wanted to be a performer?
TC: This little girl came up to me at a show in Silver City, New Mexico and was just bawling, and she was so cute. … Her dad wrote me on Facebook and said, ‘You moved my daughter, she bawled the whole way home and said you were so good while she was bawling, and I’ve never seen her react like this before.’ I remember having that experience when I was watching Maury Povich. There was a little girl that came out and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the center of the stage, and I just remember bawling and feeling like, coveting, or wanting that, but also feeling super inspired. I think that was the moment. That, and when I saw the Georgia Satellite’s “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” MTV music video in first grade, that also blew my mind.
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