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E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier: Bio

It’s easy to think Joni Mitchell’s long-lost but equally talented sister has suddenly found herself backed by a haunting Western band. — Santa Fe Reporter

E. Christina Herr leads the band ~ Wild Frontier ~ through the rugged Western Gothic Landscape.

A sonic rodeo of original Americana, Alt Country Twang, old school Rock ‘n Roll and Spaghetti Western, E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier evoke a compelling musical weather report from the West and Southwest of yesterday and today.

Christina’s crystal clear alto voice and tremolo vibrato contrasts brilliantly with the ring of vintage acoustic and electric guitar twang, atmospheric pedal steel, driving upright bass and drums.  She’s been compared to Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell, Wanda Jackson and Chrissie Hynde.

Wild Frontier reflects influences from the psychedelic Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the cosmic alt country of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Don Rich’s Bakersfield sound, John Ford’s atmospheric landscapes and Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks.

The songs on Wild Frontier’s latest CD, Americana Motel, range from country two steps, and cowboy waltzes to old school rock n’ roll… Songs telling stories about desert cowboys, longed for road signs, burning embers and a tragic songwriter poet.

Flavored with an original sound the band calls Western Gothic.

Some of Wild Frontier’s recent appearances:

Santa Fe Bandstand, Nashville Songwriter Showcase, WDVX Blue Plate Special, Knoxville TN, KBAC Free Fall, Santa Fe Performance Exchange, Albuquerque Old Town, New Mexico State Fair, The Cowgirl BBQ, RT 66 Casino, Buffalo Thunder Casino, The Alley Cantina, The Adobe Bar - Taos, Santa Fe Brewing Co, 2nd Street Brewery, Scalo Il Bar, Low Spirits and The Mineshaft Tavern…

Wild Frontier is:

E. Christina Herr ~ Singer ~ Songwriter ~ Acoustic & Electric Guitars

Martin Rowell ~ Twang ~ Guitars {Both kinds} ~ Harmonica

Laura Leach ~ Vocals ~ Upright & Electric Bass

Dave Devlin ~ Pedal & Lap Steel, Baritone & Electric Guitars

Arne Bey ~ Nick Shire ~ Drums

Accompanied by a host of amazing Musicians including:

Daryl D. Davidson ~ Johnny Hogan ~ Pedal Steel

Jessica Billey ~ Fiddle

Bio

E. Christina Herr realized at an early age that music is not just a sound coming out of the radio. After all, her grandfather was a professional Jazz musician, her mother played piano and she grew up next door to Linda Ronstadt. It was Ronstadt’s guitar player, Shep Cooke, who gave Christina her first guitar and taught her to play “Wildwood Flower” in her Ocean Park, California home.

She started writing poetry and songs at 13. Her mother said the songs sounded like lullabies. Christina began creating music mostly for herself behind closed doors for many years.

After drifting around the country she landed back in Los Angeles just as Punk Rock was becoming the rage. Christina found herself caught up in that electrifying whirl of creativity, soon leaving the halls of thrash for the vibrant Rockabilly scene. She formed the band Jumpin’ Bones with Randy Weeks on lead guitar. The group became a fixture at venues like Club Lingerie and Cathay de Grande on the Sunset Strip, even opening occasionally for Rose Maddox.

Soon Christina was asked to join the Comstock Jug Band with Smokey Hormel on drums. They called their music “Jug Rock”, a mix of Bluegrass and Rockabilly with a Hee-Haw attitude. The band was, to say the least, controversial but ahead of its time. She took on a side project, Days of Glory, to delve deeper into alt Country and Bluegrass. It was Americana music before there was a name for the genre. While Guns & Roses was climbing the charts, Days of Glory was turning Ralph Stanley songs into electric twang. During this time she shared stages with Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakum, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller at clubs around South California including the infamous Palomino.

Christina continued searching for her songwriting voice. At a trip to the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, her music took a dramatic turn. The honesty she found in the weatherworn poets and working ranch cowboys changed Christina’s vision of what she wanted to portray in her art.

She soon began spending a lot of time in the Mojave Desert where she found the refreshing isolation an inspiration for honest writing. Days and nights shared with friends cooking, eating, drinking and, of course, singing and writing.

In between her Elko trips and desert sojourns she met Daniel Pretends Eagle. They started Ghost Ranch, a band combining Rock, Country…even Spaghetti Western…with the grit and solace of the western landscape.

A week visiting friends in Taos started an obsession with New Mexico. Christina built an alter from souvenirs to keep her focused on the goal of moving there. Eventually a job offer gave her the opportunity to live in the Land of Enchantment.

Months of staring at the walls in Albuquerque led Christina to post a fateful Craig List ad. Martin Rowell showed up at her door carrying a beat up Telecaster. Christina had found someone who truly understood and resonated with her music.

The couple put together the band Wild Frontier, a sonic rodeo of original Americana, Alt Country Twang, old school Rock ‘n Roll and Spaghetti Western. E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier evokes a compelling musical weather report from the West and Southwest of yesterday and today.

Christina currently lives next to the Petroglyphs National Monument, writing and performing with some of the most incredible musicians she’s ever worked with.

Some Past Shows, Adventures, Projects & Musical Associations:

Jumpin' Bones ~~~ Rockabilly days with Randy Weeks ~ A highlight was playing on the same show with Rose Maddox @ The Club Lingerie in Hollywood, CA

Comstock Jug Band ~~~ Psycho Blue Grass with the Comstock Brothers ~ Kurt & Scott Comstock , Smokey Hormel (Beck, The Blasters, Bob Dylan, Steve Earl), Jerry Mascott (Radio Ranch Straight Shooters), Kent Geib

Family Jewels ~ Psycho Folk with Kurt Comstock ~~~

Composed Music and Played Guitar for Reine River ~ Artist & Self Proclaimed Cowgirl Poet

Cowboy Poetry Gatherings ~ Elko Nevada ~ in the early days ~

Ghost Ranch ~ Atmospheric Western Gothic Dreamscapes with Daniel Pretends Eagle (Peckinpahs ~ Bone Orchard), Paul Morris (Trailerpark Casanovas) and Michael Wolf (Peckinpahs ~ Bone Orchard) ~

Western Music Association Festival ~ Tucson, Arizona ~ 

Heyoka ~ Western Gothic Noir Road Trips with Alison Chesney ~ Cello, Jeff Moses ~ Guitar and Michael Wolf ~ Percussion ~~~

Sour Grass ~ Melancolic Old Thyme Front Porch Grass with Eddy French (Ukefink) & Grumpy Brian

Snake Oil ~ with Tom Blaylock (Screamin' Hyenas), George Barker, Jay Nowac (SpitFires ~ Condors) ~

Spiral Arms ~ Spooky Sad Eerie Rock n' Roll with John Traynor "King of the Vintage Big Muffs" (Sawdust Caesars) & Mark Mastopietro (Scenic, Pancakes) ~