Spirit on the Rise
ABOUT THE KARISMAKATZ The Gosper/Carlsen collaboration has resulted in accolades for the duo's superb synchronicity and crowd-pleasing commitment to their songs. Singer/songwriter, harmonica player, breast cancer survivor DJ Gosper "performs with a passion that knows no tomorrow" (Bill Arnett, The Folkus Room, Australia). DJ Gosper, Winner Canberra Blues Society 2007 Music Awards: Best Vocalist, Best Instrumentalist, Best Song (Burn Baby Burn, co-written with Christo Carlsen). "DJ Gosper showed us that as well as being a great blues singer, she is one of the hottest harp players around." (Bill Melano, Canberra Blues Society) Christo, with his wide experience in the folk, blues, rock and trad jazz idioms, provides a stylish and often surprising acoustic guitar accompaniment to DJ's evocative vocal performance. Together they are an original acoustic anomaly-equal parts blues, jazz and roots, with an irresistible art-house appeal. ABOUT 'SPIRIT ON THE RISE' "This album is something special... superb performances... lyrically powerful and thought provoking... a strong message of getting on with life through adversity... The spirit and adaptability of love shine through beautifully..." Phil Birch-Marston (Artsound FM) John Williams (Trad & Now) Review 'DJ Gosper and Christo Carlsen hail from Canberra. They have collaborated on this fine CD which shows off their well honed song writing talents, their excellent musicianship (Christo on guitar and DJ on blues harp) and DJ's amazing vocal abilities. The combining of these three elements makes for a CD which is well worth a listen. The songs are meaningful and heartfelt. 'Just For a Moment' and 'Forty Winks' both show DJ's considerable vocal ability coupled with Christo's sensitive guitar playing and are both the sort of thing I like to listen to late at night with a port or Muscat. Beautiful music indeed. DJ's blues harp playing is one of the main features of the whole CD as it is coupled with Christo's excellent guitar work. These two fine musicians have combined to create a memorable CD which any fan of the blues would like to have in their collection. I can recommend it.' Ross Mortimer - Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society 'DJ Gosper, harp/vocals/songwriting and Christo Carlsen, guitars, have produced a very interesting album that is going to be hard for anyone to pigeon hole (so I won't try!!) ... Both are highly regarded for their blues playing in the Canberra scene and not although standard blues this album certainly covers the blues' most important ingredient, feel. 14 original tracks covering over an hour of material traverses through style's, genres, rhythms, grooves even sparseness! Lyrics and music combine to paint a picture of places, events and people with travel through the mystic, even some free association? These are songs about real things, born from experience, both true and imagined, love, pain, joy, sex, cars, family, mortality, spirit, drugs and psychology to name but a few. When it does all this it doesn't need to be pigeon holed as it will mean so many things to so many people.' This is the first KarismaKatz album. It is a selection of 14 songs picked out of the song-writing suitcases of DJ Gosper, Christo Carlsen and Lynnie Gosper, at last making their way onto disc. 10 of the songs are penned by DJ and provide an insight into her life over the past 20 years. The recording of 'Spirit on the Rise' took place between April 2007 and July 2008. During this time DJ was recovering from major surgery and debilitating treatment for breast cancer. And her mother was diagnosed with cancer in June 2007. DJ and her family cared for her at home until she left this world in January 2008. 2 songs are from Christo's collection, one written on the back of a beer coaster over 30 years ago! Another 2 from Lynnie Gosper's (also a cancer survivor) vast collection. The DJ/Christo connection has resulted in many of DJ's songs finally being realised, as Christo has understood the emotion fuelling the lyrics. Many of the songs have depressing themes, but it is far from a depressing album. DJ sings, plays blues-harps, a little bit of chromatic harmonica and bass harmonica (polyphonia). Christo sings and plays acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar. DJ's comments about each of the songs: 1. Spirit on the Rise - Written in 1996 after a relationship breakup and in the midst of depression. 2. Cool Me - Written in 1981 when I was 17. It was the last day of school holidays. These were my thoughts on how I would cope with going back to boarding school. 3. Under the Covers - Written in 2002. I'm embarrassed by the trite lyrics in this song, except for the hook which my husband came up with. Audiences love this one when we play it live, and I love it's rootsy feel, hence it's inclusion on the album. 4.Just For A Moment - Written by Christo, beautiful, fragile, vulnerable. According to Christo this one was sitting there in the dark, brooding silence just waiting to be given voice. 'Cause people do make promises, and people do tell lies, sometimes with the best of intentions. 5. Forty Winks - Written in 2000. I was imagining my soul personality travelling wherever it wanted, even through time, and how lovely it would be to connect with my soul mate in another life. 6. Silk Quilted Ladies - One of my sister's little gems. Lyrics written in 1983, melody in 1986. There's plenty of room in this slim-obsessed world for the curvy. No-one should feel sorry for taking up space. 7. Weekend People - Christo describes this as a bourbon and gunga fuelled paean to the more pretentious and predictable denizens of that most legendary of Canberra watering holes, the immortal Boot & Flogger. Written in 1977 on the remains of a soggy beer-mat, 'Weekend People' is a song about wannabes. I wonder sometimes what we've all become in the intervening decades - doctors, gardeners, lawyers and sandwich-hands I expect; butchers, bakers and thieves; not to mention a smattering of some particularly fine musicians. 8. Animal (Take Me Home) - Written in 1995. Looking back at an insecure, lonely period in my life - I was losing the plot and didn't feel safe. 9. 3 Lousy Beers - Written in 1993. An uncharacteristically self-indulgent piece - beyond anger. 10. Burn Baby Burn - Written in 2006. I had a breakdown in early 2006 - this song is about what it felt like just before I lost the plot. 11. Shiny - Written in 2008 to acknowledge and give people an insight into, my darling Mum's character. 12. My Mother Was Right - Written in 2007. I received beautiful and overwhelming support, love and care following my cancer diagnosis and throughout my treatment. That kind of outpouring of love is normally reserved for funerals. How lucky I am to have experienced that in my lifetime? Flowers, cards, gifts, thoughts, prayers and healings flowed in. Lying in my sick bed, the love from so many people was almost tangible. My mother was right - people are kind. 13. Tell And Show - Written in 2007. Many people said that I should write a song about my breast cancer experience, and at the time, I was still in battle mode and thought that while I was very appreciative of all the support I received, there was no way I was going to write a song about what I was going through. By the end of the song-writing process I had mellowed a little... 14. Good Enough For Ya - Written in 1986. One of many from my sister's delightful collection. Some people have a lot to offer but it's not always wanted.