"Pure melody wore a smile and played acoustic guitar for almost 20 minutes in the form of DeLeon, who had a presence that was bigger than the stage.
Halfway through her first song, “Dunes of Brigantine,” the crowd was singing along. As she performed, her fingers danced across the strings, giving the acoustic guitar a harp-like feel. She was constantly smiling and engaging the audience ..."
Christine DeLeon: Press
"... a New Jersey treasure."
"Such a lovely voice ... " Christine has “given us a great, great CD … it’s like a good book you just want to cuddle up with."
Christine's "...Judy Collins-sque crystalline voice and hopeful, upbeat songs have made her a rising star in our area."
"Christine has made quite an impression on those who have heard her. With a strikingly clear and strong alto voice, she delivers her own well-written songs and those of her folk contemporaries with charm and conviction."
"This New Jersey artist's rich soprano is eerily reminiscent of that of a young Judy Collins: Powerful, crystalline and assured. And, like a young Judy, she makes her voice the centerpiece of this debut recording by featuring sweeping legato ballads accompanied by simple strummed acoustic guitar (filled out by backing instruments). Christine's songs are uniformly upbeat in something of the Dar Williams style, thougth with a gentle Christian message. We would also look forward to hearing this voice used, as Judy Collins' has been, to interpret other writers' work."
"A sparkling discovery at the Minstrel this Friday.
Say the word 'pure' and two things come to our mind: A beer commercial from a Rocky mountain stream, and the voice of singer Judy Collins. Time to add Christine DeLeon to that list. Christine has made the leap from open mic performer to headliner at Morristown's Minstrel Coffeehouse, where her sparkling alto voice will be featured Friday at 8 pm. The singer-songwriter also is scheduled to play a lunchtime gig at Greenberry's, across from the Morristown Green. In other words ... you don't have to head for the mountains to enjoy this pure treat!"
"... sweet sounds ..."
Even though Christine DeLeon has been singing and performing for most of her life, the 41-year-old singer-songwriter has just put together her first album, "January Hiding" - an 11-track collection of lyrically honest songs that have earned comparisons to female icons like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. But don't think this performer doesn't have the chops. Thirteen years a leader of song at Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack and more than 20 years of songwriting have turned DeLeon, a winner at the 2008 New Jersey Folk Festival Songwriting Competition at Rutgers University, into a flexible live act, luring audiences with her sing-song voice and tender vibrato.
"I'd like to be known as someone versatile, who can pull something appropriate for any venue," said DeLeon.
Influenced greatly by Dar Williams, DeLeon makes it a point to stretch out the possibilities of her voice while weaving stories into her songs.
"Whether someone interprets [my songs] the same way as I was putting it to music is not important. I'd like someone to get something out of my songs even if it's something other than what I intended," she said.
"January Hiding" collects tales and observations from DeLeon's life, from her memories of wearing treasures from her grandmother's jewelry box to her personal struggle to make sense of 9/11. DeLeon's vocal abilities are prominent against light acoustic accompaniment, while her religious influences are decipherable in what Sing Out! Magazine described as a "gentle Christian message."
"A lot of my faith throughout my whole life sort of finds its way into my songwriting in one way or another." she said. "It kind of bleeds in."
For more on DeLeon, visit christinedeleon.com. For more on recent winners of the New Jersey Folk Festival, visit njfolkfest.rutgers.edu.
Quote: "My very early memories of life are just of music and hearing things on the radio and humming along. When I was not old enough to walk on my own yet, I have a distinct memory of holding on to the wrought-iron railing at the top of the staircase kind of dancing around to the radio."