Cris Williamson at the Unitarian

In honor of Women's History Month, St. Clair Productions will present acoustic guitarist and songwriter Cris Williamson in concert at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Williamson is touring in support her new CD, "GiftHorse."

Long before independent record labels became the norm for many recording artists, Williamson was busy changing the face of popular music for women. During a 1973 radio interview in Washington, D.C., Williamson suggested that someone should form a women's record company. The independent Olivia Records label was founded the next day.

In 1975, Williamson — then a 20-something former schoolteacher — recorded "The Changer and the Changed" for Olivia. The album became a hit with American feminists, and it went on to sell thousands of copies. Williamson toured folk festivals around the country, performed at Carnegie Hall, and toured Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. She recorded about a dozen albums with Olivia, then formed her own record company, Wolf Moon Records.

Williamson's music became associated with the women's music movement, along with the work of artists such as Holly Near, Meg Christian, and Margie Adam. They're all politically active, close to lesbian and gay issues and helping make a way for women to write, produce and record material on their own terms.

Williamson's 20-year relationship with performer and recording engineer Tret Fure produced three albums, "Postcards from Paradise," "Radio Quiet" and "Between the Covers" for fans of women's music. Her lyrics also began showing up as curriculum for some women's studies courses.

Williamson raises every dollar for her independent recordings through sponsor packages that are available at her shows and at her online store,

Her new release, "GiftHorse," follows her 2008 album, "Fringe," in the theme of returning home in body, spirit and memory. Her songs are about the places she has left by moving or maturing that still are part of the songwriter. "GiftHorse" takes listeners back to Williamson's beloved Wyoming with old songs and new originals that pay tribute to the prairies and the people she holds dear.

Tickets to the show at the Unitarian Center cost $20 in advance, $22 at the door, $10 for youth ages 12-17, and free for those under 12. Tickets are available at the Music Coop in the A Street Marketplace in Ashland, on-line at or by calling 541-535-3562.

Share This Story