Standing six feet, two inches tall, she was wearing heels at the time, so she’s surprised the driver didn’t see her. The crash left her seriously injured but, thankfully, not dead. The incident, however, did make the singer-songwriter realize that life is short, and that she should spend less time being so career-minded and focus on her true passion, music.
“There are certain things in my life that had happened and were tiny wake-up calls, sort of,” Christine says. “But this one was huge.”
Christine, who grew up in Minneapolis and now lives in Denver, started playing music as a child, mostly classical piano. She went on to play college basketball, and music took a back seat. Also, she couldn’t fit a piano in her dorm room, so she bought a guitar and learned to play that instead.
Another big moment in her journey as a musician happened during a trip to Breckenridge, with some friends at a bar. A musician playing was taking breaks between sets, and one of Christine’s friends, without telling her, approached the bar manager and asked if Christine could fill in for him.
“I’m looking at her like, ‘I’m going to kill you,’” she says. “The guy playing let me borrow his guitar, and I’ll never forget it. I grabbed it, and I started singing in the bar. Before that, it was super-loud, and in two seconds it went totally quiet. It was that moment I’ll never forget.”
She played a few songs and tried to give the musician back his guitar, but he demurred and told her to finish out the night.
“That was where I really caught the fire,” she says.
Christine moved to Denver about two and a half years ago and has been gigging around the metro area and planning some West Coast dates later this year. She likes her sets to be interactive and will sometimes bring a random audience member on stage and improvise a song about him or her. Recently, she planned a “live practice session” at a distillery with a handful of fellow musicians.
“We are just vulnerably showing like, ‘Hey, here’s how you practice or something,’” she says. “I don’t think a lot of people do that, you know, making mistakes in front of people and starting over and things like that.”
Musically, Christine draws from a wide variety of influences, everyone from Brandi Carlile and Sara Bareilles to Ellie Goulding and Mike Posner. She also likes K.T. Tunstall, John Mayer, the Doors and Bob Dylan.
“I have a very wide array,” she says. “Right now I'm on a Stevie Nicks kick like crazy — Fleetwood Mac Stevie Nicks. It’s actually the first song on my set, ‘Dreams.’”
Her second album, Breaking Silence, was inspired by a brief, unhappy marriage and the subsequent messy divorce that was both emotionally and financially draining for her. She says that writing the album helped her work through the misery that came with that unhappy chapter in her life.
“I feel like for a lot of writers, it’s our therapy,” she says. “A lot of it's inspired by other people and what they are working through. And as you are working through things, you work through them together."
She says her favorite part of the album is the message she hopes people will take from it.
“The last song is called ‘I Wish You Well,’” she says, adding that she wrote that in a card she mailed to her ex with a check, in order to gain a little closure. “No matter what you go through, or how terrible someone can treat you or whatever else, you ultimately have to be the bigger person and forgive and wish that person well."
For more information on Sarah Christine, visit sarahchristinempls.com.