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Jackie Bristow - Press

17th June, 2008
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June, 2008


IT'S ABOUT YOUR ROOTS - Shane Gilchrist, Otago Daily Times

May 31st, 2008

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24th July, 2008

- Strumming Kiwi of the Week

It seems that Southern California is something of a musical magnet for New Zealanders. So much so, in fact, that venues in Los Angeles are devoting entire evenings to contemporary musicians from the Land of the Long White Cloud. And with artists like Neil and Liam Finn, Bic Runga, and the gents behind Flight of the Conchords quickly making their way into the mainstream, it’s little wonder. Another name you can add to that list is Jackie Bristow. Like her aforementioned contemporaries, Bristow pens beautifully inflicting tunes, but she also has something over her country mates—a concert date in Santa Barbara.

After touring the United States in 2007, Bristow returned to her homeland. She released her album, Crazy Love, there in October and has been touring the continent extensively ever since. Shows with local luminaries like Renee Geyer and Christina Anu, and a special appearance with songwriting heavyweight Jimmy Webb, helped to further solidify her musical might. So, now that she’s conquered the southern hemisphere, Bristow has again turned her attention to the north.

“I opened for Phoebe Snow the other night in Washington,” said Bristow recently. “I listened to her back home when I was a teenager, and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I’d be playing with her in America. That’s the thing about this place—it’s full of possibilities, and, around the very next corner, that one break that could make a difference could be hiding. I have found that to be such a strong motivation to give every opportunity my all.”

Not that giving it her all has ever been a problem for Bristow. In a career that has taken her from New Zealand to Australia to America, her success is no doubt the byproduct of true talent and some damn hard work. With Crazy Love now available locally, Bristow is not only preparing to give the release all the live support it deserves, she’s also turning her thoughts to the future.

“I think what has happen so far has really opened my eyes,” she explained. “And my writing has just gotten stronger because of that. I have so much great new stuff, and I can’t wait to start recording again!”

FINDING BEAUTY IN CRAZY LOVE - Chris Chilton, Southland Times
March 1st, 2008

Whoda known all those years ago that the girl from Gore would find herself here, a seriously credible songwriter with the soul of a poet.
Bristow's second album, Crazy Love, finds her in an introspective headspace, comfortable in her craft, unafraid to stare down her demons and vocally intimate.
Country crossover chick-lit of the Williams-Morissette-Crow style it may be, but there are plenty of signature elegant subtleties in her music and the album's sound is immediate and engaging. The relaxed tempo of these 12 songs puts Bristow's voice and lyrics in front and centre. She doesn't hide or hold back.
Despite the insecurities her optimism shines, the sure sign of a confident and accomplished singer-songwriter in a happy place, personally.
"I'm gonna kick my troubles around, there is beauty to be found," she breathes into the microphone on the track Innocence.
You'll find beauty right here in Crazy Love.


LIVE REVIEW - Jackie Bristow, Rick Price, and Mark Punch @ Lizotte’s – January 12 by lkatulka on January 13th, 2008

Gigs are a lot like singles really. Most of the time you’ve got your standard format: the big commercial success and the B-side. Everyone;s there for the big hit while the B-side, which may actually be very good, tends to act as a bit of padding.

But occasionally you happen upon a show that’s a double A side: two accomplished artists sharing the bill without any hint of ego. Last night I was lucky enough to attend such a show when Jackie Bristow, Rick Price, and session guitarist extraordinaire Mark Punch graced the stage at Lizotte’s.

I wasn’t familiar with Jackie’s work before the show, but the New Zealand songbird instantly drew me in. She performs with such joy and honesty, it’s impossible not to like her. Jackie’s songs are simple and heartfelt, and their stripped back acoustic delivery allowed the lyrics to shine. I was captivated by her voice: pure and sweet like honey. Needless to say, I willingly forked over some cash for a copy of Jackie’s album after the set. (To read full review please visit here.


August 15th

This singer-songwriter got an early start in her home country of New Zealand's South Island as a choir singer with her sister at age eight. By age fourteen the Bristow Sisters were seasoned professionals. In 1995 she moved to Australia. As of recently, still located in Australia, she recorded "Crazy Love" all songs with the exception of two were written on her own. With lyrics like "I don't feel afraid of loving you this way/cause your swimming in my head, in my heart, my soul..." you can really relate to what she was going through while writing these songs. This woman makes you feel as if she's talking to you the whole way throughout the album; storming heaven's gates taking no prisoners as she goes. There are love songs throughout which will leave you breathless.

NASHVILLE SKYLINE - August 9th, 2007

 A column by, Editorial Director Chet Flippo

Crazy Love is a hypnotizing collection of her original songs that conjure up a seductive world of, well, crazy love and other ethereal things. Bristow is a true original and well worth your attention. Think Joni Mitchell crossed with Dusty Springfield… Not many writers in any musical genres give the attention and depth to lyrics that Bristow obviously does.

AUSTIN 360 - May 19th, 2007

… a cross between Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin, her voice angelic yet strong and full of soul. Her latest album, "Crazy Love," was released on Australian independent label Craving Records and features 12 songs of her own (and two co-written with Mark Punch) that glisten with heartfelt emotion. — LAUREN CLONTIS



JACKIE BRISTOW A New Zealand native who’s making waves in her adopted home of Australia, Bristow is a singer-songwriter with a penchant for sweet melodies and hypnotic tones. She counts Patty Griffin and Crowded House as favorites, and her style incorporates a bit of both, blending Neil Finn’s airy pop smarts with Griffin’s emotional directness and vibrancy. Bristow’s low soprano is seductive and soulful; she never presses or wails, but instead lets her voice deliver her probing, slice-of-life songs in laced silk. Her second album, CrazyLove, just became available in America, and she’s making her first stateside tour, accompanied by Aussie guitarist Mark Punch. 3rd & Lindsley —MICHAEL McCALL

07 May 2007
Crazy Love Review - Austin Daze

Jackie Bristow – Crazy Love
Some singers have voices that just hit you right away with the first note. Ms. Bristow, with her soft sensuality, is one such artist. She instantly blankets you with her vibe and gracefully leads you through her thoughtful songs.

She was raised in New Zealand, later moving to Australia, where she has already enjoyed some success touring with the likes of Daniel Lanois, while having her music used repeatedly in Australian film and television.  She has now relocated to the U.S.  Crazy Love is her second record, and quite a mature sounding one considering the stage of career she is in.

Well-textured and intimate, this CD had an emotional effect from the first listen, and has become something I crave hearing now.  I have to admit that I’m hooked, and a girl like me never likes to admit that sort of thing. 

This is the kind of female singer/songwriter that can win you over quickly, so fans of adult contemporary beware. Ms. Bristow is one talent that could really be headed upward fast.

9 Daisy stars
Daisy’s favorite lyric: I’ve tasted love and the fire from above and nothing else came near

September 12th 2006 @ Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles
from Desert Highway Magazine

You can tell a lot about an artist by watching the reaction of their audience. I often sit so that I can watch both artist and audience in thedance that is a live performance. It is the pinnacle of music in my opinion, maybe even the pinnacle of art in our age; and there is nothing more pure in music than a songwriter on stage alone with her guitar and her words. It didn’t take long, sitting there in Hollywood’s Hotel Café, a great venue for singer-songwriters, to realize that Jackie Bristow was special.

What is that IT quality that a singer has and how does one describe IT? In my role I think about that question often but, just as with the other members of the audience that Tuesday evening, I am engrossed with the first tickles of the guitar strings, the first sensuous swayings across the solitary stage, rocking the guitar like a wounded friend, eyes closed and leaning in to the microphone.

And for forty-five minutes we are treated to well-written and beautifully written odes of love, of sadness, lamenting the mistakes that seem inevitable, and the hope that comes with the sunrise, the harvest moon, the eager greeting of a puppy. Bristow brings to the stage a soulful voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar with pop accessibilities and folk sensibilities. She offers rooted music that is fresh and modern and uniquely her own.

A good songwriter is a good storyteller, but not of her own stories. With Bristow’s music we are not voyeurs so much as we are opened up to our own lives, our own beautiful sadness, our unyielding hope. A songwriter opens up her own life to allow us to experience our own more fully. We don’t need to hear or remember the lyrics so much as we need to feel and remember how we felt when we first heard them. I look around at the audience during the performance wondering where Bristow has taken them, and I cannot help myself from going along.

Bristow’s performance is warm, the lyrics are real, the voice hypnotic, and the guitar-playing is exquisite. As with all of her predecessors from Patsy Cline to Robert Johnson, she reminds us of the tragedies of life, but holds out for those sometimes moments that make all of the difference. Listening her music, I admit, is one of those sometimes moments.

Bristow is celebrating the release of her CD “Crazy Love.” Check back for updates on the CD’s release. In the mean time, listen out for the title single on Desert Highway Radio.


The Otago Daily Times
Saturday September 8, 2007

You can take the girl out of the country, and when you do she might just end up playing with the international music legends. Nigel Benson meets Jackie Bristow.

Gore girl loves her crazy life.

It’s a long way from Gore to sharing a stage with the likes of Art Garfunkel and Renee Geyer, let alone looking up during a concert to see Jackson Browne standing there.

It all sounds pretty exciting and exotic in former Gore musician Jackie Bristow’s world.

“I’m living the dream, but it’s not easy. It’s not an easy dream.” She says. “I went to a party recently and Jackson Browne was there and I had to sing in front of him. He was standing there right in front of me. He came up to me afterwards and said ‘well done’.

“That was so amazing. But there’s been years of hard work involved, too.”

Bristow discovered singing in the St Mary’s School choir when she was 8. She hasn’t stopped since.

After a decade spent touring the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the 35-year-old singer-songwriter has earned her spurs.

Her sweet melodies and hypnotic tones have US critics heralding her as one of New Zealand’s most talented musical exports.

“I’ve done a lot of traveling over the last six or seven years. I love it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop, really, “ she says.

Her most recent concerts were at the Canadian Music Festival in Toronto and a sell-out Australian tour with Daniel Lanois.

She has also performed with artists including Art Garfunkel, Madeleine Peyroux, Renee Geyer, Bic Runga, Mark Seymour, The Whitlams, The Badloves and British band Capercaille.

“The musicians I get to play with are among the best in the world. My keyboardist is touring with Steely Dan while I’m here and my drummer is off with Jackson Browne somewhere,” Bristow says.

“T eh venues I play are usually singer-songwriter venues. There’s live music seven nights a week in LA and the level of musicianship is amazing.”

Bristow has been based in LA for the past two years and regularly plays around Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Monterey and Big Sur.

“I used to sing in a covers band at Foxy’s in Dunedin. I can’t even remember the name of the band, now, “ Bristow says.

“it’ll be nice when I get back down south near home. I can’t wait to get back to Gore to see Mum and Dad. It’s been about 10 years since I was in Otago.”

She has returned home for the international launch of her new album, Crazy Love, which is already being lauded by critics.

“They said I could either release it here or in Australia first. It was a very easy decision to make, “ she grins.

“I’ll stay in New Zealand until summer and then go back to the US to release the album.”

The album was recorded and produced in LA by Helik Hadar (engineer to Rufus Wainwright, Madeleine Peyroux and Walter Becker) and Mark Howard (Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams) and features a line-up of international musicians.

Bristow’s songs have gained international appeal, featuring on Australian television shows The Secret Life of Us and Home And Away, and her 2004 track Carry me Away accompanied the Australian movie Go Big.

Back on the more refined side of the ditch, two tracks from Crazy Love have been playlisted on Air new Zealand’s flights, and another two have featured on the hit New Zealand television show Outrageous Fortune.

Bristow relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 to record Crazy Love, the follow-up to her 2002 debut, Thirsty.

The first three tracks on Thirsty were written by Bristow’s childhood friend, Fortune Theatre marketing assistant Louise Moulin.

Moulin also has her first novel Saltskin, being released next March by Random House. There must be something in that Gore water.

Crazy Love is due for release in New Zealand on October 23.

Revolver Magazine, Sydney, Live Review

“(Bristow has) sexiness and substance that can take you to a million different places mentally. Her mature pop sensibilities reveal an uncompromisingly poignant display of pure open passion. A sweet euphoria.”

Michael Fallow, Southland Times, New Zealand
“Who’s to say you can’t have girlish pop with integrity and depth.

Melbourne Star, Album Review, Album of the Week
“THIRSTY is a collection of really strong songs that have been beautifully
produced…Jackie Bristow is a fantastic talent.”

M People Magazine, New Zealand, Live Review by Chunn
“She captivated the audience like only the truly talented can: Musically, lyrically and, unquestionably, in delivery.”