“A laudable collection that unearths such notable newcomers as...Jacksonville, FL native, Cristina Williams (who offers the delicate folk/pop strummer 'I'll Let You Go' and skittling rocker 'Ties That Bind'). (from a review of ‘East Side of Fascination’ compilation which featured two tracks from What Did I Do?) ”
— Billboard Magazine
After living in the two biggest cities in the country, being in the desert has created some extra space in my head – almost by default. Maybe it’s the lack of pollution – maybe it’s the physical whitespace: gaps between buildings, gaps between the rooftops and the blue, blue sky. What ever it is, I’m shedding things and thoughts and baggage. I don’t need them anymore. Which makes me think, what do I need? Time and space to write, sing, rock out and be.
Some of you know me as the bass player for Tucson rock band The Modeens, others know me as the theater diva from Jacksonville, FL. but I’ve been doing the singer/songwriter thing for most of my life. Steeped in folk music while growing up in Florida – me and my acoustic guitar. Then moved to New York City and got hooked on rock n roll – switched to electric and started playing with a full-on band. Another change in course and I ended up in LA with my man, Jamie Laboz, and started founding The Modeens. But now that I’ve been getting my rock off (heh) – I’m lately drawn to my folkier, quieter side – country songs keep coming out of my pen. And not just country – don’t know what to call my sound these days, but I’m ready to share some of my own little world.
Cristina Williams has a half smile "What Did I Do?" smirk on her face on the cover of this CD. Pictures really are worth more than a thousand words aren't they? She does look suspiciously guilty now doesn't she? Well, she is guilty. One, for rocking her ass off on this CD, the other counts being that she sings with soul, power, and not to mention beauty, when necessary. So what else is there when it comes to good music? What's a girl to do after outdoing herself and completely blowing me away with some serious rock 'n' roll and a totally kick ass band? Absolutely nothing, that's what. Watch out guys, you may just fall in love with this hard rockin' diva; she’s got it goin’ on...
To answer the question the title poses, you made a damn good disc, Cristina...A song like "Make You Happy" does precisely that. It starts off in a surf-genre mood before bouncing off with a chorus featuring a Farfisa-organ sound, and a hooky nature that could have been culled from a '60s TV show. (I can picture the girls in white go-go boots and heavy black mascara.) She's not your typical guitar-strumming coffeehouse singer, mind you, as her voice has plenty of depth to it. Her lyrics show an investment of time as well, like on "I'll Let You Go," a bittersweet tale if there ever were one. Again, a really good disc.
What Did I Do?, the debut release from Cristina Williams Band, is an album of contradictions without compromise. Hailing from Florida and raised in a Cuban-American family, she incorporates reggae sounds "Make You Happy" along with the blues of title song. When Williams branches off into the spoken word of "Summer Moon" or the brooding "I'll Let You Go" the breadth of her emotion is striking. Comparisons to Maria McKee and Melissa Etheridge are deserved as Williams is clearly a songwriter before all else. But she also has the ability to bring her personal and plaintive lyrics to life. Backed by a strong band, What Did I Do? has the feel of a live performance, with Williams' energy breaking through each song.
— Amplifier magazine
Cristina Williams of The Modeens is originally from Jacksonville, Fla., and lived in New York and Los Angeles before moving to Tucson with partner and bandmate, Jamie Laboz. She works as a documentation specialist and web consultant for the USC Information Sciences Institute. What was the first concert you ever saw? Hall and Oates in Jacksonville when I was 12. ... I smelled some strange smoke coming from the couple next to us, but my parents wouldn't say much about it. What are you listening to these days? Lots of KXCI! Honestly, it was one of the factors when we decided to move here. Also, the new Charlotte Gainsbourg album, IRM. What was the first album you owned? A 45 of Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou." I'd sit there for hours in my room with my Fisher Price turntable, singing along at the top of my little lungs. (more...)
— Tucson Weekly, Kristin Peashock
Cristina Williams rawwkkkks! Here we have a girl who knows exactly how to write n rock with the best of them and I would happily include the music of The Pretenders, The Clouds...Texas, Blondie...Squeeze, and Elvis Costello as equal to this magnificently talented artist...
— International Online Music Magazine