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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

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Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross made history with his 1980 self-titled debut album, winning five Grammy Awards, including—for the first time ever—the four most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also for “Sailing”), and Best New Artist.

Now, 30+ years after his extraordinary emergence into the music business, Cross continues his recording and performing career with a new album, Secret Ladder, that evokes the artistry of such great singer-songwriters as Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman while addressing contemporary concerns head-on – a combination which is sure to please his loyal fan base.

Indeed, the 13 tracks, mostly written with his longtime collaborator Rob Meurer, continues the exploration of adult subject matter broached in his preceding album Doctor Faith (2011). “My passion and commitment to music haven’t diminished a bit, and I make no apologies for exploring mature subjects,” says the San Antonio native, now living in Austin after decades in Southern California.

“Of course, I’m still a romantic at heart,” adds Cross, whose classic hits – including “Ride Like the Wind,” from Christopher Cross, and the Oscar-winning "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" from the film starring Liza Minelli and Dudley Moore – remain staples on radio to this day.

Yet Cross remains a spiritual, if not religious, artist, and the Secret Ladder album title manifests this. The conceptual album cover art, by photographer/graphic designer Sandrine Lee, expressly suggests a Magritte painting in its depiction of human figures climbing the fretboard of an upright acoustic guitar surrounded by a blue sky filled with clouds, at the same time invoking Joni Mitchell’s lyric in “For the Roses”—“And pour your simple sorrow / To the sound hole and your knee.”

“I write my songs on the guitar, and that’s how I realize my spirituality” says Cross. “Music is the source, the wellspring. The people coming out of the guitar’s sound hole on the cover are climbing the ladder to a higher plane.”

As always, Cross enlisted the finest support musicians, including bassist Will Lee (of the Fab Faux and Late Night with David Letterman), drummer Keith Carlock (Steely Dan and Toto), guitarist Eric Johnson, saxophonist David Mann, and vocalists Michael McDonald and Jeff Foskett (Brian Wilson’s musical director).

While Cross is an avowed pacifist, he is a big supporter of those who serve in the armed forces.