Some tales are told with paper and ink, other tales pass from tongue to ear and find life in spoken word. There are some stories, however, which can be neither spoken nor read. Some stories sink so low and reach so high that they can only be told through song; Christina's debut solo album, Alive from the Scrapheap, is that story.
Brooklyn native and musician, Christina Rubino’s first full-length solo album is set to release in late 2013. This powerful and eclectic album tells the story of a gifted artist who got lost trying to find herself and only found herself when she was lost. Her lyrics are intertwined with beautiful harmonies, rustic harmonicas, raw emotion and an acoustic twang. By teaming up with longtime music producer and fellow Brooklynite Jerry Farley (NOVA Entertainment Group), magic transpired in the studio. Rubino bares her bones. Songs like “Seems,” detail the intimate struggle of living with addiction and losing one’s parents. “Tidal,” hits it to the heart for anyone who has ever lost control of his or her life. “Nothing to Gain,” speaks of human frailties that all people can relate to while “Gateway” lifts listeners up by the banjo strings to new hope and inspiration.
Rubino comes from a big family. Her mother, Irish Catholic and her father, an Italian-immigrant, raised her and her siblings in Brooklyn. She did not possess an undying enthusiasm for music until she was a teenager. Christina says, “I was sitting on the couch, loafing, and all of a sudden I heard this voice. It was like my insides woke up—the hair stood up on my neck. Time-Life’s music commercial had come on advertising a 1960s music compilation, and the seven-second snippet of music that changed my life forever was Janis Joplin singing the chorus to “Piece of my Heart.” That was it. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be that, I wanted to explode like that. I took the last fifty dollars from my birthday money, got on a bus to the local music store and bought myself a basic nylon string classical acoustic guitar. I didn’t even have enough for the sales tax; the salesman felt bad for me and gave me a discount. That was a great day.”
At the age of eighteen, she began playing in groups as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist. Taking lead in local favorites like Snap Dragon & Pettycoat with long time bassist & friend, Mark Weizorek (Sky M.S, the Valentines), a warm and friendly music scene nurtured endless collaborations, local shows and short tours in the Northeast. In 2006, Rubino joined the all female group Violator, a NYC based Depeche Mode cover band, as the lead guitarist. She enjoyed the travel and fellowship of the band, but longed to return to making original music. 2008 marked the transition by members of Violator to Josephine, an all female trio in which Rubino, lead vocals and guitars, wrote and collaborated with drummer Tracy Thompkins (Aerial Love Feed, Violator) and bassist Leigh Baragona (Violator). Josephine released a 5-song EP in 2009 with UK based indie label, Feed that Baby Records. In September of 2009, during a hailstorm of personal problems resulting from severe alcohol abuse, Rubino took a hiatus from recording and playing live music in order to get clean.
After spending time away from making music, she returned to the studio in collaboration with friend and fellow singer/songwriter, Francine Bianco (White) as one half of the folk duo, Ruby and White. Midway into recording a 5- Song EP, Bianco had an opportunity to pursue a post-graduate degree that would require both the time and finances needed to complete their recording project. Rather than abandon the idea all together, Rubino began to feel inspired to lay down intense and personal songs that she composed before and after her abrupt departure from the music scene. Christina said, “I swore most of these songs would never see the light of day. They were too personal, too embarrassing. It was difficult to even play them in front of my producer. It was only the constant nagging from my conscience and the unrelenting feeling that I must do this which led me to the decision to continue recording after Francine left. She was very pivotal to my journey with this album - had she not pushed me to start playing again and begged me to track some of those songs, they undoubtedly would still be in a drawer somewhere hidden.”
Consequently, her first full-length solo album was born, Alive from the Scrapheap. Still, Bianco is on many of the back up tracks and long time friend Matt Brown (A Pale Horse Named Death and Seventh Void) composed and played most of the lead guitar on the album. Alive from the Scrapheap is set for release in late 2013. Rubino says that “this album lays it all out. I was dead, and now I am free. I am grateful to God that I can share the experience, and my only hope is that somebody somewhere will know that they are not alone. As John Lennon said, ‘“While there’s life, there’s hope.”’