By DONNA BALANCIA
Cindy Lee Berryhill is a “Lover of Love” and that comes through loud and clear on her new album, The Adventurist.
Cindy Lee, a fixture in the LA music scene who now lives in Encinitas, gave CaliforniaRocker.com a sneak listen to the album, which will be released on March 10 on Omnivore Records.
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Cindy Lee will perform at McCabe’s on April 2.
“We all have our drugs of choice mine is love,” Cindy Lee said. “I made a decision to write an album in honor of the love I shared with my husband. I’m very excited, it’s my first very focused work since the ’90s.”
The Adventurist is Cindy Lee’s first album since all of her years of caregiving her ailing husband, rock writer Paul Williams. Paul passed away in March of 2013 from complications of a brain injury.
The songs on the album are songs of love, attraction and desire. One simple and succinct song we like on the album is “American Cinematography.”
“It’s the same thing behind the album that’s behind the song,” she said. “Each song is a tone poem to love and desire and the chemical soup of feelings you have when you fall in love. ‘American Cinematography,’ for me, is when you’re in love with somebody and you look at your beloved, it’s like you’re shooting a film. It’s beautiful and it’s love.”
The Love Affair With Cindy Lee Berryhill
Cindy Lee’s unique sound has earned her a spot in music lovers’ hearts. She put out her first album Who’s Gonna Save The World? in 1987 and it was followed up in 1989 with Naked Movie Star.
In 1999, she published the book, Memoirs of A Female Messiah, which was released along with a live album called Living Room 16.
She has chronicled her experiences in her blog, Beloved Stranger.
Cindy Lee is happy to be back in the recording studio and performing while raising her son, Alexander.
But despite dealing with serious issues life has dealt, Cindy Lee has kept an upbeat attitude. It’s her positive vibe that keeps her a fan favorite.
And now that she’s back into music full time, would she consider moving back to LA any time in the near future?
“I do have commitment to my son,” she said. “I have a commitment to have him continue high school here. That’s partly because I grew up where every three years we moved, so I’ve grown to love consistency. ”
“Encinitas is 100 miles from LA and I live two blocks from the beach, how can you get better than that?”
Overcoming Rough Patches
The road has not always been smooth for Cindy Lee. Coping with her husband’s afflictions and trying to keep her family and career in tact was a challenge. And during this time in the 1990s, there wasn’t so much information in the news about head trauma.
“My husband had a brain injury,” she said. “It was very difficult towards the end, especially. Seven years after the injury, things started to go south.”
She observed that all these years the news related to football injuries leading to dementia has put her fight by her husband’s side into focus.
“From 2004 on, I was Paul’s caregiver,” she said. “But we had a child in 2001, Alexander, and he is doing amazing.”
Cindy Lee said that today it’s all about moving forward.
“At a certain point I really wanted to write a song about love and attraction, but how you need transcendence,” she said.
A New Digital World of Music
Cindy Lee is returning to a business that has changed drastically even over the last 20 years.
“When I grew up, you fell in love with the record, and then you went to see artist,” she said. “Now it’s the other way around.”
Cindy Lee has a strong connection to trends in the music industry because of her “day” job — she’s a guitar teacher. She said kids today use a different route to find music they like.
“I’m priviledged working with young people every day,” she said. “Young people are finding music through computer games and TV shows; They know older songs and that’s through their parents. It’s secondary to the games.”
As music is being discovered through TV advertisements, is that considered selling out?
“TV commercials and movies are the way people are discovering the music today,” she said. “So the only thing that’s a sellout is if you hate the product. If it’s something to get behind, then that’s great.”