Christine Bougie - Photo by Graham Powell

The Secret Life of Christine Bougie


Christine Bougie knows a little bit about leading a double life. While studying jazz at Toronto's Humber College, she fell in love with playing country. She was supposed to be studying guitar in the manner of Herb Ellis and Wes Montgomery, but she was secretly woodshedding on lap steel, teaching herself the skills that have made her one of the most in-demand side players in town.

Most jazz-snobs will tell you that it's almost impossible to find common ground between two such disparate musical influences, but to Bougie, it seems to come effortlessly. On her debut album, Hammy's Secret Life, the multi-instrumentalist lays down eight self-penned tunes that simultaneously make reference to several musical traditions with a confidence that belies her 26 years.

Listening to the tracks takes on a whole new dimension as you try to figure out how much of what you're hearing is being played by Christine. She takes the art of overdubbing to new heights by playing all the guitar (acoustic and electric), lap steel, banjo, vibraphone, and zither parts herself.

This week, Christine's doing two gigs in town as a leader. Wednesday night she'll be at the Tranzac Club (in the main hall), 292 Brunswick Avenue. But if you can't make that show, you've still got a chance to catch her Friday night for the Elvis Christmas Party at Mitzi's Sister, 1554 Queen Street West, an evening celebrating the King and the holidays with lots of special guest singers. With more pompadours, polyester jumpsuits, and rhinestones than you could shake a stick at, it could very well be the event of the season.


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