In 1969 Keith Christmas recorded his first album ‘Stimulus‘ at Sound Control in Chelsea, London when he was signed up by Sandy Roberton. Mighty Baby were given the task of backing the tracks and it has become a rare collector’s item.
On the back of headline gigs at the Beckenham Arts Lab, then run by a rising star called David Bowie, he was asked to play the acoustic guitar on David’s first album ‘Space Oddity‘. He played his Fender Palomino Acoustic guitar while David played 12-string on ‘Letter to Hermione’, ‘God Knows I’m Good’ and ‘Occasional Dream’.
That year he was asked by Michael Eavis to appear at a small festival in Pilton called the Glastonbury Festival. He made many appearances in the years that followed.
In 1970 he recorded the album ‘Fable of the Wings‘ and in 1971 he wrote and recorded the highly-acclaimed ‘Pigmy‘. That summer he graduated from the University of Bath. He finished lectures on Tuesday and by Friday was trying to convince a doorman at the Leicester DeMontford Hall to let him in as he was the support act that night for The Who.
In 1972 Keith Christmas was voted one of six favourite international artists by writers of Sounds magazine.
Two highly-charged gigs later and he was on a UK tour, firstly with King Crimson then with Ten Years After. Throughout the 70’s beyond playing club and University gigs all over the UK and Europe, he opened for Argent, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, The Kinks and was on Roxy Music‘s first UK tour.
In 1974 he was signed by ELP’s house label Manticore and, initially with Greg Lake, then Peter Sinfield producing, recorded the album ‘Brighter Day‘.
At this point Keith formed a band as the music he was creating was heading further and further away from the folk genre but after some very successful gigs at the Roundhouse and the Marquee, Keith, together with his manager new Jackie Krost of BKM, headed to LA and write the next album there.
Keith settled into the famous Sunset Tower on Sunset Boulevard and in the 20 months that followed wrote and recorded ‘Stories From the Human Zoo‘ high in the mountains above the Pacific coast in a studio owned by Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues.
In 1976 he returned to England and, after a few years stopped playing, and renovated houses in London, later moving back to Bristol to teach.
In 1991 Keith formed the blues band ‘Weatherman‘ with some friends and an album of the same name was released in 1992.
In 1996 he suddenly started to write a different kind of acoustic material which immediately led to the release of a new album ‘Love Beyond Deals‘ on HTD records.
In January 2003 Keith released an instrumental CD, ‘Acoustica‘. It got excellent worldwide reviews –
‘absolutely brilliant’, ‘this is a quite exceptional piece of work’, ‘lavish and overwhelming’, ‘a beautiful album’
The opening track was used on the BBC documentary ‘Hidden Gardens’.
In 2006 he recorded and produced his first ever solo CD called ‘Light of the Dawn‘. The magazine fRoots reviewed it:
‘…the sound is fantastic and grabs the attention: the confident, gutsy guitar, picked or slide, has immediacy and intimacy in equal measure; and Christmas’s urgent, hoarse vocals can’t help but involve the listener in the moods and stories of the songs…a fine timeless album’
An EP in 2011 and a live CD ‘Live at the Pump‘ followed in 2012.
In June 2015 Keith went to France for two weeks to see if he could write some songs. While there he developed a whole new way of writing, playing guitar and singing. This material was recorded during 2016 and the album ‘Crazy Dancing Days‘ was released at the end of 2016.
With a mixture of philosophy, storytelling and some fiery politics played in a fast, driving fingerpick style that at times owes more to trance than folk, a new generation of young people are getting turned on to his music.