Orcutt Singer-Songwriter Releases New Introspective Album

 Orcutt singer-songwriter Chris Lambert has just released his eleventh album. Aptly titled The Constant Education of Christopher Lambert, the album is made up of nine dulcet songs that explore presence, mindfulness, and personal truths.

After leaving his day job in 2007, Lambert dove into the life of a full-time musician and wrote, recorded, and released roughly an album a year until 2016. In those years he was also voted Santa Barbara County’s Best Local Musician three times, a testament to his talents as well as the power of pursuing one’s passion.

Though he kept up the album-a-year pace for nearly a decade, 2016’s The Blue Hour caused a somewhat unexpected course change for Lambert.   

“The Blue Hour dealt with some tough issues [from my childhood and recent past] and it hurt some feelings,” he says. “That knocked me off the horse for a while.”

Lambert says he found himself struggling with how to remain honest about his experiences, while at the same time respecting what others close to him might feel should be off-limits to share. For six months he completely stopped writing. In that time he made a list of things that he felt would help him to grow as a person, like forgiveness, responsibility, etc. and set about applying them to his life. This period of introspection ultimately led him to embrace the idea of being fully present in one’s life and living in the now.

During his hiatus from music, Lambert started the Are We Okay? podcast as a way to stay connected to the creative world and pick the brains of other creative types. He also filled his time with copy editing Coyote + Oak magazine and working as a recording engineer at Certain Sparks Music, but he couldn’t stay away from making albums for long.

Finally picking up a pen again, the line “I think I’ve got a lot to think about” (which appears in the song “Think”) set the ball rolling. “I wrote for a full year before going into the studio,” he explains. “The songs stayed ethereal and shapeless and changed over time, which helped to make them more cohesive.”

Lambert says The Constant Education of Christopher Lambert is like a “handbook for being Christopher Lambert”. “It’s me singing to me and using writing as a way to get to know myself better.”

His lyrics are complex in their simplicity, but it is the purity of Lambert’s voice that makes them true poetry. Each track has been crafted with such care that, when combined, sound as if they emerged naturally and organically as a fully-formed album from the proverbial womb. Each word is heart-conveyed and heart-felt and the message is clear as Lambert sings lines like “be here now” and “just enjoy the show… not the why or how.”  

A true musician in every sense of the word, Lambert plays most of the instruments on the album, with the exception of cello, pedal steel guitar, and fretless bass (look for some ear-catching cameos there) and has let his creativity out to play with the inclusion of Tibetan singing bowls, glockenspiel, loopy lou, and penny whistle (to name but a few). The way he blends these unexpected elements into his work so seamlessly speaks to his artistry.

“I realized that it’s harder than it seems to not dwell on the past or worry about the future,” Lambert says, and now he’s got nine little reminders to stay present. Though one eye can’t help but stray to a future with more albums in it. “I love writing,” he says. “I can’t wait to start the next one. I’m not much of a performer so, for me, the art is in the making. My favorite part is the energy that comes from creating the thing.”

Though he admits to having been vulnerable to people’s reactions to his work and career path in the past, he feels more confident now that he is doing what’s right for him, which is creating. “Constant creation is the ongoing purpose of my life.”

To purchase The Constant Education of Christopher Lambert, visit www.chrislambert.bandcamp.com and check out new episodes of Are We Okay? every Tuesday on iTunes or at http://areweokay.libsyn.com/

Rebecca Ross reporting