On Eva Cassidy’s 58th birthday, Chris Biondo looks back on her life.

Chris Biondo was Eva Cassidy’s bassist, producer, musical mentor and friend. Chris met Eva when she recorded a few songs in his studio in Rockville DC in 1987. It was hardly possible to find a greater difference between two people. Chris was outspoken, extroverted, quick and decisive, while Eva was withdrawn introverted and cautious. But they also had a lot in common: their love of music, a particular sense of humour and their appreciation of life in general. Eva felt safe in his presence and Chris lost his armour when she was in his studio. Chris’ respect for her musical abilities grew. He came up with the idea to form a band that would have the name the Eva Cassidy band.

Eva & Chris

Eva & Chris

Looking back on Eva’s musical life Chris Biondo says:

“I don’t think Eva had ever thought about signing autographs, have her own dressing room or going to David Letterman. Those were things, she wouldn’t like at all. When you hear Eva there is no phoney ‘I wanna impress you’ type of  approach to her singing. Most people can sense that from a mile away. It makes her singing so honest and pure, that’s why she finally was understood by many people. She knew the songs and she knew how to play them, she could actually feel the music. That is not something that can be taught. I don’t think Eva even understood completely how this worked.”

No Boundaries

Eva Cassidy

“She didn’t realize what her own potential was. She probably thought she was pretty good. But she thought it was overembellishment when people said that she really had a unique talent. If she had lived, she would have been better, because she kept growing. And she would have had more resources to do better things. She would have worked with more people. The best thing we can do for Eva is try to make sure that she is remembered in the best light.”

‘Take Me To The River’, Blues Alley, January 3rd, 1996:


16 responses to “On Eva Cassidy’s 58th birthday, Chris Biondo looks back on her life.”

  1. Dianne says:

    Stumbled on her music on Spotify! Immediately had to listen to all her music. I was brought to tears by her delivery. What a special woman. May she rest in peace free of pain. Your legacy will live on.

  2. Joe caz says:

    Multi dimensional voice that attacked your ears with a sweet sound that overtakes every other sound in your life. Her sound is an emotional dagger an emotional dagger to my heart. At my age, dealing with some of the sadness of life, she can harness a feeling in my heart that transcends my ability to feel. The first time I heard her I had to listen to everything she left us.I have suffered loss and have an idea of what those who knew her felt at her passing.It does not get easier with time. Thankfully, thiose who knew her,and her sound had the great sense to ,pass her music along for the rest of us to know. Thank you Eva

  3. Big Pluck says:

    I remember Eva as being very talented beyond music. Once back when Chris was remodeling his recording studio Eva was assisting with painting. The walls were being painted a two tone color that I remember being a Burgundy & white on the top. Eva was painting the bottom half in Burgundy and she painted the most absolute straightest line by hand, not using any masking tape. Just the paintbrush in her hand. And I remember telling everyone “look yaw look at how Eva painted such a straight line”. Everyone was stunned in silence. Her attitude was “that’s how I saw it and that is how it’s supposed to be right?”
    She was so amazing. There was truly no fronting with her. She was as pure as the driven country snow.
    I miss and love you always Eva.

    -BiG Pluck

  4. Mark Deneen says:

    Eva was the rarest kind of singers. When she arranged a song and delivered it she owned it from that moment on. She could sing folk, blues, jazz, pop, with conviction power and a sincerity that is hard to find in any other singer.

    In her few years she recorded more masterpieces than many accomplish in a lifetime. I thank Chris Biondi for seeing the immense potential and getting so much of it down on tape! Tip o’ the cap to you Chris!

    We don’t have Eva, but what s huge gift she left us!

  5. arn says:

    The fact is Chris Biondo is going to go down in history as one of the most important people in the history of vocal music.

  6. Denise M. Wigington says:

    What a phenomenal talent she was!! I can listen to her all day. I’ve never heard such an angelic voice and she made it look effortless. Over the rainbow rips your heart out! But I tell ya, if I’m ever blessed enough to marry, I’m walking down that aisle to Eva’s You Take My Breath Away !!! God, it’s beautiful!! I play it on repeat all the time and it touches my soul! Thank you Eva, you are truly amazing. ?❤️?

  7. John H says:

    I had heard the original Fields of Gold by Sting and loved the song, but when I heard Eva’s version, it was transported to a completely other level. She owned it from that point forward.
    It makes me sad that she did not get to enjoy the success of her music, but it also seems that it was less important to her than it might be to her fans. Thank you to Eva and Chris for the gift of her music.

  8. Jen Sauer says:

    I just discovered Eva Cassidy when I heard part of ‘Wade in the Water’ on a TV show – I think it was CSI Miami. I asked Siri on my phone while the song was playing who sings it. I then played some of Eva’s songs on YouTube and really liked her. I bought her ‘Songbird’ CD online and plan to buy more. It’s tragic that she couldn’t continue to perform music for decades. I love discovering new and especially obscure music!

  9. Sherry Poage says:

    Eva is my favorite female musician of all time! Never before has anyone’s voice and style touched my soul like she does.

  10. Louis St-Jacques says:

    Ma fille Catherine m’a fait découvrir Eva Cassidy. Je suis tombé en bas de ma chaise. Un talent inné, un feeling qui ne se dément pas à travers toutes ses interprétations.
    Les musiciens qui l’accompagnent sont superbes. Can’t wait to go to the record store.

  11. Robbie Matz says:

    I heard a couple of ‘Pieces of a Dream’ songs featuring Eva Cassidy. I really liked her style…and then she was gone. I think she would’ve been as great as Nancy Wilson or Linda Ronstadt (not that she would’ve cared) but that’s what made her great-she liked to do the things she liked, singing, gardening, painting.

  12. John ONeill says:

    I found out about Eva when my daughter visited us. She said people at work were talking about a singer she thought I might like.
    I went to my computer and saw the video of Eva sing Over the Rainbow and I was blown away.
    I’ve thanked my daughter often.

  13. Karen Danell says:

    Her voice transcended every barrier imaginable, a gift from above that I am thankful I was insightful enough to unwrap. Thank you for continuing to expand her legacy. Listening to her sing “Oh, Had I a Golden Thread” is a rapturous experience, the power and purity of her voice like no other. I have so many personal favorites, it’s impossible to choose just one. I know the phrase is attributed to Conway Twitty, but I think Eva Cassidy is the best friend a song ever had. Peace

    • Anita Hudson-Ax says:

      Thank you I LOVE how she sings that song Oh, Had I a Golden Thread, it makes me emotional <3 What a power in her voice. I keep playing it over and over again and just can't get enough. My personal favorite was "Songbird" but recently I realized how many other songs she had recorded and the recordings with Chuck Brown I just love too <3

  14. Muriel Baxter says:

    For me personally there is no other female singer that has affected me the way Eva Cassidy has. One of my favourite all time songs is Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I never would have believed that there could be a better arrangement of the original until I heard Eva’s version. Her ability to convey lyrics in all the songs is phenomenal. I would have loved to have seen her perform live, it must have been amazing. Eva Cassidy was a very special lady.

    • David Gartner says:

      Very well stated Muriel. I first heard Eva singing Fields of Gold on Pandora Radio nearly ten years ago. I stopped what I was doing and just listened to her incredible voice. I’ve been a huge Fan ever since!

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