Well, Paige, since you asked... Here's a bit of press work I put together recently for a singer-songwriter in Portland, OR.
It all starts with a song.
A fresh melody, a penetrating insight, an evocative turn of phrase — any of these qualities would mark an artist as someone to watch. Put them all together in one musician and he becomes someone to follow, a person who might impact a genre again and again.
C. C. Crowe has that potential.
On his new double CD, Live At Jackpot, the singer from Portland, OR offers 21 tantalizing glimpses of what might well become a long and influential career. These are songs that uphold the Americana tradition while making a thoroughly personal statement, stories with universal truths, music that seems to balance craft and inspiration with no effort at all.
Engineered and mixed by Dean Baskerville (Sheryl Crowe, Everclear) and mastered by Steve Hall (Jackson Browne, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac), Live At Jackpot is a debut literally years in the making. Like so many, C. C. Crowe has paid his dues in clubs and coffee houses, entertaining many an audience with just a guitar and his richly melodic take on life. Along the way, he spent time in such crucial music centers as Austin, Seattle and Philadelphia. He also discovered the brilliance of such artists as Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons, Rambling Jack Elliot and Jerry Jeff Walker, absorbing their influences and spinning his experience into a fertile stockpile of at least 150 songs.
For all that time onstage, it’s only recently that Crowe began working with a band. The graceful and versatile Crowetones grew out of a chance meeting at Portland’s Artichoke Music store between the singer and guitarist Steve Genova, who made his reputation with blues legend Danny Gatton. From there the band came together organically, as did the arrangements for the new songs Crowe was writing to take advantage of all these fresh possibilities.
And what songs! From the sweet playfulness of “My Love Is Plain” to the smoldering melancholy of “Arizona”; from raw barnburners like “Chain Around My Heart” to radio-friendly gems like “The Last Thing On My Mind”; from travelogues like “New England Boy,” that map the heart of this country to ones like “Homeless,” that chart the country of the heart, Crowe covers an astonishing number of emotional bases.
The band, which also features the elegant mandolin of Bob Jeffries and the airtight rhythm section of bassist Larry Huntley and drummer Jake Cantrell, rehearsed this material for six months. They also played a handful of live shows but the focus was squarely on getting the most out of the songs. It certainly shows in the final product. Recorded live in just two days at Portland’s Jackpot Studio — with no song requiring more than a single take — the collection boasts a relaxed spontaneity that perfectly suits the authenticity in Crowe’s voice and vision.
And now that the album’s out, it’s time to hit the road. In the coming months, the Crowetones will be taking their music far and wide. Of course, Live At Jackpot will constitute the core of their shows but there should be plenty of surprises as well. According to Crowe, the band is currently rehearsing 85 songs from that prime stockpile.
So don’t consider this album a culmination. It’s really just a beginning, an open door beyond which lies a creative path that just might touch the entire world.
Because really, it does all start with a song.
Thanks for asking.
"Got any nails?"
"Got any flies?"