Songs About Love, Heartbreak, Being On The Road And The Realities Of The New American Dream
For a young man, Jeff Crosby has lived the life of someone older. Playing 250+ shows a year from the ages of 19-25 , he has traveled throughout Central and South America, the Dominican Republic and many European countries in between shows. Crosby has played with Reckless Kelly, Shinyribs, Mickey and the Motorcars and Lukas Nelson. Now he divides his time between touring with Jerry Joseph and The Jackmormons and his band, The Refugees and making LA, Nashville and Boise all home bases.
With 2 EPs and 2 Full-Length releases behind him, Crosby now adds another notch to his musical belt with Waking Days. The 10 song LP was recorded in Los Angeles at Bedrock Studios and in Nashville and was produced by John Gilbertson and engineered in Nashville by Rob Matson. Featuring his band The Refugees--brother Andy Crosby (bass), Will Prescott (drums) and Dave Manion (pedal steel/guitar), Crosby also adds some stellar guest musicians. His guest crew consisted of Brian Whelan on pedal steel (Dwight Yoakam), Marshall Vore on drums (Ryan Adams/Olin & The Moon), Fran Breem on drums (The Waterboys/Lucinda Williams), Ben Waligoske on guitar (Springdale Quartet) and Adrian Engfer on standup bass (Grant Farm).
Waking Days blends the sounds of Americana; folk, and 70’s inspired psychedelic rock. “I’m in a much different head space musically since the last record,” said Crosby, “This record has more soundscapes and has stretched out the atmospheric tones that are floating around the songs.”
With a voice that Brian Carroll of No Depression calls, “incredible, unique and such a pleasure to listen to”, Crosby has created a personal record that also highlights relatable lyrics. “I think it’s an exciting time to be involved in the music scene of the U.S.”, Said Crosby, ‘I personally see people seeking out real roots music – music where they can be a part of the story. I think people are empowered by the music they find that is original and special.”
“City Girl” kicks off the set and was inspired by a conversation with a young woman at a bar in L.A. “I was imagining the same scenario played out nightly for her,” said Crosby.
“She says you country boys must be so leathered by your instincts” with the second chorus responding, “I say you city girls must be so leathered by your dreamin”.
“Carved In Sandstone” was written while Crosby was in the Dominican Republic and recorded in Nashville. It references a giant cross that looks out over the city of Boise, ID and where people have littered the sandstone with carved out names. “Carved our names in sandstone under the cross—Tennessee got the best of me”.
“Homeless And The Dreamers” was the first song Crosby wrote after moving to LA. “We don’t have a lot of homeless people in Idaho, so I was really affected by it in the first months. I couldn’t stop imagining what their day consisted of.”
“Red White and Blue” is a very personal song that Crosby said, “Was pulled straight out of my journal.” Featuring Brian Whelan on pedal steel, Crosby claims, “I was so lucky to get Brian Whelan just after he was leaving Dwight Yoakam’s band and heading out on his own. He just nailed it and tapped right into the vibe and feeling of the song.”
“Canyons” was written for an old friend of Crosby’s that has passed. “Some of my first gigs were at a little pizza place called Crusty in McCall, ID. The owner, Vern Loveall gave me my first paying gig,” recalls Crosby. “$80. I sat in my car and counted it over and over again.” “Emily” speaks to a lost love, “Sometimes when you’re driving/and the moon shows through the pine trees/Maybe you think of me, Emily”.
“I Should Be Happy” contemplates life choices, while “Only One I Need” speaks to the one person that believes in you and keeps you going — “This city life and trying to ride on hope gets old/when it feels like everybody’s doing the same thing”.
“What’s Normal Now?” is a rocking homage to the 90’s. “John Gilbertson and I share a mutual love for 90’s rock,” said Crosby, “Plus I just wanted to cut something loud”. Ending with the title song, “Waking Days” the song is about defining your own American dream — “Too scared to open my eyes under the water/as the red white and blue bleeds into the black and white”.
“I believe Jeff Crosby is the authentic item,” said Jerry Joseph, “If I had half a brain, I would quit playing music and manage him...there’s a whole lot of the Laurel Canyon vibe in his writing, but at the end of the day, he’s from Idaho.”
On his music and songwriting, Crosby said, “I think it’s the conversations I have, places I go, people I meet. Hotels, hostels, dive bars, discotecas, cantinas, rock clubs and festivals — these all feed my perspective of Americana and the new American dream. The experiences I have are what make my songs unique. I think I have an interesting story to tell.”
"This is unusually tuneful, well-hooked and atmospheric music, and it comes supercharged with jingle-jangle guitar work, road-weathered vocals and memorable, introspective lyrics."--Jeff Burger, The Morton Report/No Depression
"The music and vocals remind me of the the glory days of Laurel Canyon and up to Steve Earle, “Guitar Town”. If you shut your eyes and sing along, you’ll find yourself walking down the banks of the railroad tracks, 3 miles from home , kicking stones thinking about life while you smoke some cigarettes." —50Thirdand3rd “Record of the Day”
"With a release date of November 6, 2015, this release is an interesting blend of multiple music genres including folk, Americana and 70’s inspired psychedelic rock.”--AXS Examiner
This LP is quite good and you can purchase it either as a CD or digital download, you will not be disappointed!!