Joe Crookston in Concert
Lucky for us, Joe Crookston is now based in Ithaca, where he wows appreciative crowds, but his star shines far more widely. He was one of the Top 3 Most-Wanted Artists at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and part of the Falcon Ridge Preview Tour, and a finalist in the John Lennon, Mountain Stage, and Great American Song Contests.
His latest CD, Able Baker Charlie and Dog, shot to #1 on the acoustic folk radio charts. His first recording, Fall Down as the Rain, was named by Performing Songwriter Magazine as a 2004 "TOP-12-Do-It-Yourself" and gets lots of airplay across the country, including National Public Radio features. Inspired by Woody Guthrie, Joe has made brilliant use of a Rockefeller grant to travel New York State collecting stories and working with their tellers to create "Songs of the Finger Lakes."
His music is, "Simultaneously sacred, celebratory, artful, and solidly grounded in tradition," says the Seattle Folklore Society. A serious craftsman, he has followed his father's encouragement to work with his hands (and heart) in metal and wood. This charismatic, good-souled gypsy with Hungarian roots really percolates on guitar, fiddle, and clawhammer banjo, and has a fine voice. His approach to music making is both deep and lightly playful. He's full of zest, mischief, and inner calm.
Victory Music Review says: "Joe's songs are powerful, simple, distilled lyrical paintings weaving together cycles of life and decay, cycles of joy and pain, and eventually they thread the needle through all of us...."
Note the early start for an opening act by Glass of Water, the stunning a cappella duo of Sophia Smith-Savedoff and Emily Steele Hurst. Their voices meld and diverge with clarity and beauty on wisely chosen songs from the Appalachian and shape note traditions to contemporary poetry.
Tickets are available at Ludgate Farm Market, Ithaca Guitar Works, Greenstar Co-op, Small World Music, Bound for Glory, and, if any are left, at the door. You may also order tickets online and by mail: SASE to CFSC, PO Box 481, Ithaca, NY 14851.
(Margaret Shepard and John Henderson)
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