Hey, “He’s baaack!” …as the old saying goes. Actually, ‘been around here all along, but I thought it was time to declare the next chapter. I’ve been working this year with a new lineup of our band, now “Crary, Evans, and Barnick.”
Our new guy is Wally Barnick, veteran of the famous West Coast bunch of superpickers known as The Cache Valley Drifters. I’ve known Wally and listened to his eerily beautiful voice since the 80’s when Byron Berline and John Hickman and I produced a record (remember records?) for the Drifters. ‘Never forgot that soulful singing voice and now it’s my privilege to work with Wally myself. And not only is his voice in great shape, but Wally is one of those people who can find and sing an obscure song that will make you want to listen to it over and over for the rest of your life. Wait ‘til you hear Wally sing “Joanne” with us backing him up.
Of course, happily, continuing on with us is Bill Evans, our banjo-meister partner for the last few years now. What can I say about this monster banjo player/scholar/historian/producer, except Crary, you’re lucky to work with such a partner. OK, OK, I know I am, and when you hear him lash the 5-string into some beautiful music, you know you’ve just heard a great moment in the history of that instrument.
And just as basketball teams are judged in part by how deep their bench is, we are also proud to work, when we can get him, with the fair-haired master of fiddle and mando from the Pacific Northwest, Martin Stevens, the “next great American mandolin player.” Martin is also a full-time school teacher whose schedule allows us to bring him on when he’s not in the classroom. My wife Laree loves to mention that Martin “youthanizes” us; she’s right, we need that.
Anyway, is that a power band, or what? Yes, by god, it is.
Sorry, I get to brag on my colleagues.
So we’re touring a bit in the west this spring and fall, rehearsing, recording, and getting up a promo package to hit it hard in ’18. I’ve been waking up at 3 AM, mind racing with ideas for a new song or tune arrangement; it’s a sure sign… ‘only happens when you’ve got an exciting band chomping at the bit.
Oh yes, and I myself venture out and tour occasionally as a solo player. When I took up the guitar in 1952 I didn’t know it would take me to every state, over 30 countries of the world, and more adventures and interesting, exotic friends than I could imagine, all with guitar music in the air. But it did, and I always remember that when some of you friends have come to a gig that’s just me and a guitar. Thank you all; it’s still amazing that I get to do this.
So there it is: a little description of the new chapter. The old chapter was cool, too; those many years on the road, in the studio, and onstage with Bill and old pal Steve Spurgin had a lot of great times. Now, with Wally and Bill and occasionally Martin, we’re coming atcha’ again, and we have a bunch of new (and oldtime) musical surprises to spring on you. It’s the next chapter and it’s gonna’ be beautiful.
And thanks for visiting the new website and keeping track of us; we’ll do our best to keep it interesting and worth your while to drop in. ‘see you in ’18, if not before.