New Orleans Blues and Americana Country
---- from Florida.
Americana - a Bunch of Blues, some Country, a Cajun Waltz, a Second Line Parade, and a Big Swing Band, too.
New York to New Orleans, by way of Wakulla Station.
Down to the Village - Like the rocking blues of "Canned Heat", followed by what you might hear when the Salsa guys set up in Washington Square Park - sounds like Jamaica - Queens.
Then to New Orleans with a Cajun Waltz - accordion and fiddle, but here comes a Second Line parade. Next ain't nothing but the blues - with a sense of humor.
And a country song; a cryin’ up-tempo blues; and a bluegrass number, or is that old timey?
All this is followed by some New Orleans Funk, and some More Kick Ass Blues…
Topped off with a Big Band Swing Tune - with a Real, Live Big Band!
He says, “I really just try to sound like America!”
Jim Crozier got his first guitar 10 months before the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show. He started playing bass a couple of years later, which got him involved with all different kinds of music and all of the different people that play it: theater, church, symphonic, big band jazz, Rock&Roll, R&B, blues, country, bebop, and bluegrass. Influenced by years as a music student, and a few years living in New York City. Influenced by living in the South. Influenced by growing up in the Wilds of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He wrote all of the songs, produced the CD, and sang and played bass on everything.
Jimi McKenzie is co-producer and plays most of the electric guitar parts. It was at his “Night Sounds Studio” where they did the live drum kit, the sax and trumpet together, the choir, and all of the original scratch tracks. “Jimi and I have been playing together since 1981 in one band or another – all up and down the ‘Red Neck Riveria’”, admits Croz, who played bass on the two recent releases from Night Sounds Studio; Rick Knowles’ “These Country Blues”, and The McKenzie Brothers’ “Something To Anchor To”.
Steve Redmond is the drummer. Jim and Steve first met as music students at the FSU School of Music in the late 70’s, but have played together in one band or another often since then. Steve is still with the popular Tallahassee area band, “ACME Rhythm & Blues”, a band that Jim co-founded with Chris Tarquinio in 1994.
Joey Karioth plays piano on a few tracks. This video producer and general crazy man is still one of the most fun guys to play with that you are going to find. Tap into his stream of consciousness for a while and you are in for a ride!
Bill Landing is Professor of Oceanography and one hell of a sax man and, Wow! He plays two horns on three songs, one take each. He is a regular with Tallahassee Swing, but was in the middle of the ocean on a research mission when the big band was recorded.
Chris Tarquinio plays Tenor sax on “Body Shop Row”, and was with the big band for “Nola Swings”. Jim has worked a lot of nights behind this bald headed guy as he fronted many a horn driven dance party. The ACME project came out of the FRB Horns (that included Chris and Michael) playing with the Jones Brothers Band at Dave’s CC Club (now, the Bradfordville Blues Club).
Michael McKenzie improves by huge measure any ensemble of which he is a member. This trumpet player showed absolutely no mercy as he and Chris worked through the horn part for “Body Shop Row”, perfect. Jim and Michael have played in many bands together over many years, including some pretty fabulous jazz groups, and ACME, too.
Carrie Hamby is really busy, so getting her here was a real treat. She is out on the modern bluegrass scene with her current band, “The Mayhaws”. In any situation, she might be playing piano, bass, or guitar; BUT here she plays accordion, and so nicely! This happens on “Nola’s Muse”. Jim said, “I knew she would know what to do with that song the first time she heard it.”
Frank Graham had been playing with Carrie Hamby in “Singing Biscuit” when he did his tracks. Jim met Frank way back in the 70’s but had played with him most recently at a particular Thursday evening, strictly acoustic jam session that has been going on for nearly 20 years at “Outz’s”, a little place in Newport where US 98 crosses the St Marks River. He plays guitar on “Nola’s Muse” and “Old Fashion Way”.
Ross Beck is probably the youngest person involved with this project. When Jim needed a Steel Drum player, he called on an old associate at FSU, Distinguished Professor of Ethnomusicology, Dale Olsen, who referred him to Ross. Then as it turns out, Ross is really a banjo player and hooked into all of the other bluegrass connections in town. Ross plays steel drums on “Black Jack” and banjo on “Old Fashion Way”.
David Langston plays the fiddle! Now this guy is absolutely the real thing and son of a fiddler, from Wakulla County when it was really down home country – you had to be there, ‘cause there weren’t any roads that went there, only the clear channel AM radio station bringin’ in the Grand Old Opry. Jim says, “Dave and his dad are two of the first musicians I met when I came to Tallahassee. Every time we would see each other we would say ‘we need to get together sometime’”. Well it finally happened on “Nola’s Muse” and “Old Fashion Way”. David has also played on Night Sounds Studio’s other two recent releases.
Kathi Giddings sings in the choir on a bunch of tracks. Long ago she ran off with her Rock & Roll boyfriend, songwriter, TD Giddings who plays guitar on “Black Jack”, sings in the choir on a few tracks, and did the graphics for this CD, as well as for two recent Night Sounds productions. TD and Kathi have had more than one band together over the years, and especially have provided a situation for emerging talent in their persistently hosted jam sessions. Jim plays with their current art band “Bone Dry”.
Katie Crozier sings in the choir on several tracks and took the photo on the back of the CD jewel case (Jim by the Fire). Katie is fully engaged in theater activities in Gainesville, Florida. Her mom, Jean, took the photo of Jim leaning against the rail of the ferry boat – it got moved to the top of the Empire State Building somehow.
Bob Weiss has been singing with the Jones Brothers Band since before it was called that. He and his wife happened to have been having a baby the same day that TD and Kathi Giddings were having one – that’s how they met. Jim met them through the neighborhood jam band. This busy attorney likes nothing better than to sing the blues every chance he gets! Oh, and those kids are over 30 now.
The Jones Brothers Band has always kinda been Cats In Orbit with Bob. Cats In Orbit was usually Jimi McKenzie, Jim Crozier, and Steve Redmond; and sometimes another guitar, or keys, or as the name suggests, a swirling talent pool. In 2003 the band did a couple recording sessions at Night Sounds. At that time Scott Schieve, guitar; and Trenida White, vocals, were still in Florida (they have since moved to Arizona). “The Times They Are A Changin’, Still!” was recorded in one take, live, at a recording session in March, 2003. You have it here as engineered and mixed by Keith Renfroe.
Tallahassee Swing has been playing 50 Tuesdays a year at the Legion Hall since the late 1980’s. It is a band in the true community band spirit under the leadership of Elliot Toole. It got it’s start as a rehearsal band playing on Tuesday nights at the Tallahasseee Senior Center. Jim says, “I would sub with them in the early days, and sometimes it was pretty painful. But for the past couple dozen years it has been a real blast playing with them. Elliot puts out one or two new charts for us to sight read just about every gig and I have started bringing in some of my charts, too. It is truly a thrill to play with a band that can pull that off.” “Nola Swings”, track 10, was recorded live at the Tallahassee Museum’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival by TD Giddings on a handheld Edirol R-09 digital recorder. It was only the second time that the band had seen the music – and the only problem with the track is that the sound man forgot to turn off Elliot’s announcing mic so the lead trombone was louder than was intended. Pretty damn good!
Personnel for Tallahassee Swing on March 24, 2007 features: Elliot Toole, trombone; Jeff Drawbaugh, clarinet; and Steve Morey, trumpet; with Deborah Lawson, Abbie Souders, and Kathi Giddings on vocals. And: Chris Tarquinio, Tom Coogle, Jody Coogle, and Dick Drennon, Sax; Pat Hill, Carl Morse, and Alan Nelson, Trombone; John Crenshaw, Alden France, and Michael McKenzie, Trumpet; Walter Kelleher, drums; Larry McCraw, guitar; Myron Spainhour on keys, and Jim Crozier on bass. You may notice that parts of this were used on track 3, as well.