One January night in Santa Cruz, California, 2000...
Guitarist Dave Crane was playing in a cover band, rocking the
house in a local Santa Cruz club, when a beautiful woman walked in.. At the break, Dave started up a conversation her. "My name's Suzanne," she said. "Hey, can I sit in with you guys?"
How could Dave say no? Who knew if she could sing or not? Well, he agreed, she grabbed the mic, and said,
"Slow blues in G, fellas".
When the band heard this small woman's big voice they kicked into high gear and the place was turned upside down to a rockin' version of the blues classic, Love Me Like a Man.
After picking his jaw up off the ground, Dave had to ask,
"Where have you been all my life?"
At that moment, whether they knew it or not, they had found the combination both of them had been looking for, which would eventually lead to the formation the Pearl Alley Band.
Suzanne St. John sings with the power and passion of the likes of Janis Joplin and Susan Tedeschi. She started singing only a few short years ago, when she was asked to join John Lee Hooker's nephew, Archie Lee Hooker, on stage for a memorable rendition of Crawlin' Kingsnake at a local juke joint. The experience with Hooker "hooked" her and knew that she HAD to be a blues diva. After playing a few more gigs with Archie, and working a few local blues jams, St. John began to look for a band.
Dave had been fronting original and cover bands for years, as lead vocalist and guitarist, but none had satisfied the need for a partner that would allow him to create the kind of music he heard in his head. A dedicated guitarist since age thirteen, and music major in college, Dave's main passion in life has always been music, and hard-hitting blues was his calling.
Playing together that night was the start of something good. It showed them both that they could have their dream band. This collaboration has produced a debut cd with ten of their original tunes (available here at cd baby), and they continue to write original blues. This CD was recorded, mixed, and produced by Dave, and many of the tracks were recorded at Dave and Suzanne's home studio.
When it comes to songwriting, Suzanne sings powerful words and soaring melodies, and Dave sets them to gritty and grinding rockin' blues and smoldering ballads. Their style, while reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt and the Black Crowes, is still all their own.
Joining them on this recording are their longtime band members: Dave Berners pounding down the bass lines, Smokin' Joe Williams lighting up the keyboards, and Dennis Dove working his drum kit like an expert mechanic.
They have been tightening their sound, rockin' the south bay area, and playing gigs for a few years now, opening up for blues luminaries such as Lydia Pense and Canned Heat. Together with the band, Suzanne and Dave keep audiences on their feet with all night their own brand of rockin' blues. Their passion and ferocity makes for great shows whether they are pumping one of their original tunes out or covering an old favorite. This passion is only matched off stage by their love for one another... (they were married on September 13th, 2003!)