In the summer of 2010, drummer Bill Mallare sent a text message to guitarist, singer and all-around blues junkie Mark Jeghers. Mark was on vacation, and didn't expect to hear from anyone, let alone Bill. The text message said, "Wanna start a gospel blues band?"
Mark and Bill had met playing in another blues band, a secular band that was losing steam, becoming irrelevant and drifting into the desolate no-mans-land of R&B drivel. But Mark and Bill discovered they had common ground: their Christian faith and love of blues music.
Then Mark's guitar buddy Brad Marsh sat in with them while playing at an outdoor block party. Realizing there were a lot of church-going neighbors there, the three of them decided to be politically incorrect and do one of Mark's favorite slow-blues gospel songs. Right in the middle of ultra-materialistic Silicon Valley, they dared to sing a song about Jesus! It was fun, to say the least.
It was a few weeks later, while Mark was on vacation watching seagulls fight over carcasses and garbage, that the text message came. What followed was a long phone call, and after that, the beginning of an adventure.
Bill brought in bassman Jun Lagmay and harp player Rich Greenwood, both of whom played Christian Blues with Bill in the 90s. Mark offered first dibs to Brad Marsh to play lead guitar; Brad took about a fraction of a second to say yes.
Since then, Crimson Blues has been playing high-octane Christian Blues, with all the passion and energy of rocked-up Blues, and with the message of a Risen King. Their music style spans many variations that all orbit around the universe of blues: swinging Chicago Blues, scorching hot Delta Blues, hard driving Blues-Rock, Southen Rock, and a little bit of funk for good measure.
Though writing songs since age 15, frontman Mark Jeghers has not experienced such a prolific songwriting period in a long time. "Crimson has fired up creative juices in me like I haven't had in a long time", he says, "aside from the great chemistry and being surrounded by really talented musicians who make me sound better than I am alone, I think it's also just God thing."
The Crimson guys love blues and they love Jesus too. They also think that blues and the New Testament gospel message go together remarkably well. That's because they both dig deep into the human condition and all the struggles that come with the package. They both touch on lostness and redemption in a primal and profound way. And they both have a way of healing the soul (well, Jesus moreso than blues, but, you get the idea...)
Harp player Rich Greenwood says this about playing with Crimson: "I started playing harp in 1974. I've jammed with bands from Tuscany to Times Square -- but have never been in a band like Crimson Blues before. This band is quite literally an answer to prayer for me. The perfect mix of musicians, the perfect style of music, and no matter who I share the music with, from any faith base, people always comment on the energy and drive that each song embodies. And I know it's not me, it's not the other band members, it's God shining through. This is His band ... I just get to be in it."
And the adventure goes on...