Saturday, February 17, 2007

Joe Crookston
on the same program with
Joe Rock


JOE CROOKSTON oe Crookston ... goodhearted, artful and intense. His music is original, imaginative, and enchanting, and the message within each song is clear and brilliant. If you love lyrics, Joe writes with an insight comparable to Jackson Browne. If you love a moving, inspiring song or the kind of magical madness of creative funk, Joe delivers it all. The music, the lyrics, the energy, and the fun — this was a great show!!!

oe Crookston's music and songwriting is deeply rooted in the grand celebration of life, death, ancestry and the interconnectedness of us all. Born and raised in rural Ohio, with Hungarian musical roots, he inherited his love of music and song from his late mother, a prolific gospel singer/songwriter and accordion wizard. Whether it's his mesmerizing guitar sound, bubbling banjo, or Southern Fiddle tune, his music draws from his rural Ohio roots and exudes a remarkable intergenerational, universal, and timeless quality. In 1987, The Kent State Folk Festival changed his life. After hearing Harvey Reid and the Horseflies at the festival, Joe sold his electric guitar, bought a steel string and never looked back.

JOE CROOKSTON e has performed throughout the US at Folk Festivals, Coffeehouses, and villages, 6700 feet high in the Cascade Mountains. There is not a navel gazing break-up song to be found anywhere. His audience rapport, musicianship and playful stage presence is intense, mesmerizing, and refreshingly dynamic.

nspired by Woody Guthrie, Joe was recently awarded a year-long grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to travel around the State of New York, interview local residents, gather stories and write songs based on his experiences. His project is called Songs of the Finger Lakes."

is keen musicianship as guitarist, clawhammer banjo player, fiddler, singer and songwriter fuse contemporary and traditional styles, and his writing simply and beautifully paints pictures with words.

his is Joe's debut appearance at the Hard Luck Café; we're glad we didn't miss this opportunity to see Joe electrify our audience as they got introduced to this exciting emerging talent.

Praises for his performances:

  • "With all the performers out there, an artist has to go beyond good...and Joe does"
      JOE CROOKSTON - LIVE Sing Out! Magazine

  • "If you were to look for the perfect folk song, it would be hard to find a better one than one called Fall down as the Rain. It encompasses life, death, reincarnation — in short, the mysteries of the universe. "
      Richard Cuccaro - AcousticLine in NYC

  • "I've watched audiences glued to their seats at the end of Joe's shows simply not wanting the evening to end. There is a spirit in his music that is simultaneously sacred, celebratory and solidly grounded in tradition ... Go see this man perform, and don't be surprised if you drive home singing his songs with a renewed sense of what's possible."
      Seattle Folklore Society

  • "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 ... He is a commanding, charismatic performer. Be glad Joe's one of the good guys, because otherwise, he'd be dangerous."
      Victory Music Review

Link to Joe's web site:  

and on the same program

Joe Rock

JOE ROCK oe Rock is not only known for his songwriting abilities but also for his dynamic live performances. For the better part of two decades, Joe has been writing and performing music all over the United States.

is eclectic taste and diverse style of music has been heavily influenced by his extensive travels throughout the country. Be it the Mississippi Delta or Chicago's Blues, the Bluegrass of the South and West, the folk music of New England, or the Rock’n’Roll that is omnipresent in this country, Joe has been there and soaked the music into his heart, his mind and his soul. His life's experiences are reflected in his playing style and his voice.

oe is a singer and a multi-instrumentalist, playing not only guitar but mandolin and harmonica. He performs as a solo acoustic performer or as a front man for a Rock’n’Roll and a Blues band. Joe’s live performances include plenty of interaction with the audience, and on some inspired evenings, much audience participation. During his shows he assumes the role of a storyteller, comedian, music fan, songwriter, singer and friend. A Joe Rock show will include his varied styles of original music, and also a large array of music from many diverse artists.

oe Rock was born in the final two weeks of the year that saw the release of Bob Dylan's landmark Highway 61 Revisited album — which included his masterwork Like A Rolling Stone. If you learn nothing else about Joe this should tell you plenty already.

hile growing up on Long Island, Joe shared a room with his older brother George who exposed him to music beyond his years. His brothers record collection included The Beatles, Bob Dylan and too many others to mention here.

s a young boy, he was fascinated with his brother's records which he would listen to whenever his brother wasn't around. Early on, Joe decided this is what he wanted to do, — between The Beatles recordings and Elvis' films, how could you want to be anything but a rock singer?

JOE ROCK y the time Joe reached high school, his love for music was at a fevered pitch, but something was missing. While working at a local convenience store Joe was introduced to a man who would expose him to the music that would truly make him become connected to the art of songwriting. The man, Willie Kiernan — an accomplished songwriter and performer himself — told Joe about the music of Tom Waits and, most of all, Bruce Springsteen. Once Joe was turned-on to the music of Bruce Springsteen, the doors were blown wide open. Springsteen poured his heart and soul into his songs in a way that Joe had never heard before, and it is his music that is responsible for Joe's decision to learn to play the guitar.

oe began playing and singing in cover bands doing the music of the above-mentioned artists, as well as Tom Petty, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones plus Rockabilly, Folk, Blues and Southern Rock. With each new artist he discovered, Joe would learn about what influenced the songwriter and how they, in turn, influenced other artists, — as a result, Joe has developed a diverse and eclectic repertoire.

oe's education in musical history eventually caused him to travel throughout the country to see where it all came from.

fter many years, Joe has settled back on Long Island where he works as a radio personality and music journalist. He is currently involved in recording his debut CD Semi-Autobiography, a collection of 12 original tunes focusing on his life's many experiences. The CD features songs of many different styles played by Joe and a revolving group of some of Long Island's best musicians. Joe has also been seen lately on many different television shows performing the music to be released on the CD.

his was an evening of great music with these creative artists.

Link to Joe's web site:  

Our host tonight was Craig Courounis, Craig Courounis

  and our open mike featured performances by:

  • John-Flor Sisante John-FlorSisante

  • Lois Morton LOIS MORON

  • Cindy Butler CINDY BUTLER

  • Andy Romanoff ANDY ROMANOFF

  • John Wacaster JOHN WACASTER

  • Denise Romas DENISE ROMAS

  • Bob Mist BOB MIST

  • Claude Margouleff CLAUDE MARGOULEFF

  • Tim Dillon TIM DILLON

  •   ... and Little Toby Walker LITTLE TOBY WALKER

  • If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...