Deborah Crooks

 
 

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March Music News: Between the Raindrops

 

Last year, we were out on a walk near our house and one of our neighbors offered to give us a bunch of daffodil bulbs. Through some finagling on his part, he'd rescued more than a thousand bulbs from a civic landscape project and they were now piled in his yard. He was on a mission to plant  them in as many of the local street tree boxes as he could find. "Would we like some for your own?" he asked, and we were sent home with an armful of bulbs. I planted them in the box outside our doorstep... and forgot about them.
This past week, all those daffodils, including the several I planted, are blooming and blazing bright yellow, up and down the block, as if shaking their hands at the dark clouds.

It's certainly been a winter of navigating heavy rain and snow—my heart goes out to you if you're contending with flooding— and news. Making the best of it all, I spent a wonderful if cold week in Joshua Tree last month, which included a couple of fun performances, a lot of R&R, writing and stomping around in the town's first snow in a decade. While I appreciate what the winter has to offer, I was delighted to come home to see these blooming signs of spring. Thank you neighbor for your foresight!
I am doubly happy to report I've a fun gig just a couple days after the vernal equinox later this month.

I’m so looking forward to returning to The Lost Church in San Francisco for a show on Saturday, March 23. I'll be sharing the bill with Danny Allen, the cool cat songwriter and excellent guitarist who is co-producing my new record. I had such a great time in the studio earlier this year working on basics, I'm excited to play the tunes live with Danny and several of the other musicians on this in-progress collection. Consider it a special preview of what I'll be rolling out in the fall! New tunes, good vibes, a cool listening venue, please join us! Tell and/or bring a friend and help us make it a great night. You can pick up tickets today  $10 in adv. ($15 at the door.) Hope to see you there!
  xo Deborah

 

Saturday at the Fireside; Sunday at the Mudpuddle

 

A little hard to leave Joshua Tree today ... and I’m looking forward to getting back to the Bay Area for two shows. Saturday, I’m playing with Bay Station Band at The Fireside Lounge in Alameda, kicking off a night of Americana, country and rock music. We’re on at 9pm. Come on down!
Sunday, I return to the inimitable Mudpuddle Shop in Niles to help celebrate Michael McNevin’s birthday by circling up in song with an amazing crew including McNevin, Aireene Espiritu AND Nancy Cassidy. 5pm. There maybe cake (and some mayhem).

 

Persisting

 

Nearly every one of the communities in which I participate has been rocked by a serious allegation of sexual abuse during the past couple years. For more than a year, I’ve been processing how the Ashtanga community has dealt with or gaslighted abuse victims and the implications of those actions and inactions for its practice culture. This week it’s the Americana music world with the NYT expose of Ryan Adams’ shitty behavior.
I was a fan for years until I got fed up with having tickets to shows that got cancelled because of his meltdowns or addiction problems, and began to surmise for myself that the fuel for his songs was unsavory. So it didn’t surprise me, this latest news. But I did get that sinking feeling, that sadness for we women, as the floodgates open anew for more stories of sexual harassment and casual misogyny in music and how those have played out on our lives and opportunities.
I came to music ‘late’, not anywhere near a dewy 19 or 20, and a lot of the isms I’ve felt as a woman have been about double standards around age. It was already “too late for me to ‘make it.” And without even getting into my personal life’s #metoo moments (which aren’t unrelated to me being late to the music party in the first place), I have my own stories, of multiple musicians who I thought played with me because they liked the music then quit when they realized I wasn’t going to sleep with them; of the poetry teacher who thought “my work was strong” then hit on me during our one-on-one; or the writing professor whose angry critique seemed triggered by my subject so that I never knew how the actual piece held up; or the esteemed songwriter who I was excited to share a show with then started texting me inappropriate questions....(a lot of this samsara is what led me to take so much refuge on a yoga mat over the years!). I know well why people, women, quit long before they’ve even really started. At the same time, as all these ugly stories are brought to the surface, I feel empowered, vindicated and hopeful for women’s voices in general. Finally, old paradigms are shifting, finally, we’re starting to be heard.

 

Heading down the road, being your own bird

 

Heading down the road today for some desert time/birthday r&r/gigs in and around Joshua Tree.
I released "Be Your Own Bird" to celebrate my birthday last year. Nearly a year later, I still stand by this sentiment! "Be Your Own Bird"
Song sparrow sings its own song
No other place it belongs
Like the towhee peeps in the leaves
In your own life you must believe
And be your own bird

Hummingbird nest in the tree
Spun thread, a tiny blue egg
Wings a blur in the air
We all have our own truth to declare
Be your own bird

Nature can beautiful nature can be cruel
Some days you win, some days you play the fool
Mockingbird attacking its own reflection

Across the meadow I see some geese
Dabbling in the green green grass
No one’s first and no one's last
Everyone has their own path
Be your own bird

Nature can beautiful nature can be cruel
Some days you lose some days you completely rule
Eagle perched atop the highest mountain

Be your own bird
Be your own bird
Be your own bird

 

 

New Review of "Adding Water to the Ashes - Remix"

 

"It’s the perfect chillout track for 2019, and is definitely one that will make my mixtape." — RGM Press

 

 

Love some more!

 
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“Love Some More” a sentiment for #valentinesday and every day. I wrote this little ditty for the KCDC “Your Own Reaction” project in 2013, and the band helped me rock it out (link in bio). It’s still really fun to play: “This is a new song / we forgot to say What it all comes down to at the end of the day Love and love and love some more / Open your heart / knock on that door This is a new song bright as the spring / What everyone is crowing about Why the other birds sing Love and love and love some more Don’t be afraid of what’s in store / Yeah love and love and love some more A garden a beach a friend’s open hand / A joke a laugh a rock’n roll band / Take it all in / breathe it all out And love and love and love some more / Open your heart / knock on that door Love and love and love some more / Don’t be afraid of what’s in store Yeah love and love and love some more / Love and love and love some more ©2013 Deborah Crooks https://baystationband.bandcamp.com/track/love-some-more . . . #love #lovesong #lovesomemore #kccdc #baystation #music #song #songwriter #happyvalentinesday #americana #rocknroll #record #rockband

A post shared by Deborah Crooks (@deborahrcrooks) on Feb 14, 2019 at 8:19am PST

 

Desert Bound

 

I'm getting ready to head to Joshua Tree for some birthday week R&R and fun gigs with/as Bay Station Duo. We come home just in time to play with Bay Station at The Fireside!

February 16, 2019 Furstworld, 8528 Desert Shadows Rd., Joshua Tree, CA 92252  with Der Trio

February 21, 2019 Landers Brew, 1388 Golden Slipper Ln., Landers, CA 92285

Februay 23, 2019 The Fireside Lounge, 1453 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501 full band with The Neal Roston Band (Rock) and White Limozeeen (Vintage Country) $5 9pm

 

 

Love the Bay 2019: Episode 1 has launched!

 

One of my big projects this year is collaborating with Kwame on a monthly, ‘Love the Bay’ music and sailing video series. Our first guest-artist episode features conversation and performance with Penny Opry as we sail around the Oakland Estuary. Check it out! And consider becoming a patron of the project HERE.

 

February News: The Next Record

 

I've had my head down this past month, working on my two main projects of the year.  This week, I began recording my next record, getting into Tiny Telephone Studio with a great band and engineer to lay down basic tracks on 11 new songs. While I wrote the majority of the material over the past three years, I feel like the work is the culmination of the past 20 years. A concept album if you will, its muchly informed by my family history in the Western US and my own deep connection to place. With a working title of The Department of the West, these are songs of forgiveness, atonement and love. I'm pretty excited and grateful to be working on this project (which will likely be ready for other ears later this year), and the band I pulled together to bring it to life - Danny Allen, Mike Stevens and Kevin T White - are a joy to work with.
When I haven't been working on the new record, I've been co-creating and developing Bay Station's Love the Bay Music & Sailing video series with Kwame Copeland. This has been a hoot of another order! You can see our first 'full moon' video below; our first full episode, filmed aboard Espresso on the Oakland estuary features our friends Penny Opry, will be released this weekend. Stay tuned! 
Between all this production there hasn't been a lot leftover for gigs, so I'm glad to have several dates on the calendar this month and in March, close to home and at a home away from homes. Check the calendar and let's make a date at one of these shows. I'd love to see you.
xo, Deborah