About The Department of the West (Dec 6, 2019)
Most of these songs were written over the past three years but they’re really about my reckoning with personal and family history to date in the Western US. I’m a California native, born to two San Francisco natives with very disparate backgrounds: my mom a first-generation Croatian; my dad, a World War II veteran in a long line of war veterans.
I grew up on a rural part of Santa Cruz County on a piece of land my dad inherited from an aunt. A tintype portrait of our Great Great Grandfather Gen. George Washington Crooks hung on the wall along with a Civil War issue rifle. We were taught to be proud of him. It wasn’t until a few years ago, still processing the family fallout in the wake of my father's death, and subsequent sale of the land I’d first called home, that I realized my great grandfather’s lifetime career of military service included the Indian Wars. This led to a revision of how I viewed my family’s pride and my beliefs about land ownership, even if you were born to it and loved it.
Still I naturally gravitate toward open spaces. My phone is full of pictures from visits to much of the west that Gen George Washington fought to occupy and assert claim... and where I ended up writing many of the songs on this record.
1. Lit by the Mystery
2. Let the River do the Running
4. All Signs
5. A Garden
6. Department of the West
7. My New Sweet
8. Long Roads
9. The Other Side
10. River Stones
11. What the Land Will Tell You
Between now and its official release I’ve been sharing a bit of the inspiration and backstory for each song on The Department of the West. Pre-order the record -http://www.deborahcrooks.com/the_department_of_the_west/
and/or buy a ticket to the San Francisco record release show Dec 5 at Amado’s & I’ll send you the song of the week.