"The vivacity and sheer joy with which Cru plays is intoxicating and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical! " - LIVING BLUES
2014 Keeping the Blues Alive Award Recipient
Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru's songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. It’s not for nothing that Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting. As Downbeat magazine notes, "His songs are blues poetry - crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!" Bruce Iglauer, founder and president of Alligator Records calls Cru “a rare, real writer.” Live, these songs are performed with power and passion as observed by Living Blues magazine, "The vivacity and sheer joy with which Cru plays is intoxicating!"
His latest album, “You Keep the Money,” was the hottest debuting blues album of 2015 as it was at or near the very top of every major blues chart for most of the year. It actually debuted at # 1 on the Roots Music Report and eight of its 12 songs have been in the top 25. The album debuted on the prestigious Living Blues chart at #2. Blues djs and reviewers agree that this album shows Tas Cru “at the peak of his formidable talents as a performer and songwriter.” - Graham Clarke
Based out of upstate New York. Cru performs in a variety of formats ranging from solo acoustic to a 7 piece-backing band. Tas Cru appears at a number of festivals and major blues venues throughout the US and Canada. Some of note, for example include Billtown Blues Festival (Williamsport, PA), Calgary International Blues Festival (Calgary, Alberta), Chenango Blues Festival (Norwich, NY), Rum Boogie Cafe and BB King’s (Memphis, TN), Ground Zero Blues Club (Clarksdale, MS), and the historic Bradfordville Blues Club (Tallahassee, FL), As well, Cru brings his award-winning Blues Education programs and workshops to numerous schools, hospitals and community centers.
In early bands, Tas was introduced to the great Sun Records sound and the country blues that later served as a counterpoint to the rock- blues he idolized as did so many young guitar players of his time. These combined influences are heard in his music - 50+ original songs on six albums- "Biscuit" (2006), "gravi-Tas "(2008), "Grizzle n' Bone" (2009), "Jus' Desserts" (2010), "Tired of Bluesmen Cryin'" (2012), and his latest album, "You Keep the Money.”
Cru grew up in a very musical and generally unquirky family (except for him). Unlike his talented brother and sisters, he did not pursue music in school. A brief attempt to play the trombone abruptly ended after being kicked by his 7th grade music teacher. Cru says he deserved it. Cru instead explored and developed his talent by taking up with a rougher crowd of older, self-taught musicians where he was introduced to the songs of the Sun Records legends. Cru's first foray into the blues came after leaving the US Navy when he was asked to join a band formed by a former shipmate named Delray Streeter, a bluesman of unlimited bravado and attitude but limited singing and harmonica skills. Streeter was raised in El Dorado, Arkansas and claimed a rich blues heritage from his upbringing. This partnership, though shot-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter's repertoire tended toward the older and much rawer country blues. Cru's schooling in country blues later served him well and is infused into his original songs along with his Sun Records and rock-blues influences.
As noted above, Tas Cru's discography includes six albums of original songs - "Biscuit" (2006), "gravi-Tas "(2008), "Grizzle n' Bone" (2009), "Jus' Desserts" (2010), "Tired of Bluesmen Cryin" (2012) and his latest, "You Keep the Money" (2014). In addition to these recordings is Cru's 2009 release, "Even Bugs Sing the Blues,’ an album of original blues music for kids. This album is now for sale. Cru also donates copies to schools, community groups and blues societies to use for their fundraising efforts in hopes that it will help inspire a new generation of blues fans and musicians. Another blues album for kids, Doggone Blues is in the works and scheduled to be available in early 2016. The album will focus on songs about dogs who get the blues. Album proceeds are slated to go to support a charity yet to be determined.
Honors and recognition include Cru being awarded the 2014 Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive Award (KBA) for Blues Education and in 2009 named by Blues Festival Guide Magazine as its 2009 Blues Artist on the Rise. In January 2015, the Rum Boogie Café awarded Cru a guitar to autograph and hangs among the gallery of artist signed guitars.
Tas Cru records on the Crustee Tees Records label and is represented by:
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