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Bio

Tas Cru

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.  Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting from critics, industry professionals as well as from his fellow musicians.  As Downbeat magazine noted, "His songs are blues poetry - crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!" Alligator Records president, Bruce Iglauer calls him a rare, real writer and many of the top blues musicians of today are eager to join Cru in the studio and on stage to perform his songs.

With three hot albums in the last five years – You Keep the Money, Simmered & Stewed and Memphis Song – Cru is readying another - Drive On, slated for release this coming late fall 2019. In addition to his best-known albums is Tas' 2009 release, Even Bugs Sing the Blues, an album of original blues music for kids based on book characters from the works of acclaimed author-illustrator, Eric Carle.  In 2016 he recorded a blues album for dog lovers called Doggone Blues that is now being turned into a three-book series featuring the dog characters from these songs working together to try to form an all dog blues band. The first of this book series, Bad Dog Bubba will be out in late summer.

As a Blues Foundation, Keeping the Blues Alive award recipient (2014), besides performing, Cru brings his Blues Education programs and workshops to festivals, schools, and hospitals everywhere he travels.  In 2019, Tas began his affiliation with United By Music North America; a program serving differently challenged young adult musicians. Thus far, Cru has traveled to the Pacific Northwest and Memphis, TN to mentor participants.  Tas says, “Working with UBMNA has brought me back to why I began playing music in the first place – for the pure joy of doing so!”

Tas Cru is based out of upstate New York and performs in multiple formats ranging from solo acoustic to a 7 piece-backing band.  He sings and plays a wide variety of guitars  - at home on either electric, acoustic, resonator or cigar box. Tas is a Delaney Guitars (Austin TX) endorsed artist and is signed to Subcat Records, Syracuse NY.

In his 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 aspiring guitar players of his time.  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 who’s name actually was A (alden) Sharpe!  Tas says he deserved it.  Instead Cru 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.  His 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, an Arkansas-raised bluesman with boundless bravado and attitude but rather limited singing and even lesser harmonica skills.  This partnership, though short-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter's repertoire tended toward the older, rough-hewn country blues.  Cru's schooling in country blues later served him well and is heard in his original songs along with the Sun Records and, of course his rock-blues influences. 

His latest album, Memphis Song completed a trifecta of Tas Cru’s creativity that began with his breakthrough effort, You Keep the Money (2014) and followed by the Blues Music Award nominated Simmered and Stewed.  Released in June 2018, Memphis Song showcases Cru’s talents as an acclaimed songwriter, guitarist and vocalist.  This album, as captured in the title track, pays homage to the great music city for the role it has played in bringing blues, soul and rock ‘n roll to audiences world-wide. Memphis Song can be heard on blues radio across the globe.  With over six months of charting prowess, including hitting the #1 slot, the album still spins in regular rotation elevated there by its many shining reviews. Memphis Song also brought Cru his second Syracuse Area Music Award  (SAMMY) for best Blues album.

You Keep the Money grabbed the attention of blues radio worldwide, debuting on the prestigious Living Blues Radio Chart at #2 and, quite noteworthy, debuting #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Radio Chart. Simmered & Stewed also enjoyed wide airplay including being featured as a BB King's Bluesville "Pick to Click" on SiriusXM radio. Likewise it made its way on to the highly regarded Living Blues Chart and resided at or near the top of the Roots Music Report’s Blues Chart for most of 2017. Simmered and Stewed earned Cru the first of his two SAMMYs as well as nominations for several prestigious awards including the International Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards and the Independent Blues Awards.  On the strength of these two albums Tas has since performed at several major blues festivals and notable venues bringing music from these great albums and Memphis Song to their stages.  

Tas Cru is represented by Barrelhouse Talent, Hudson. FL Road Dawg Touring Company, Evergreen, CO and Electric Blues Bash, Bremenhaven, Germany.

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