Joe Crookston – Able, Baker, Charlie and Dog
So I have heard his name on Gene Shay’s radio show here in Philly and on XM Radio and heard a song here and there in passing but never really listened to Joe Crookston until today and in the words of Christine Lavin “What Was I Thinking!” This guy is great and his album Able, Baker Charlie and Dog is wonderful and I am not alone in my opinion. The album was “Album of the Year” by the International Folk Alliance. and Joe was a 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Fest Most Wanted Artist and a Rockefeller Foundation Songwriting grant recipient. Joe is originally from Ohio and attended Kent State. He lived in Seattle for several years and now calls Ithaca, New York home. The Rockefeller Grant was part of the “Fingers Lake Project” and Joe wandered the Finger Lakes area and collected stories and four of those story songs appear on this album. I love story songs and Joe’s story songs are fantastic. The songs that appear on this album from stories Joe collected are some of the best tracks on the album and include: “John Jones” The story of a slave who escaped to Elmira, NY and became part of the underground railroad. “Red Rooster in the Mash Pile” tells the story of a family making liquor during prohibition and the roosters who imbided along with the distillers. “Blue Tattoo” tells the story of an Aushwitz survivor explaining to her daughter her blue tatoo and finally “Able, Baker, Charlie and Dog” tells Joe’s grandfather’s story about building the airstrip on Tinian Island that would be used to launch the nuclear attacks on Japan. These songs aren’t the only great songs on this album, heck, I already said the whole album is fantastic!
So I am glad that I picked Joe Crookston to listen to today and if you like good music and like me enjoy good story songs check out Able, Baker, Charlie and Dog. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!