Review out of England for Letters from the Sun

Review: Leo Crandall – Letters From The Sun
Leo Crandall – Letters From The Sun (Independent)

Autobiographical information on Leo Crandall is thin on the ground, so I assume he’s chosen to let his music speak for itself. Frankly, he couldn’t have decided upon a more eloquent form. His songs are rooted firmly in various folk traditions, though exact origins are difficult to pin down.

Crandall is a founding member and principal songwriter in the Gonstermachers, a New York quartet with a reputation for dark, experimental Americana, and a composer for film, theatre, dance and art installations. All that experience serves him well when framing both his own songs, and the traditional European folk tunes that appear regularly throughout “Letters From The Sun”.

His rich voice delivers the material with authority and poise, lingering deftly to emphasize lines and give an occasional emotional chill. It’s powerful and moving, and Crandall, accompanying himself on requinto guitar, builds ambience and mood to compliment his words.

The depth and resonance he brings to his vocal performance reminds me a little of the late, great Jackie Leven, and opening cut “Jesus Was a Runner” is sung a capella, and the hairs that live on the back of things, stand instantly to attention. It soon becomes standard procedure. “Crucify the Dogs” is dark and oppressively beautiful, with Crandall showing substantial instrumental prowess, and on “Virginia” he weaves a wintry tale of lost love and rejection.

Jesus was a dancer

The great Mariah Maloney has recently choreographed “Jesus was a Runner” from Letters from the Sun.  After the premier she and I will be collaborating on new work together.  I know its going to be so fresh. Keep you posted!

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Post Haus

Thank you all so very much for your amazing support at the recent redhouse gig. Many, many people were turned away and certainly we did our best to make room for as many as we could fit.  We sold out the house yes, but some very good friends and dedicated listeners were turned away and I do apologize.

I do want to thank my superb collaborators:  Mick Walker, Rich Curry, Bob Alexander, Bill Harsma, Mark Gibson, Marcia Rutledge, Jeff York, Tom Fay, Ted Curtis, Zeke Leonard and Curtis Waterman.  It is my great good fortune to collaborate with you.  The gig, the rehearsals, the whiskey and the fun were so very good.

Canjo quintet with cello?  John the Revelator with ten singers?  great night.

I will work to get some more great things happening in the near future.

customizing album covers

photo 2I am customizing album covers for sale at the redhouse performance this Saturday. I was thinking La Llorona Radio Love:

 

Or “THE FRACTION”

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or Racehorses of 1908

 

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