Photo by Scott Simontacchi
Singer-songwriter Jeff Crosby will soon release his fifth LP and has previewed its title track, “Northstar” and another song from the record, “Laramie.” Set to a solid Americana backbeat, the songs address seeking and recovering relationships with Crosby opening up his heart to let you walk a mile in his shoes. “Northstar’s plea of “We can make the ocean in three days or so” promises fulfillment with “I’ll be your home away from home.” This is great stuff!
After spending time as a sideman for Jerry Joseph’s band the Jackmormons and Austin’s Reckless Kelly, Crosby set his solo career in motion opening shows and playing festivals. With what many are calling his strongest album to date, things seem right for Jeff Crosby to have a busy and successful 2020.
Jeff took some time while out on the road touring to play the 11 Questions game. He is currently doing some shows in the Pacific Northwest, and I reckon he will be home in Nashville again to play when the album comes out. Thank you, Jeff.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from Donnelly, ID (in the mountains 100 miles north of Boise) and moved to Nashville maybe two years ago now. I lived in LA for five years before that but had been flirting with Nashville for a while. Played a show with some friends, Slings and Arrows, in Yakima, WA, and they mentioned they had a spot in East Nashville, and I should come check it out. I came over for a week and met some incredible writers and players and figured it couldn’t hurt to hang my hat there for a while. It’s a great neighborhood and town and I have really enjoyed my time there. It’s iven me a good batch of songs so far at least.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The first record I bought was probably Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I know that’s typical, but I still love that album. I bought it at a local coffee shop/record store when I was maybe 14 or 15 in McCall, ID. We used to steal my neighbors’ paddle boat and go out to the middle of the reservoir, press play on the Discman with these crappy speakers, get stoned, and talk about life, and watch the moon on the water. I still think of those times every time I hear that album.
The last album I bought was Will Hoge’s Anchors and I would argue he’s the most talented singer and songwriter I’ve seen in Nashville. Ran into him as I was walking offstage after our set at this year’s Music Fest in Steamboat, CO, and he said he really enjoyed our set. I then proceeded to “fanboy” out and tell him how much his songs have meant to me the past few years. Hopefully, that didn’t come off too lame but it’s true. He was super nice, and you should buy all his albums if you haven’t.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
The first concert I ever went to was probably The Hat Shop Band. There’s a guy named Randy Priest that makes hats in Donnelly, ID, and they all would get together and play till they were too drunk to remember the words. Lots of traditional stuff like “Goin Down the Road Feeling Bad” and “The Weight” and whatnot. I loved watching those guys just have fun and joking around laughing. Some of my earliest memories of falling in love with playing music.
The last show I saw was Reckless Kelly after we opened for them in Denver last weekend. They are still the best damn live band in the country. After playing guitar with them last summer and opening a good amount of their shows, I’ve learned that those guys are just always on. Such a great band.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Rodney Crowell. And Will Hoge. And Reckless Kelly. And Steve Earle. And Paul Thorn.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
The Post in East Nashville just closed, and I don’t eat pizza after too many years on the road getting fed crappy pizza backstage. I’d just recommend going to Duke’s in Five Points for a sandwich and a cocktail.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Steve Earle’s Guitar Town and also Long Time Comin from Micky and The Motorcars. That one came out November last year, and we are still playing in our van.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Duke’s or Dino’s
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Jon Latham, Will Hoge, and Lauren Farrah
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
The 5 Spot, Dee’s and Basement East
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
Any of the Braun brothers as I just love hanging with those guys, but we’d probably drink ourselves to death. So, maybe Tylor Ketchum from my favorite Idaho band Tylor and the Train Robbers. Been working on them for a while. We’ll see.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Putting out this album in April, writing songs in a cabin in Idaho, telling stories on barstools, falling in love, falling back out of love, writing an entire album about it, and touring the country until I fall over dead and they bury me in Idaho somewhere. Or if I’m smart, I’ll quit and start selling real estate like all my other friends I used to play music with. But I’ve never really been known as the “smart one” so, I’ll see you out there on the road!