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John Craigie

John Craigie

with special guest Taylor Rae
$20 ADV / $25 DOS
Ages 18+

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John Craigie

Portland, OR-based singer, songwriter, and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies. Instead of leaving them on dog-eared pages, he projects them widescreen in flashes of simmering soul and folk eloquence. On his 2022 full-length album, Mermaid Salt, we witness revenge unfurled in flames, watch a landlocked mermaid’s escape, and fall asleep under a meteor shower.

After selling out shows consistently coast-to-coast and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, Glide Magazine, No Depression, and many more, his unflinching honesty ties these ten tracks together.

The album comes from the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Northwest. Someone whose life was touring, traveling, and having lots of human interaction is faced with an undefinable amount of time without those things. So, he began writing new songs and envisioning an album that was different from his past records. The sound of everyone playing live in a room together was traded for the sound of song construction with an unknown amount of instruments and musicians—a quiet symphony.

Rather than steal away to a cabin or hole up in a house with friends, Craigie opted to set up shop at the OK Theater in Enterprise, OR with longtime collaborator Bart Budwig behind the board as engineer. A rotating cast of musicians shuffled in and out safely, distinguishing the process from the communal recording of previous releases. The core players included Justin Landis, Cooper Trail, and Nevada Sowle. Meanwhile, Shook Twins lent their signature vocal harmonies, Bevin Foley arranged, composed, and performed strings, and Ben Walden dropped in for guitar and violin plucking parts.

“Instruments were scattered around the theater and microphones placed in various spots,” he recalls. “It’s hard to say who all played what exactly.”

As such, the spirit in the room guided everyone. On “Distance,” warm piano glows alongside a glitchy beat as he softly laments, “I could lose you to the loneliness, vast and infinite.” Then, there’s “Helena.” A jazz-y bass line snakes through head-nodding percussion as he relays an incendiary parable of a mother and son in exile. He croons, “She said fire was how we’d make ‘em pay. As I ran across the fields, she would scream, ‘Light it up son’,” uplifted in a conflagration of Shook Twins’ harmonies. Strings echo in the background as his vocals quake front-and-center on “Street Mermaid.”

Elsewhere, the guitar-laden “Microdose” beguiles and bewitches with an intoxicating refrain dedicated to a time where he “Microdosed for months and months, dissolve my ego in the acid.” Everything culminates on the glassy beat-craft and glistening guitars of “Perseids” where he sings, “There’s always a new heart after the old heart. Maybe a new heart is enough.”

During this period, he explored the environment around him “from the Oregon coasts to the waterfalls” and read books about Levon Helm, Billie Holiday, and Ani DiFranco.

“I got time to silence all the noise and chaos of touring and look inward,” he observes.

Craigie had reached a series of watershed moments in tandem with Mermaid Salt. Beyond headlining venues such as The Fillmore and gracing the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater, his 2020 offering Asterisk The Universe earned unanimous tastemaker applause. Rolling Stone noted, “tracks like ‘Don’t Deny’ and ‘Climb Up’ bridge a Sixties and Seventies songwriter vibe with the laid-back cool of Jack Johnson, an early supporter of Craigie,” while Glide Magazine hailed it as “one of his best records.” Perhaps, No Depression put it best, “For many weary and heavy- listeners hearted, the album might be exactly what they need.” Along the way, he generated over 40 million total streams and counting, speaking to his unassuming impact.

In the end, Craigie offers a sense of peace on Mermaid Salt.

Taylor Rae

Taylor Rae is a singer-songwriter who was born in Santa Cruz, California and raised in the quaint town of Ben Lomond, nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains.

She sang her first song at the age of 2, a cover of Carole King’s “It’s Too Late”, and began to write her own music at 8. By the time she was ten, she had filled countless notebooks with her original lyrics. Inspired by the natural beauty of her hometown, as well as the music of artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Jewel, Simon & Garfunkel and Steely Dan, Taylor taught herself guitar at 12 and by the time she was 15, she was playing her first paid gig.

The next decade of her life saw her wandering around the U.S., exploring the many forms of Americana, Folk, Jazz and Blues and the changing attitudes of the world. Her music, often compared to that of Grace Potter, Joss Stone and Maren Morris, earned her a spot in the Top 20 Americana Music Album Chart for her debut record MAD TWENTIES. The single off the album, “Home on the Road”, remained in the Top 10 of the Americana Music Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks and the album remained in the Top 50 for 31 consecutive weeks.

In 2022, Taylor embarked on a busy tour to promote MAD TWENTIES, performing shows across the nation and making a slew of podcast, radio and television appearances. She made an impressive 28 city tour between January and May of that year, playing festivals such as MerleFest, AmericanaFest, DelFest, Rochester Jazz Festival and sharing the stage with artists like Sierra Hull, Pokey LaFarge, The Head and the Heart, Brandy Clark & Judith Hill. Some of her most memorable shows in the last year have been at NPR Mountain Stage (Charleston, WV), Woodsongs (Lexington, KY), Bluebird Cafe (Nashville, TN), Sony Hall (NYC) & the historic Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, TX.

When Taylor is not working on music, she enjoys reading, practicing yoga and spending time with her long-haired dachshund, Winnie, at her home in Austin, TX.

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