Busker On The Broad Highway

by Ryan Lee Crosby

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Searching For The Sacred In The Devil's Music

From a very young age, I found myself being lifted by the sound of it.

Hearing John Lee Hooker's „Boom Boom“ as a child set the stage for a life devoted to music and in recent years, increasingly to the Blues. There has always been something in the sound of a propulsive rhythm driving a „blue“ melody that has helped me connect to a power greater than myself. As a boy, I had concluded that the Blues went deeper than other musical forms. In later years, I recognized this as the sound of redemption, which can soothe a longing spirit saddled by earthly burdens.

Paradoxically, I believe that to play „the Devil's Music“ is an act of faith. It requires patience, focus, and devotion. To play the Blues is the expression of a relationship with a higher power. To sing with one's soul, to play with one's heart, to make one's self vulnerable before the world is an act of surrender, which is born on a plane of inspiration.

I hear the Blues as the sound of a soul reaching for oneness with the universe. This sound brings me closer to my maker, to myself and to my fellows. Yes, it has been called the Devil's music, but to me, the Blues is a gateway to the divine kingdom.

R.L. Crosby

Ryan Lee Crosby is a folk-blues singer / songwriter / guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and music teacher in Boston, MA.

Over the last decade, Crosby has written and released four full length albums, a film score and three EPs, which have received national airplay and collected prized local accolades such as “Best Singer/Songwriter” in the Boston Phoenix/WFNX Radio Music Poll and earned him nomations in the annual Boston Music Awards for "Best Male Vocalist" and "Best Singer/Songwriter."

He has performed live as a solo artist, bandleader and sideman on stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe, supporting The Shins, The Hold Steady, Marissa Nadler, AA Bondy, Phosphorescent, Damon and Naomi, Chris Brokaw, The Black Atlantic and many more.

In late 2014, Crosby will release his fifth full length album on Germany's Jellyfant Records, which he will support on a European tour with Allysen Callery.

Whether performing solo on 12 string guitar, as a bluesy drum-guitar duo, or with a full backing band, Crosby's intricate playing, propulsive rhythms and dynamic vocals create a sound that confronts listeners with an immediacy rarely found in the work of traditional singer/songwriters.

credits

released September 26, 2014

Recorded live to tape and mixed by Ryan Lee Crosby
"Special Rider Blues" recorded and mixed by Adam Taylor
Mastered by Scott Craggs at Old Conoly
Design and portrait by Michael Hutcherson; cover image, Highway 61, Outside Clarksdale, MS by Nicoline Valkenberg

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