Opening the show for the infamous Reverend Horton Heat at the Date Shed, there he stood; Wade Crawford, armed with a Pabst Blue Ribbon, a silver unmarked flask, a Martin DRS1 guitar and his “Country Trash” drummer. His assignment: to warm up a crowd that was casually and inattentively filtering in, knowing that the artist they paid $25 to see would not be playing until later. Daunting as it may be for some, Wade took up his weapons and began to fire away fearlessly, song after original song, with only an occasional, well played, appropriate cover.
I had never heard Wade Crawford and The Country Trash before, but to my hearts core I am a fan of the alternative and classic country music genre also known in broader terms as Americana. The rough, politically incorrect lyrics brought a smile to my face. Those same words might have been offensive had they not been sung by a very attractive musician with the raw edginess that combines the cultures of sex, alcohol and rock and roll that are foundational to this particular facet of country music. Sure, when Wade sang the lyric “You think I’m playing honey, have another taco. After that you’re gonna finish my burrito” from his song, Jump MY Bones, an indignant woman next to me said in horror, “How misogynist!” I didn’t agree with her, but needless to say, if you’re looking for a poetic, sensitive artist, Wade Crawford may not be your cup of tea. But if you’re looking for some raw blues and rock influenced country the likes of which Shooter Jennings (son of country icon Waylon Jennings) and Hank Williams III are putting out with a hugely successful following, then Wade Crawford and The Country Trash are your local delivery boys. I personally loved what they brought to the Date Shed, and watched as Wade bantered with the audience, did a hell of a job promoting bar sales and eventually had that entire audience in the palm of his hand.
It is important to make the point here, that while jokingly pointing to drummer, Terrance “Terry” Dunn as the “Country Trash” part of the duo, Wade has the utmost respect and love for this drummer’s skill set, as do I. Terry was one of a handful of rock/country drummers I’ve seen in my life that can play passionately and dynamically without overplaying or being too aggressive. Some drummers don’t even get me to watch them, but Terry did. His love for what he was doing showed and was contagious. This is extremely important, as without this level of musicianship, a drummer could easily offset the balance of a two piece band. Instead, the music was balanced and rich despite their lack in numbers and the two personalities complimented the show perfectly.
Wade Crawford has been playing music since he was a kid. With no other musicians in the family, his influences are the music his mother and father listened to. Mom listened to rock and dad loved country. “I was really close to my dad. Country music was imbedded in him. He grew up with a father who was kind of in and out of his life and he always told me that guys like Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty were his heroes…that if he could pick one guy to be a dad to him, it would be Waylon. That really stuck with me.”
Initially as a teenager of 15 and 16 years old, Wade played what was cool at the time; punk, rock and emo ~ music the likes of Blink 182. Not a bad choice considering that he got to play the Roxie at such a young age. Older now, and with a number of other bands and genres under his belt, Wade is back to his roots. He is playing what he wants in a genre that, in my experienced opinion, suits him very well.
The new EP release of A Lion A Sheep and A Crow Walk Into a Bar perfectly exhibits his well-chosen niche. He lists the title of each song on the album within this creative blurb: “A Lion, A Sheep and A Crow Walk into a Bar and begin to immediately flirt with the bartender.” I know WHERE YOU’LL SLEEP TONIGHT,” she responded curtly, “what’ll it be?” They ordered their drinks and began to talk like old times. “So, OLD FRIEND, how the hell have you been,” The Lion asked the Sheep. “Well I never thought it would happen but yesterday was THE DAY I CHANGED MY WAYS,” responded The Sheep. “I was down in NEW ORLEANS and ran into my ex. Brutal hell. But hey, ONCE THE DAMAGE IS DONE, who gives a shit, right?” The Crow nodded – “Man, I’ve been riding that DEVIL’S TRAIN for years. And it always leads me right back home to SUNNYMEAD.” The friends laughed and raised their glasses, having already made THE CALL.
The EP release party will be held 9 pm, Saturday, March 16th @ Rene’s Bar & Grill 25020 Filaree Avenue, Moreno Valley.
Follow Wade Crawford and The Country Trash on the following links:
Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/thecountrytrash
Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/TheCountryTrash