Born and raised in a sleepy mountain town in Northern Idaho, singer-songwriter Jeff Crosby creates critically acclaimed music that has landed him in the sometimes indefinable genres of folk, rock, and Americana. Writing about the rare beauty found in his travels and the unconventional stories of the people and places he has encountered along the way, he has that rare gift of sounding like he does not belong to any specific era. It’s this timelessness that has allowed him to spend the last decade sharing the stage with an array of performers including Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Charley Crockett, Widespread Panic, American Aquarium, Nikki Lane and many more.
His songs present almost as pages ripped out of an intimately personal diary, capturing what it means to have loved, lost and kept on the move. There seems to be no shortage of inspiration as Crosby is one of the last few “troubadours” that truly lives the life he sings about. His music has been favorably compared to great singer-songwriters from Dylan to Van Zandt to Earle.
Glide is thrilled to host for its first premiere of 2020, Jeff Crosby’s “North Star” – a rugged rocker that collages the biting guitars and dive bar crunching rock of early Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Dwight Tilley. Crosby has a lot to say about the explosive track (below), where he found inspiration from the likes of Neal Casal, Mark Knopfler and his home state of Idaho.”
“I was pretty depressed in the Phoenix airport when I found out Neal Casal had passed,” describes Crosby, “I always admired his career and musicianship and was pretty bummed out to hear he could have been that down. Pretty obvious Cardinals vibe in the song but also, I wanted to lean into that Mark Knopfler style guitar tone. My friend Greg William’s had a friend that had this Telecaster Jonathan Wilson had set up and said I should check it out for the album sessions. I fell in love with it immediately and used it for most of the solos we tracked.
“I cut most of the song in Portland, OR at The Trench Studios. I recorded most of my last album, Postcards from Magdalena there and I love working with Greg,” adds Crosby. “He’s played drums for so many great artists like Jesse Malin, Sheryl Crow, Pete Droge… the list goes on…but he didn’t play drums at all on my last album. On the new album, North Star (due out April 24th), my drummer couldn’t make it to the sessions and so Greg was like, “Well I can take a few swings at it!” I don’t know why I didn’t insist on this earlier, but he just brought the songs to life and I demanded that he play on the other tunes we were working on too. I’m a terrible engineer but pulled it off as he yelled instructions from the other room. I just love how it came out and had a blast working out the guitar solo on this one!”
As for what it’s about, I had just moved out to Nashville and was experiencing my first winter there. Was talking to a girl about getting out of town and escaping the cold. We figured we could make it to the California coast in about 3 days or so. She thought I was joking but I wasn’t. She ended up flying out and meeting me for some shows up the west coast and I finished the song after having a realization along the way that we were never gonna work out together. Which helped pen the 2nd verse line “Are you hidin from a past life you don’t think I could ever understand / I can look past the rubble / Just give me a chance to love you”.
Also, I guess being from Idaho you can always see the North Star and that always bothered me moving to the city. You can never see the stars. That’s where I got the first line as I’m always missing being up in the mountains back home but always find myself being drawn back to the city.”
Jeff Crosby & the Refugees are playing Steamboat Musicfest January 5th through 10th