Kurt Crandall

03.09.2013

Biography

Born in Bangor, Maine Kurt showed an early interest and aptitude for music. It was not until college, however, that he was first exposed to the blues. During his senior year, he noticed a seldom played LP in his roommate's record bin. He dusted off the platter and was soon mesmerized by the sounds of post-war Chicago blues. Little did he know that the album, Muddy Water's Sail On, would change his life forever. Following graduation, Kurt took his new found appreciation for the blues and headed south to Virginia. Walking along the streets one summer night, Kurt heard a familiar sound in the distance and followed the music to an outdoor bar where a local blues band was playing.

Kurt was particularly drawn to the mournful and expressive tones the harp player was able to coax out of his small instrument. At that moment Kurt realized his new mission in life was to learn the blues harmonica. The harmonica player in the band that night, Fulton Patrick, soon became a friend and mentor. Although he did not believe in formal lessons, Patrick would share tips during set breaks and offer listening suggestions – he insisted on a daily musical diet of Little Walter, Big Walter and Sonny Boy.

Following his advice, Kurt dedicated himself to learning the instrument and honing his craft. Practice and persistence paid off, as music has taken Kurt throughout the United States with stops in Kansas City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Macon, Georgia, Chicago and most recently Seattle. After years as a sideman in Kansas City Kurt finally stepped out front to lead a band - playing frequently with members of Lee McBee's current band - Karl Angerer on Guitar, Patrick REcob (formerly with Gary Primich) on bass and Jaisson Taylor (Little Hatch) on drums. While in D.C., he played regularly with Jesse James Brown (former bass player for Bo Diddley), and Pete Kanaras (formerly of the Nighthawks).

After just one year in D.C., Kurt relocated to the deep South, where he spent three years playing with the Macon Blues All-Stars which included several alumni from Otis Redding's band. Kurt left the south and moved to Chicago to immerse himself in the city's storried blues scene as well as travel nationally and internationally to promote his debut album – True Story. While in Chicago, he landed on the regular rotation at the House of Blues, Shaw's Crabhouse, Pete MIllers, Andy's Jazz Club, Redfish and Smoke Daddy. He also had the good fortune to play with a number of well known blues artists - Barrelhouse Chuck, Dave Specter, Kenny Smith and Jimmy Sutton.