Tas’ brand new 2008 release, gravi-Tas builds on the home-cooked country kitchen flavor of his solo acoustic 2006 Biscuit, but thickened by the young power blues trio, the Slow Happy Boys, and seasoned with the keyboard work of longtime sideman, G.C. “Chip” Lamson. The eleven original songs written by Cru prove that he is first a storyteller. His well-crafted lyrics are testimony to his growing reputation as the master of the “triple” entendre with songs that invite interpretation that is felt – not merely heard then understood.
With acoustic grinders like 12 Step Woman, the hillstomper, Feel I’m Fallin, and resonator-driven blues like Cover My Love and Peach Pickin, Cru draws from a range of styles, but never veers too far from his country blues home. On gravi-Tas, Cru handles the lead vocals and the harmonica and resonator guitar work. Chip Lamson (keyboards) and Jeremy Walz (guitar) contribute backing vocals. The rhythm section is comprised of Josh Bloomfield (drums) and Chris Wroblewski (bass). Lamson is Cru’s seasoned sideman who performs with Cru as an acoustic duo and serves as music director for band shows. Walz, Bloomfield and Wroblewski taken together are the Slow Happy Boys, an Albany, NY based jamband/blues power trio with heavy performance credentials who
have backed national acts touring through the Capital Region.
Tas Cru is a rough Quebecois rendering meaning - Raw Potato. Credit for the name goes to an avid young fan who admires Tas'' raw-edged vocals and peeled-bare approach to the slide guitar. Given Tas'' bent on bowing to his home region''s Quebecois influence the moniker was not much of a stretch, especially since much of Tas’ early career was spent playing Quebec''s small cities and towns along the St. Lawrence river from Montreal to Riviere du Loup. Cru is currently based out of Albany, New York but has performed at festivals and clubs throughout the Mid South including shows in Tulsa, Memphis, and the Mississippi Delta. He has shared the stage with a growing list of well known blues artists that includes Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, Willie Smith, Marva Wright, Mem Shannon, Kenny Neal, Jimmy Thackeray, Danny Kalb, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Nora Jean Bruso, Albert Cummings, Bob Margolin and others. Also to his credit include frequent appearances at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi and on Sunshine Sonny Payne''s King Biscuit Radio program on station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas.
In 2006, Cru released his solo acoustic CD, Biscuit that continues to gain attention. In August 2007 the song, "Black and Poor in New Orleans" was selected by XM Radio''s Bluesville for a special 2nd anniversary Katrina remembrance and featured alongside New Orleans artists Irma Thomas, Mem Shannon and Tab Benoit. "Black and Poor in New Orleans" made its debut at the Northeast Blues Society''s Katrina Benefit Concert in November, 2005 in Albany, NY. The show raised monies to support New Orleans musicians whose careers and families had been devastated by the hurricane tragedy. To quote Don Wilcock, the concert promoter, "With that song, Tas Cru literally stole the show earning him the respect and admiration of fellow performers that included New Orleans artists Marva Wright, and Mem Shannon.”
Tas Cru performs as a solo act or with a backing band. Since 2001 he has fronted a highly acclaimed regional band, the Conrad Story Blues Band from Upstate New York and released two CDs that feature 20 original songs by Cru - Poutine (2004) and Obsession Road (2007). He represented the Northeast Blues Society (Albany, NY) as its solo artist at the Blues Foundation''s International Blues Challenge in 2006 and 2007 in Memphis. In 2008 Tas Cru and the Slow Happy Boys represent the society in the band competition at IBC.
gravi-Tas is released on Cru’s own burgeoning label, Crusty Tees Records and is available online from the following distributors:
This file is sold by music, an independent seller on Tradebit.