It’s time for part 2 of my post about a very talented musician they call Neil Cribbs. I have had some great responses to the post “Neil Cribbs Part 1” and I am so happy that I’ve been able to share Neil’s amazing music with you. I mentioned in the first part of the blog that Neil has his own style, he is also someone who loves what he does. I asked him “What does it mean to you to be a musician?”
“Being a full-time musician is a hard road. It's rewarding but hard. There are SO many things beyond playing out that people don't realize. I'm not talking about just booking. I feel that a lot of people outside the industry think there is no work involved when it comes to independent music, that musicians sit around playing their instrument during the week and wait for the weekend to come to perform. Things like marketing, promotion, social media, networking, booking, and research are all part of a full-time independent artist's repertoire, oh yeah and writing and performing usually come last. Granted, we yearn for the day when someone comes along to help alleviate some of these jobs but, until that day comes, we grind out these aspects of the job during the standard work week. That being said, it's an amazingly rewarding job. To be able to create art and have even one person walk up to you or contact you and say, "I LOVE your music" or even to look down and see someone singing songs that you've written is an incredible feeling. I am constantly inspired by the number of people who approach me and tell me to keep pushing.”
I love how down to earth Neil is and you can hear that in his music. I think this is one of the reasons why his music is so good. I like music that sounds and feels authentic.
Back to the music. With the albums “Marionette” & the EP “Windshield” already having great success, Neil didn’t stop there. His latest offering is the EP “To the Left” which was released last year. With this EP, Neil continues his evolution but still keeping the sound that we have come to enjoy. I do feel that his writing and his vocals seem stronger which has resulted in another collection of songs with their own story and personalities. Each song has a catchy melody that is difficult not to sing along to (yes, I sung along and I apologise to all who heard me!)
My favourite tracks off the EP involve Neil’s bluesy side, there is something about his bluesy vocal tone that is so addictive. These are “High Road” and the title track “To the Left”. As I mentioned in part 1 “To the Left” was the first track I heard by Neil Cribbs and is one of my overall favourite tracks. I love it’s foot stomping attitude and it’s lyrics is what makes this track so good. The message in the song is about the choices you make in life, sometimes the right one might not be right. Overall, here is yet another awesome release and I feel his best is still to come.
Neil has continued to release music that has been a joy for my ears to hear. This got me thinking, “I wonder which is his favourite song he wrote and why”, so I asked him:
“I'm not really sure that I have a favourite song I've written. They're all so different. Some are story-driven and some are about a singular concept. I think a couple of my favourites are "Old Time Story" and "Windshield." "Windshield" is a simple song that's pretty precise but holds a lot more depth than it seems. Just the idea of people looking through the glass of life (that sometimes can get hazy) only shows you the present and past, that we have to be outside this protected space to be able to determine our futures and where we will belong really hits home to me. Taking an uncalculated step is sometimes one of the greatest things you can do. "Old Time Story" is a fun love song. I don't write songs about love very often but this one I love.”
As a music fan, I always want more music from the artists that I like and Neil is no exception. I thought I would ask Neil if he has more music planned and what can we expect from him in 2013.
“I'm currently working on a concept album influenced and based on the 1930s. Things like dustbowl ballads, train-style songs, swing music. I'm trying to strip the sound back down again. I'm giving the recording process time to breathe, which is something that I haven't really done in the past. I feel that the Depression era is one of the greatest moments in human history. It was a time where people turned to the arts for inspiration and escapism. People were persistent in one of the most horrible decades ever and continued to look towards the next day. Hope was a reality because it had to be. I'm really excited to work on this one. I've been enlisting in the aid of Sam Thomas (the engineer that worked on "To the Left") and my bassist Trey Lander, who has really come to be a great friend of mine. We're working on bringing some other musicians into the works too. I'm pretty sure it's going to end up being a great collaborative effort.
As far as the rest of the year, I just want to keep driving, wherever that may be. I've seen an active growth in response to my music in the first couple months thus far. I hope to keep creating and collaborating and doing charity work. It's truly an honour to meet the people that love music in any form. They could be Cribblets, they could be metalheads. I just know that their enthusiasm keeps us moving.”
I want to thank Neil for his time answering my questions as I know he is a busy man. He is a hard working musician that now only gives us his amazing music but he also gives back too. Neil is an active performer for the charity Songs for Kids Foundation which bring music to children's hospitals and special needs camps.
It’s been my pleasure to share the music of Neil Cribbs with you and I love writing posts like this about artists that I rate so highly. I hope you enjoy his music as much as I do, if so, show your support. Listen, enjoy, buy the music and tell your friends, this is what a music fan is all about. Check out the sites below to find out more about Neil, personally I can’t wait to hear what he releases next!