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Phoenix, AZ | Established. Jan 01, 1990 | INDIE | AFM

Phoenix, AZ | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1990
Band Blues Rock





Cros is an incredible writer. Looking forward to hearing more from him. - unlisted

"Western Washington Blues Society"

The title of the cd is "Next Generation Blues". With the opening song, Charles Mack (Cros) throws down the musical gauntlet and serves notice that he means business. The introduction to the first song is instantly captivating. It grooves in a sophisticated uptown and funky way. The quality of the musicianship is very high consistently over the full length of the disc.

Mack’s bass playing is subtle and seductive in its authority. Nowhere on this recording does he overpower the listener with his bass. However, his bass lines are creative and fresh – best of all, they groove hard. Although the song writing and performance shows elements of other styles being brought to the blues, Charles stays true to the blues form. In this record he successfully plays the blues in today’s context with today’s influences.

On the eve of his cd release party at the Kingston Mines, Charles invited me to his band rehearsal at Three Pears Studios ( on the north side of Chicago. It was a pleasant surprise to see a blues band rehearsing in very modern facility. That indicated that not only is this cd a serious venture, but it also showed Charles Mack’s business acumen.

The five-piece band consisted of Charles Mack on bass, his brother on drums, a guitarist, a keyboard player, and two female vocalists. Each of the musicians was very gracious and humble. There was an easy camaraderie among them. When time came to get to work, everyone was focused and professional. The sound of the band was tight and the groove was deep. Although they were rehearsing, they had the energy of a band performing for a lively audience. Mack’s experience showed itself from time to time as he would help other musicians work their parts out.

The studio musicians who helped with their talents on this cd were not slated to perform at the cd release party due to previous commitments elsewhere. Fortunately their replacements are Chicago musical giants in their own right. The band’s sound in rehearsal made it clear that no one will be shortchanged by the absence of the studio musicians.

The technical quality of the recording is phenomenal. The sound engineering and production are top flight. Clearly, recording this project in Chicago was the right thing for Charles to do. Every aspect of this project has been well coordinated. This record should make a lot of noise in the blues circles around the world.

When Charles Mack (Cros) tours the northwest, be sure to treat yourself to a wonderful show by going to his performances. He is, after all, a prodigal son of the northwest. - Vuyani Wakaba

"Real Blues Magazine"

While we have been worried about the ‘future’ of Blues music in as much as it’s not too popular with younger African-Americans, the reality might be different if under-40 Blacks had a chance to at least hear Blues. But, as it’s completely removed from commercial radio and TV, only those who live in the remaining ‘hot beds’ get exposed to it and Chicago continues to surprise us with new artists who have picked up the torch. The Blues Tradition relies so heavily on established artists (those who remain) recruiting younger musicians from the Black community and there’s probably a couple of hundred Blues/R&B/Gospel musicians who got their musical training in the bands of B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Little Milton and Cros and brother Mark got their ‘Living Tradition’ tutoring in James Cotton’s band. Mr. Cotton has a long history of having incredibly talented and tight young bands as there was a time (remember?) when James had to compete with 20-25 superb Chicago acts. Despite the near-extinction of Blues Clubs, James Cotton has been lucky enough, thanks to his Living Legend status, to maintain an ‘on-call’ band for festival and club gigs and with Cros (bass) and Mark Mack (drums) the ‘take-no-prisoners’ rhythm section (a long-time Cotton tradition) has been maintained. Gigging with Cotton and Lucky Peterson as the bassist of choice, Cros conforms to the current music environment, i.e. musicians must be members of two or more bands in order to ensure constant employment and profile.
Cros has made some powerful and talented friends in and around Chicago and several of them contribute to this album. Just reading the promo sheet and seeing that Maurice Vaughn, Osee Anderson, Billy Branch and Roosevelt Purifoy, a.o., are participating told me that this would probably be an entertaining outing and this debut disc is definitely one of the Best independent releases to come out of Chicago in the last 5 years. Cros is one of the top young bassists on the scene today and the foundation that he got from his experiences and training with artists like Cotton and Peterson (timing, discipline, stage presence, etc.) translate into a well-executed and dynamic production. Like the majority of under-50 Black Blues artists, Cros's music reflects genres-without-borders (R&B, Funk, Soul, Blues) and while some Blues purists ‘demand’ music that can be pigeon-holed into rigid categories we seem to forget that the application of genre categories to Black music is a White outsider thing that reflects our anal-retentive take on life. Saying that, let’s just say that Cros’s CD will get labeled ‘Blues’, but more appropriately it’s Black Music that reflects all of his contemporary influences.
The opening track, “Movin”, is a fine choice for a first tune and it’s got a dance-friendly funky beat with superb wah-wah guitar and great keyboards from Purifoy. “Tell Me” is a fine Funk/Blues fusion with a really dynamic back-up vocal chorus. “Never Have To” is one of my favorites: a low-key, impassioned-plea tune that has a great Gospel feel thanks to spooky vocal chorus arrangements (Mack deserves mucho credit for putting a very strong emphasis on vocal arrangements throughout the CD). “Just Wanna” has a lot of potential for whatever Black radio remains in the U.S. while “I’m a Blues Man” will probably appeal to White Blues radio deejays/audiences. “Rollin Down” is a joyous romp with nice slide and just incredible vocal work! Cros ain’t Little Milton and I’m sure he would be the first to admit it, but what he does with his voice and voices of all the backing vocalists is truly amazing and it’s obvious the man has a very creative/thinking mind in creating music. Billy Branch lends dancing harmonica to “Rollin’ Down” and then we get into a stone Chicago Blues (modern) with “Cry No More”, proving that he can get down when he wants to. Mark Mack’s drumming is magnificent on this tune with crashing cymbals and tom-t - Andy Grigg

"Chicago Sun-Times"

Mustang Sally - Dave Hoekstra


“I dug the bluesy guitar on "Katie's Alone" -- has a little of the Clapton or Gary Moore feel to it.”
- Randall Davis

"Rooster Publicity"

“Jimmy Hendrix would have loved "Katie's Alone." It's incredibly soulful while possessing a blues rock sensibility that would have inspired one of his trademark psychedelic solos.” - David Budge

"JFD Productions"

“Keep your eyes open for this guy; you will be seeing a lot from him soon” - Dominique Desmons

"Blues Revue Magazine"

"Cros is the next generation of something worth watching" - Eric Thom

""KOMO News" by Andrea Dailey"

As it turns out, this bass player is as excited about playing music as he is about singing. His new CD features original songs that celebrate the challenges and victories of life. Cros who is inspired by his life experiences, sings his songs from the heart. - Thawing Out with Cros


1994 Single ..................."Reminisce"

1995 "Mr Alice"...............Inflatable Soule

2004 "Call My Name"......Gregg Gibbs n Sharon Pass

2004 "Call My Name"...... Cee Cee Peniston

2005 Album ..................."Next Generation Blues"

2007 "Voodoo Woman"....KoKo Taylor, Shun Kikuta

2007 Single..............."Goodbye"

2010 Album..............."Be My Crazy Dream"

2010 Single..............."Thankful"

2011 Single................"Movin" Remake (w/Young ACE and Josephine Howell)

2012 Single..............."Christmas Time Again" (w/Josephine Howell and Phyllis Talley)

2014 Album..............."Live at The Triple Door"



Grammy Nominated, CROS, former bassist for Lucky Peterson and Grammy Award winner James Cotton, CROS has shared the stage with a number of accomplished artists in a variety of genres;  alternative rock group Inflatable Soule, rap group Cypress Hill, blues,R&B and jazz artists Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Marcus Miller, Otis Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Otis Rush,Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Bernard Allison, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Johnson, Kenny Neal and numerous Jazz ensembles.

By fusing an amazing blend of music and experience over his career CROS brings an incredible and unique presence to every performance. You will experience a multitude of feelings and emotions all while sitting back and enjoying the ride through a mixture of soul, funk, blues, rock, R&B and folk that will leave you satisfied but clamoring for more all at the same time!

Band Members