Jeremy Crady
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"Jeremy Crady 'Smoke Wagon Serenade' Review"

COUNTRY WEEKLY

Jeremy Crady Interview

Texas is chalked full of great bands and artists. Some that break through and make a mainstream name for themselves while others find a career in and around Texas as regional acts. Texas native, Jeremy Crady, who recently relocated to Nashville just simply puts out good music that combines influences of country artists like Garth and George Jones with rock-n-rollers like Elvis and John Mellencamp. His latest effort, Smoke Wagon Serenade continues in a line of solid albums with a Dwight Yoakam like rock-n-roll country vibe and we had the chance to catch up with Jeremy and chat with him about the album, country music, The Texas scene, and much much more.


Jeremy Crady - "Smoke Wagon Serenade" Review



1. For someone that has never heard your music before what can they expect to hear when they hit play on “Smoke Wagon Serenade?”

Country and western; we like to say that… and western. I hope that when they hit play on the album they hear something good that they like, but it is a diverse album and we do touch a lot on the western.

2. For your longtime fans, what similarities and what differences will they find between this album and your previous releases?

I put out independent albums in Texas and this one is also independent, but done is my first in Nashville. The similarities they will see are that I am the writer on the songs for all of them so there is that aspect of it. But they will see a lot of growth with this album. There’s growth vocally, in the musicianship, the songwriting aspects of it….

3. As a songwriter, how important is it for you to write the songs you’re singing and why?

To me those are the artists, the singer/songwriters, that I was always drawn to as a fan and as an artist I’ve followed that same line. I think that when someone writes a song it is a window into that person. It may not be a true story that they are writing but even so what’s just rattling around in their heads. Either way it offers a window into the souls of an artist. I love to give people the ideas that are rattlin’ around in my head.

4. Which one song from the album is your personal favorite and why?

It’s funny that this is the question that is following that last one because there is one song on the album that I didn’t write, it’s a cover song that we put on their on purpose called “I Can’t See Texas From Here.” It is actually a song that George Strait wrote many many moons ago. I think that is my favorite track. I tend to pick on my own stuff a lot when I listen to it as a writer. I am not a parent but I think to pick your favorite song that you wrote is like trying to pick your favorite child if that makes any sense.

5. You’ve worked with some of the best players in Texas including Lloyd Maines, Joel Guzman, and members of Asleep at the Wheel. What did you learn the most by watching them?

Just to have a good time. Texas is really laid back and not as much of a machine. Lloyd and the guys in Asleep at the Wheel were all about relationships and just enjoying the music and that is something that I definitely believe in. I’m not picking up a shovel and digging a ditch, I am playing music and it is a blessing to be able to do that. If we aren’t having fun then we are doing something wrong.

6. There is always a debate between Texas and Nashville’s scenes. What are the major differences that you have been able to see?

Wow! You are trying to get me in front of a firing squad with this one. Okay, but and I say this with no fault to anyone at all. Nashville is more business orientated from how they do things day to day, to how they release an album, to playing in sessions… the session players, everyday get up at 10 and go to the studios. Texas is, well back to the laid back environment. They are a little more open to music and its anything goes. They are a bit more open about stuff like that. But I do love both, Texas and Nashville. I have ties to both. It’s funny because in Nashville they say I sound too Texas and in Texas they say I sound too Nashville, and I don’t want to live in Little Rock.

7. You left Texas for Nashville. Why did you make that move?

Cause Nashville is a young man’s town as Vince Gill once said it. I love Texas music, the fans, but the Texas market, and I hope this comes out right, they are open to you anytime. Nashville, and I am sure if you asked Garth, Alan Jackson, George Strait, they will all tell you that it is a young man’s town. I grew up on Nashville country. I was dragging my family here to go to the Opry, see the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Ryman, that’s one of my favorite places. So it wasn’t a big shock to people that I moved here.

8. You attended South Plains College, which has some famous graduates in Lee Ann Womack, Natalie Maines, Heath Wright, and others. How important was the time you spent there for your career now when you look back on it?

Huge in a word; it was a place for me to go and get direction. I learned a lot there about direction. As a kid, dreaming about playing country music, your mind goes all over the place. But there, I got to really dig into the songwriting aspects of the business.

9. What is country music?

To me country music is heart, soul, and honesty. It is not a genre, not a 3-chord song, not a rock-n-roll song. What’s always drawn me to it was the honest lyrics. You can have a song about heartbreak, a funny song, and religion in a song; I just love the melting pot that is country music. Truth happens in the songs.

10. What advice can you offer to someone that is looking to break into the music industry?

Don’t do it, no I’m just kidding. My perspective is that there is going to be a lot more naysayers than people on your bandwagon, especially in the beginning. But if it’s your dream and it’s what you want to do then stay focused and keep going. Guys like Garth, Hank Williams Jr, and even guys like Keith Urban, if they had listened to the naysayers we would have missed out on some great music. I faced a lot of adversary but you just have to keep plugging on and everything will work out the way that it is supposed to work out.

©2008 Stetson Promotions

- Country Weekly Magazine


Discography

'Smoke Wagon Serenade' was recorded in Nashville, Tennesse with Garth Brooks entire studio band!

The two singles off 'Smoke Wagon Serenade'.

Track4- The Toughest Ride
Track2- Missing You Already

These two singles will begin receiving radio airplay on commercial secondary radio stations all over the US, through GRASS ROOTS PRODUCTIONS starting June 22nd 2009.

We will list future stations whom which have added and began rotation on their stations, so you can call and request JEREMY CRADY in your town.

Photos

Bio

Jeremy Crady
'Smoke Wagon Serenade'

There's a striking duality to newcomer Jeremy Crady, a sense that competing or
contradictory energies have somehow settled into an uneasy peace in his artistic vision.
But as Smoke Wagon Serenade unfolds, those seeming divergent themes begin to look
like perfect complements to each other. And it's amazing just how easy he makes it look.
This is no forced convergence, it's simply who he is.
He's a Dallas native unafraid to speak the Texas music heresy that his music
dreams must take flight in Nashville. He's a disciple of the rich but uncompromising
West Texas tradition whose first and greatest musical passion is the most successful
commercial recording artist in history. He's made his own independent record with a
band whose work resides in more CD collections than any other in the world. He's a
songwriter's writer, devoted to his craft and possessed of a keen eye for the kind of detail
that makes songs play in cinemascope. And he's also an experienced performer blessed
with a tenor like roughly sanded Texas pine.
Most of all, he's a young, talented and thoughtfully-imaged aspiring country artist
who unapologetically wants to put the "& western" back into the world's vocabulary.
This is Jeremy Crady.
"My dad was a band director and a minister of music at a Baptist church," Crady
says. "So I definitely remember that first church performance, my brother on the front
row making fun of me. Yeah, it seems like that cliché every artist tells, but my parents
never really pushed me toward it. I got there on my own."
A theater production in grade school gave him the performance bug – "I knew at
that point that singing and being in front of people was the thing" – but the contagion that
led to the full-fledged fever of obsession came from his older brother.
"He and his friends started listening to this guy Garth Brooks and I remember
thinking, 'Whoa, what is that?' One of my earliest prized possessions was a Discman, and
I remember sitting outside at school recess with it and the No Fences album. Kids were
coming over asking me to play and I was like, 'No. I'm busy.' That's one of the enduring
memories of my childhood."
Garth was just the gateway drug, however, as Jeremy burned through the
collected works of country music. "If somebody like Alan Jackson said something about
an artist they liked, then I had to go check that out, too. So I worked my way back into
country music history but kept current at the same time."
Incredibly industrious in high school, Crady played football, sang in choir and
show choir – all while attending night courses and summer school to fit everything into
his schedule. He was so focused on attending the commercial music program at South
Plains College that he skipped his senior year of high school.
The school is located in Levelland, Texas – "where you can stand on a box and
see the back of your head," he jokes – and has passed artists including Lee Ann Womack
and Natalie Maines through its halls. "From freshman year, I was going to be a
songwriter and performing artist. I ended up being in several school groups and other
bands. It was the beginning of really developing my songwriting craft.
"I started out really into mainstream country, but when I went to Levelland I got
turned on to the West Texas stuff," Crady says. "Robert Earl Keen, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett.
It shaped me. You take all this polished stuff and then through a bag of gravel in there
and mix it up. College was a big period of musical growth just from the standpoint of you
are what you eat. And I'm so thankful for that time in my life."
Levelland was also where he began playing live shows in earnest, particularly at
the Bluelight in Lubbock, which has since become a top venue on the Texas circuit. After
his two years at the junior college, Crady transferred to the University of Texas. Austin.
Being in one of the foremost creative communities in the world helped Jeremy
take his music a step further. "If you can keep playing George Strait and Pat Green songs,
you can keep a crowd happy in Texas," he says. "Playing those honkytonks is
educational, but I wanted to write songs and eventually make an album."
Enlisting friends from his South Plains days, Crady went into an Austin studio
and cut One New Standard & 11 Other Songs. "One of my friends is an engineer and we
brought in some established players." Though pleased with the effort, Nashville still
pulled at him.
"Everyone knew that's where I was going," Crady says. "I wasn't shy about it.
When I didn't show up my senior year of high school there were rumors I went to
Nashville and was touring. My cousin would call me and tell me all these crazy stories. I
thought it was great.
"I love Austin and mourn the day I left," he continues. "The countdown is on until
the day I can go back. But I can blame