Joel Crouse &Leaving Stafford
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Joel Crouse &Leaving Stafford

Holland, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Holland, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Pop Country


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""New England's Hottest Band""

Leaving Stafford started out in early 2008 in Holland, Massachusetts from a group of talented young musicians. Each person has brought their own personality along with their diverse musical backgrounds to create the ever growing musical phenomenon that is Leaving Stafford.

The lead singer, Joel Crouse, although the youngest member of the band, has made many people stop and ask the all too famous question, "who is that singing?" His mature voice and ability to sing notes all over the board, as well as play guitar, has kept people coming back for more. Eric Blais, the drummer, is known for thinking outside the box when it comes to keeping an amazing beat. His musical background originates in a heavier scene which allows for the band to play a diverse spectrum of sound. Thanks to Nick Zini, the songwriter and pianist, people have continued to be impressed with Leaving Stafford's fun beats as well as their more serious ballads. Nick Zini's dedication to the band is evident with his continued hard work writing new lyrics and music to keep people interested. Nick Crouse, the bass player, has brought a wealth of knowledge to the band with his creativity and musical feel. His back-up vocals have proved to be an asset to Leaving Stafford.

With Leaving Stafford's diversity and range of musical knowledge, it's easy to see why their energy, bright sound and catchy melodies have them in the spotlight as New England's Hottest Band. - Jess Volpe, NEU Journalism Major

"Backing it up"

Joel Crouse of Holland knows what the keenly anticipated Miley Cyrus-Sheryl Crow duet single sounds like. He’s part of the sound.

Crouse, 17, is a backup singer on the single that is scheduled to be released sometime this summer.

A good move for the personable, fresh-faced Crouse, who would like to make some noise of his own as a new face on the music scene.

The Tantasqua Regional High School graduate has been moving around quite a bit, most recently staying in Nashville, Tenn., and writing and recording and getting known by figures in the recording business. Now he’s back home in Holland for a spell that will include touring with his own band … and some waiting and seeing.

“I want to do something with music for the rest of my life,” he said.

Music has been an important part of Crouse’s life for most of his young years. Two years ago he founded a local band called Leaving Stafford (Crouse lives on Stafford Road in Holland), which began to get some far-reaching attention. A gig on Cape Cod caught the eye of a representative for the producer Joe Simpson, the father of Jessica Simpson. The band received an invitation to go to Los Angeles and record some demos. Later, Crouse found out that Simpson was interested in working with him. Meanwhile, Crouse received encouragement from Jamie Houston, also a big-time producer, who expressed the possibility of a creative partnership. Next came a demo deal with Epic Records and Crouse produced half a dozen songs. The deal ended in January and Crouse said that Epic wanted to extend it, but he has decided to wait on the next move.

While in Nashville he got a call from Jamie Houston, who was producing a new single for Disney. The single was the Cyrus-Crow duet. The stars were recording in Los Angeles. Houston asked if Crouse could do backup vocals for the single at a Nashville studio.

There is some industry secrecy about the record — including the release date — and Crouse understandably wasn’t about to rock the boat. Still, “it was cool,” he said of the experience. As for the single, “it sounds good. It sounds real good.” And when the single is released, “my name will be on the back of the record,” he said.

In a field where there can be many pitfalls, Crouse comes across as having a level head and the smarts to do well. He graduated a year early last May from Tantasqua. And he’s already getting a team in place that includes his father, Tom Crouse, as manager.

“I didn’t really know what to expect at first,” he said of his initial immersions into the music industry. “But after getting used to it, I love it. I love the music. The business aspect — putting it all together — I love that too.”

The learning experience has other dimensions. “Even with the experience right now, you learn the people to trust,” he said.

“You learn quick,” said his father, who added that Joel is “not the kind who drinks or smokes.”

What he does do is sing, play guitar and “dabble” on bass and piano. He described his songs as “pop rock with a bit of a soul feel.”

Returning to Stafford Road for the spring/summer, Crouse’s solo band — the Joel Crouse Band — is essentially a reunited Leaving Stafford. His older brother Nick Crouse plays bass, Christian Dancy is lead guitarist, Nick Zini plays keyboards and the drummer is Eric Blais. “We’re interested in playing different places,” Crouse said.

Tom Crouse said that he and his wife have told all three of their children to pursue their dreams. But does he think his son has the talent to make it?

“I think without a doubt,” he said. “Obviously I’m biased. But I’ve been with him in boardrooms with heads of labels and they love him. He definitely has the drive, and the talent and the looks.” - Worcester Telegran and Gazette


Joel Crouse can be heard at Crouse



Joel Crouse and Leaving Stafford have had incredible success and opportunity since their origin in 2008. From playing a Jonas Bros Concert to Six Flags New England to appearing to over 20,000 people on Cape Cod, their rise has been nothing short of amazing. Joel recently had a demo deal with Epic Records and is currently working with renowned producer Jamie Houston on a new project. Along with all of that Joel was hired to sing back up on the new Miley Cyrus, Sheryl Crowe duet that will be released soon.

Their concerts and gigs are crowd pleasers as women and girls have been known to cry while the guys simply want to hear more. Joel and the group will soon be based out of Nashville, where he will be working on the new project. They are available nationwide for concerts, gigs and promotional appearances. Some of the biggest names in the business are talking about Joel Crouse. He is an act that you will want to have perform sooner than later!